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As a small business owner, you do your best to anticipate and address issues before they can impact your business. But if an employee is injured while on the job, this can have potentially devastating consequences for your business — not only financially but also operationally.
Small business owners need to be prepared for the unexpected. Workers’ compensation insurance for small businesses helps protect those businesses from workplace incidents that could be damaging.
Small Business Workers’ Compensation Insurance
No matter what type of small business you run, there is always the possibility that one of your employees may experience a workplace injury. From slips-and-falls to health conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, any work-related injuries can result in medical costs that impact your company’s bottom line.
Small business workers’ compensation insurance is a type of commercial insurance that covers the costs of workplace injuries and any related lawsuits. Workers’ comp insurance helps protect the company and its owners from devastating financial losses that may result from these workplace injuries.
Small Business Employee Injuries
Most states require small businesses to have business insurance that offers coverage for workers’ compensation. Though laws may vary from state to state, workers’ comp insurance is an invaluable way to protect your business in the event of a workplace injury.
The risk for workplace injuries varies based on your industry and the nature of your business. Many small business owners that operate out of an office environment, like architects and accountants, may assume their company is at low risk for workplace injuries. However, the truth is that these types of businesses carry just as much risk as those that involve working in the field or directly with customers.
Small business owners who own home-based businesses can also benefit from workers’ comp insurance, as they are still at risk for workplace injuries. Learn more about business insurance for home-based businesses here.
The types of injuries that employees may sustain will also vary depending on the type of work your business does. From back injuries that result from heavy lifting to health conditions related to eye strain, there are a number of injuries that employees of small businesses may experience while on the job. This makes business insurance that includes workers’ compensation a must for any small business.
Workers’ compensation insurance helps protect your business from financial loss related to workplace injuries by covering:
- Immediate medical expenses (ambulance services, emergency room visits, surgery, etc.)
- Ongoing medical care (physical therapy, medications, etc.)
- Lost wages due to injury
Small Business Liability Coverage for Lawsuits
Employee lawsuits for workplace injuries can be financially devastating to small businesses, even if the business is not at fault for the injury. Workers’ comp insurance offers liability coverage for small businesses. This helps protect you in the event that an employee sues your company after sustaining a workplace injury.
Small business workers’ compensation liability coverage protects your business’s bottom line by helping to cover the costs of:
- Attorney fees
- Court costs
- Settlement payments
- Other related legal fees
It’s important to determine whether your existing workers’ compensation insurance policy includes liability coverage. If it does not, you may want to fill this gap in coverage by purchasing liability insurance from a private insurer.
For example, in North Dakota, Ohio, Washington, and Wyoming, small businesses are required to get their workers’ comp coverage from monopolistic state funds. These policies may not cover legal costs if an employee files a suit after a workplace injury. In this case, a small business would need to purchase additional coverage to be protected in the event that an employee sues.
Lower Small Business Workers’ Comp Costs with Risk Management
While workers’ compensation coverage helps protect your business from losses related to workplace injuries, risk management is the first step in preventing these injuries before they occur. Small business owners need to assess their level of risk and create policies and procedures to promote workplace safety. Employee safety training is also helpful in ensuring that your employees know how to stay safe on the job.
The type of policies and training you develop will depend on the risks that are involved with your small business. For instance, if your employees are often lifting heavy boxes, you might create training on proper lifting techniques. Or if your business operations involve a lot of computer work, you might introduce mandatory breaks throughout the day to avoid health conditions like eye strain or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Not only does risk management help you avoid workplace incidents, but it can also help lower your workers’ compensation premiums. Insurance companies often utilize risk management tools to determine insurance premiums. That means that if you take steps to lower risk, you could potentially lower your commercial insurance costs at the same time.
How Much Does Workers’ Comp Insurance Cost for Small Business?
Costs for workers’ compensation coverage for small businesses depend on a number of factors, including the nature of your business, your business payroll records, your business jurisdiction, and the history of workplace incidents at your business.
At Cerity, we use proprietary technology to provide immediate quotes for small business workers’ comp insurance, offering our clients clear and intelligent pricing. To get a free quote for workers’ comp insurance today, use our free online quote tool for small businesses of all types.
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