Workers compensation exists to provide employees with medical benefits and wage replacement in the event that the employee has suffered from injury or illness while working on the job.

Because many work-related injuries are often found in fields such as construction and health care, many small business owners may feel that workers compensation insurance is an unnecessary cost.

However, it’s important to consider that employees can suffer from injury or illness in any given occupation. In 2013, for instance, there were 170,450 back injuries; 327,060 sprains, tears, and strains; and 229,190 trip, slip, and fall injuries experienced by employees on the job.

For this reason, it’s essential to the success of your business that you know the basics of workers compensation. Here are three essential things you need to know about workers comp as a small business owner:

 

  1. Where to get workers comp insurance as a small business: Before you can provide your employees with workers comp insurance or you’re sued by a workers compensation lawyer, it’s important that you know where to get workers comp insurance as a small business owner. There are two ways to get workers compensation insurance — through a state’s workers compensation fund and through a private insurer.

    Depending on your state, you can often get a policy from the state workers compensation insurance fund if you’re unable to get coverage through a private insurer. However, it’s important that you look into whether or not state funding is possible first before you consider it a guaranteed option. For some states, workers compensation insurance funding may be required and for others, it may not exist.

  2. Your state’s individual requirements: Even if you think that workers compensation insurance may be an unnecessary expense to your company, you may not have a choice in the matter of going without it. Therefore, it’s important that you look into your individual state’s requirements regarding workers compensation insurance. Contact a workers compensation lawyer to understand the workers comp requirements of your state.

    In states like South Carolina, you only need to worry about covering full-time employees with workers compensation insurance. However, for most others, it’s a requirement for both full-time and part-time employees.

  3. Your business has a 50% chance of receiving an injury claim: If you still believe that the likelihood of receiving a workers compensation claim is low, know that there’s a 50% chance that your business will receive a claim over the course of 10 years, according to a data analysis by Hartford Insurance.

    Even if the environment in which you work is a place of low-risk injury, it’s still important to get workers compensation insurance when you take into consideration the financial consequences of your actions. Not only will you be losing an employee for a series of work days, but they could also file a lawsuit against you with a workers compensation lawyer.

 

As a small business owner, it’s important to guarantee that your workers are covered by workers compensation insurance. Not only will it benefit your business in the long run, but it will lower your own financial anxieties as well.