You make every effort to provide a safe environment for your staff and patients, but accidents can still happen. To protect your practice from the costs associated with employee injuries, you need Workers’ Compensation coverage from the AAO-Endorsed Insurance Program.
Workers’ compensation is legally required for doing business in most states. Without the proper workers’ compensation insurance, your practice could face legal consequences for noncompliance. Lack of coverage also places your practice and personal assets at risk in the event of work-related injury or illness.
And once you have coverage in place, you will need to ensure it keeps pace with your growth. As you hire more employees or open new locations, your coverage needs may change. Luckily, Lockton Affinity and AAO are here to help you each step of the way.
What Workers’ Compensation covers
Workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits coverage to your employees in the event of a work-related injury or illness. Common incidents covered under workers’ compensation include:
- Slip-and-fall accidents resulting in injuries
- Back injuries due to lifting or overexertion
- Repetitive stress injuries (such as carpal tunnel)
- Injuries that occur during travel for work (not including commuting)
In some cases, serious accidents and injuries can occur on the job. Even with the best training and safety precautions, workers may have a work-related injury or illness that results in:
- Accidental death
- Permanent disability
With workers’ compensation, these injured workers can receive funds for their medical expenses and partial lost wages, in return for agreeing not to file a claim against the employer. Death benefits may also apply for cases where a work injury or illness leads to the death of an employee.
In cases where an injured employee does file a claim, workers’ compensation can also cover the costs to defend your practice from the lawsuit.
Which employees need coverage
Workers’ compensation insurance is required by state law for most businesses with employees. Coverage for sole proprietors and partnerships is usually not required.
- Workers’ compensation insurance is required by law in almost every state.
- Salaried, hourly, exempt, non-exempt, part-time and full-time workers all need to be covered by workers’ compensation.
- Even some commission-only workers, contractors and subcontractors and paid family members of a practice may need coverage, too.
Workers’ compensation insurance is regulated at the state level, meaning each state has its own requirements for benefits, coverage areas, coverage type and more. It’s important you have adequate insurance for all employees wherever your practice operates and to the extent each state’s guidelines require.
When to reassess your coverage
Over time, your workers’ compensation insurance needs will change, so it’s important to know when to reassess your coverage.
Update your coverage when:
- You hire or expand—Review your coverage when you hire new employees.
- You expand into a new state—Understand that requirements vary, so check local rules when you expand across state lines.
- Your state requirements change—Check your policy annually to make sure you are compliant with any new state requirements.
Why Workers’ Compensation coverage matters
Workers’ compensation insurance protects your practice and your employees. Coverage helps ensure that your employees and their families have a remedy for workplace injuries and that your practice is not unduly burdened with costly legal claims from an accident.
Workers’ compensation coverage also protects you and your practice from regulatory actions, which may include costly fines or even criminal charges for noncompliance in some states.
With a Workers’ Compensation policy through the AAO-Endorsed Insurance Program, you can get the coverage you need to meet state requirements and minimize the risks your practice faces. Schedule a complimentary risk evaluation to talk with a helpful representative about Workers’ Compensation coverage today.