Workers’ Compensation Insurance Policy & Law in Nebraska
How Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Defined in Nebraska?
Workers’ comp is an insurance policy provided by employers to pay employee benefits for job-related injuries, disability, or death. Benefits are paid at the employer’s expense, and coverage for workers begins on their first day on the job. In Nebraska, so long as a business has one or more employees, they are required to carry workers’ comp coverage. A good workers’ comp policy doesn’t just protect employees though. It also protects employers from the financial strain of lawsuits.
In Nebraska, Do All Employers Have to Carry Workers’ Comp?
For the most part, all Nebraska employers are required by law to provide workers’ comp insurance for all of their employees — even minors and part-time workers. Exceptions include:
- Federal employees
- Railroad employees
- Some agricultural and domestic workers
- Independent contractors
The Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that protections for independent contractors are assessed on a case-by-case basis, depending on the circumstances of the work. If you are a business owner employing independent contractors, you should consult an insurance carrier to determine if you are responsible for providing workers’ comp coverage for these workers. Even if you are not, it may be preferable to a future lawsuit.
In many cases, whether it is for independent contractors or including business owners in the coverage, you may not be legally required to but you are eligible to, and paying a premium to ensure your business is protected from devastating consequences from your own injury or that of an employee, is an investment you might just be willing to make.
Not sure if you are required to provide coverage? Don’t hesitate to contact us and get clarity. Never assume that your business is exempt, as the penalties for being uninsured can be steep.
What Are The Penalties in Nebraska for Not Having Workers’ Comp Coverage?
If your Nebraska business is found to be operating without workers’ comp insurance, you are subject to major penalties. For each violation you may face a civil fine of up to $1,0000, and each day you are not in compliance is treated as an additional violation.
In addition to fines, as the employer, you may face up to one year of imprisonment and a ban on your company doing further business in Nebraska if it is found that your refusal to comply is in violation of criminal laws.
Given the relatively low average costs of insurance coverage per employee in Nebraska, these severe fines should be avoided. Not only are fines like this a major cost for any small business, the negative attention that comes along with them can be devastating for your business.
On average the cost for low-risk industries, such as clerical work, is about $0.13 per $100 of payroll, with even industries with higher risks falling well under $10 per every $100 of payroll. Compared to the cost of being caught without insurance, these prices are an absolute bargain. You can see a comparison of other states’ workers’ comp insurance costs here.
What Are a Nebraska Employer’s Responsibilities When an Accident Occurs?
Unlike many states, beneficiaries of workers’ comp in Nebraska often forgo ongoing benefits in favor of a lump-sum payment. In these cases, the employee, employer, and insurance provider must all work together to agree on a settlement amount and most formally agree not to request future benefit payments.
If one of your employees is injured or becomes ill during the course of the workday, make sure to get as much information as possible. Whether you are around when the incident takes place or not, it is important that an incident report be drawn up as soon as possible. Here are some important things to consider when it comes time to fill out your incident report:
- What happened?
- When and where did the incident occur?
- What is the nature of the injury or illness?
- Were there any witnesses?
- Was further medical help requested?
- Does your employee have medical documentation from this incident?
Having a standard incident report form ready at all times and familiarizing employees, especially supervisors, with its use is a good way to maintain consistency in your records so that everything is organized, clear, and professional. Clear protocols can also be valuable if there is a dispute and legal involvement is necessary.
In most cases, workers’ comp claims are fairly straightforward, providing benefits for minor, temporary injuries, and do not involve any sort of conflict.
What Are Nebraska’s Disability Benefits?
Nebraska has two main categories of disability benefits: permanent and temporary.
Permanent benefits are paid out when an employee is indefinitely incapacitated from a workplace injury or illness. In these cases, if a doctor determines that the employee’s condition will not improve, the insurance provider is responsible for paying out a percentage of their lost earnings on a consistent basis.
More commonly, temporary benefits, while generally calculated the same way as temporary benefits, are available when an injured worker is unable to work for a limited amount of time. In these cases, temporary benefits for lost wages are available to the injured employee to supplement the lost income while recovering.
In both cases, benefits for medical and other expenses may be available.
What Are Workers’ Comp Death Benefits in Nebraska?
In addition to disability benefits provided by workers’ comp to the injured worker, Nebraska workers’ comp provides death benefits in the event that an employee dies from a workplace injury.
Workers’ compensation death benefits are based on 67% of the deceased’s weekly wages and are paid out to the deceased’s spouse up until the spouse’s remarriage. If the deceased had dependent children, the percentage increases to 75% in order to provide for them as well. Additionally, Nebraska’s workers’ comp covers funeral expenses as part of the death benefits up to $6,000.
How Much Does Workers’ Comp Insurance Cost in Nebraska?
While the coverage provided by workers’ comp insurance will be standard regardless of industry or your number of employees, the cost per employee will vary for the business owner, depending mostly on your industry.
On the whole, clerical jobs pay a lower premium while costs are higher for jobs with higher physical risks.
Several factors unique to your business will contribute to your exact insurance premiums.
Some of these factors include:
- The type of service your business provides
- The value of your business property, including any equipment or supplies
- The annual revenue of your business
- The location of your business
- The number of employees your business employs
As a company, if you take certain precautions and safety measures to reduce the risk of injury, you can almost always save on your premiums. Cerity works with over a hundred different industries. To find your type of business and see more information specific to you, click here.
Where Can I Get Workers’ Comp for My Nebraska Business?
At Cerity, we believe getting workers’ compensation coverage for your Nebraska business should be easy. That’s why we’ve created a faster, more affordable approach to workers’ comp insurance coverage. With our proprietary tools and modern technology, we’re able to provide insurance quotes quickly — all without phone calls or paperwork.
We offer workers’ compensation to businesses no matter where you are in Nebraska. If you are located in the Bohemian Alps, Nebraska Outback, or Rainwater Basin, we’ll help you protect your Nebraska employees.
If you need workers’ comp coverage for your Nebraska 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:
Check out our free business insurance quote tool online to get a free quote and find out how easy protecting your business can be.