Workers’ Compensation Insurance Policy & Law in Indiana
How Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Defined in Indiana?
In Indiana, workers’ comp insurance is defined as “an accident insurance program paid by your employer which may provide you with medical, rehabilitation and income benefits if you are injured on the job. These benefits are provided to help you return to work. It also provides benefits to your dependents if you die as the result of a job-related injury.” In other words, workers’ comp protects your biggest business asset — your employees.
The state of Indiana’s mission as it pertains to workers’ comp is “to provide efficient dispute resolution for injured workers and employers by administering both formal adjudication and informal dispute resolution services; to serve the public by answering inquiries regarding the Indiana Worker’s Compensation system; and to collect statistical information regarding workplace injuries in Indiana.”
What Is a “No-Fault” System, and How Does It Affect Workers’ Compensation in Indiana?
Indiana is a “no-fault” system. This type of worker’s compensation system means that injured or ill employees are entitled to receive medical and financial benefits — such as emergency medical expenses, ongoing medical expenses, lost wages for missed work and permanent injuries, and death benefits — regardless of who is at fault for the workplace injury. This means that even if the employee was at fault for their injury, they will still be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. In “no-fault” systems like Indiana’s, business owners are protected from being held liable for costly medical bills and are protected against most workplace accident lawsuits.
What Are the Legal Requirements for Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Indiana?
In the state of Indiana, nearly every employer must have workers’ comp coverage, regardless of how many employees they have. The requirements for workers’ comp apply to full-time employees, part-time employees, out-of-state workers, minors, executives, and even students in certain job training positions. There are some exceptions, including the following:
- State and municipal staff
- Railword employees
- Federal workers
- Casual laborers
- Real estate employees
- Independent Contractors
Do Indiana Employers Need Workers’ Comp Coverage for Themselves?
Generally, Indiana employers are required to have workers’ comp coverage for themselves, with the exception of sole proprietors and partners in partnerships. In both of those cases, employers have the option to purchase coverage for themselves if they wish. Getting coverage can be a good idea, especially for sole proprietors who are financially dependent on their ability to work and those employers who work in high-risk industries such as construction.
What Are the Penalties in Indiana for Not Having Workers’ Comp Insurance Coverage?
In Indiana, the penalties for not having workers’ comp coverage are substantial. Financial consequences could include fines, back-charged premiums, and fees associated with potential lawsuits. Legal consequences are also a possibility if employers are found to be non-compliant.
To learn more about workers’ comp coverage requirements in other states, click here.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover in Indiana?
In Indiana, workers’ compensation provides coverage for medical bills, ongoing medical expenses, and payments for lost wages over time. Workers’ comp in Indiana can include temporary or permanent benefits.
Indiana state law determines exactly what types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, but generally, business owners can use the following guidelines to help understand what typically qualifies for a workers’ comp claim.
These types of injuries typically include:
- Injuries that are not the result of intentional self-harm or harm that results from drug use, alcohol use, or fighting. These situations are not covered even in a no-fault state.
- Injuries that fall within the general “course and scope” of the worker’s employment. For example, if a janitorial staff member slips and falls while mopping, their injuries would likely qualify. However, if an office worker gets into a fender bender on their way home from work after having clocked out for the day, that’s unlikely to qualify.
- Long-term occupational injuries, including back strain from repetitive motion. Generally, when people think of work-related injuries, they likely think of one-time events — but injuries and illness can occur over a long period of time in a profession. As long as the injury or illness is clearly associated with the employee’s general work responsibilities, it may be eligible.
For more information about worker’s comp coverage, visit our learning center.
What Are Workers’ Comp Death Benefits in Indiana?
If an employee passes away as a result of an on-the-job injury or illness, their beneficiaries and surviving family are eligible to receive death benefits. Death benefits in Indiana include up to $7,500 in funeral and burial expenses as well as lost wages that amount to up to 67% of the deceased worker’s average weekly earnings. Lost wages are offered in Indiana for up to 500 weeks.
Those who are eligible to receive death benefits include:
- Surviving spouse
- Unmarried children under the age of 21 who are either living with the worker at the time of their passing or are not living with the worker but are financially dependent on the worker
- Children over the age of 21 who are physically or mentally incapable of supporting themselves or are keeping house for the worker and are unemployed in other capacities
If none of these whole dependents exist, other beneficiaries can include relatives who are dependent, wholly or partially, on the deceased worker at the time of their passing.
What Are the Statutes of Limitations Regarding Workers’ Comp in Indiana?
Employees in Indiana have two years from the date of an incident to file a workers’ compensation claim.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Indiana?
The average cost for workers’ compensation coverage in the state of Indiana is around $0.75 for every $100 that employers spend on payroll, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance. However, despite these statistics, it’s important to know that all businesses’ premiums will be different based on their level of risk and other unique circumstances to their business.
Workers’ comp costs are calculated based on a variety of factors, including class codes, which help to rank employees’ risk of experiencing on-the-job injuries or illnesses. Your insurance provider can help you understand these factors and get the best value.
Many factors unique to your business will contribute to your exact insurance premiums.
Some of these factors include:
- The location of your business
- The size of your business and the number of employees
- The industry in which your business operates
If you are looking to get the best premium, one of the things you can do is execute some risk mitigation strategies. When it comes to workplace safety, it’s important for insurers to know that your business prioritizes it. By implementing training techniques, safety protocols, and other safety measures, you could potentially lower your premiums.
Where Can I Get Workers’ Compensation For My Indiana Business?
Cerity offers workers’ compensation to businesses no matter where you are in Indiana. If you are located near the Great Lakes Plain, Tipton Till Plain, or Southern Hills, we’ll help you protect your Indiana employees.
If you need workers’ comp coverage for your Indiana business, you can purchase a policy through any private insurance company, agent, or broker that is licensed to operate in the state. So even if you aren’t in any of the following cities, know that we can still help you:
- Fort Wayne
- South Bend
How Can I Obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance for My Employees in Indiana?
In Indiana, employers have two options when it comes to obtaining workers’ compensation coverage. Employers can choose to either purchase insurance through a private provider or opt to self-insure. Self-insurance is only available to employers who can demonstrate to the state that they have the financial means to cover the damages associated with workers’ comp out of pocket, without filing an insurance claim. For those who can’t get approved for coverage through a private provider, businesses can get coverage via an assigned risk pool through the ICRB, the insurer of last resort for businesses in Indiana who are denied coverage elsewhere. Once employers have obtained their workers’ comp coverage, they are required by law to post a notice of workers’ compensation which advises their employees of their right to accept or reject coverage.
Finding workers’ comp is easy with the right provider. At Cerity, our goal is to help Indiana business owners get comprehensive insurance coverage quickly so their time can be spent growing the business — not on fussy paperwork and phone calls. We believe in a faster, more affordable approach to workers’ compensation. Using proprietary tools and modern technology, we help businesses get workers’ comp quotes fast and easily.
Utilize our online quote service and discover how easy getting workers’ compensation coverage for your business can be.