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WHO SELLS WORKERS COMP INSURANCE?
Workers comp insurance is not part of your Businessowners Policy (BOP). It must be purchased as a separate insurance policy. Each state has its own rules about where employers may buy workers comp insurance. In a few states all employers must buy their workers comp insurance from a state monopoly insurer, known as a state fund. In a number of other states, insurance may be purchased from the state fund or from private insurers. In the states that have them, state funds may serve as an insurer of last resort for businesses that cannot find coverage from a private insurer.
Required Insurance for Employers
Businesses with employees are required by law to pay for certain types of insurance: workers’ compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, and, depending on where the business is located, disability insurance.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance
Nearly every state has laws regarding worker’s compensation insurance. This insurance protects employees against lost income resulting from work-related illnesses or injuries. These insurance laws address amounts to be paid in, rehabilitation, retraining, beneficiaries, and medical payout limits.
Some states allow a business owner to purchase insurance through a commercial carrier or through the state Workers’ Compensation Insurance program. Check on your state government’s website to learn the requirements in your state and what options may be available to you to meet the requirements. For example, some state-facilitated programs may provide specific plans for sole proprietorships.
FACTORS THAT AFFECT YOUR PREMIUMS
Premiums for workers comp vary among the states. In states where benefits are more generous, premiums for workers comp insurance may be correspondingly greater. In most states, workers comp benefits continue even after the worker begins to collect Social Security and Medicare.
However, benefits are only one part of the equation. In some states with low benefits and costs, premiums may be high due to the inefficiency of the system for awarding benefits. The generally increasing cost of medical care impacts premiums as well. Although states are working to make changes, for the most part, workers comp insurance doesn’t have the types of cost control measures that have been applied to health insurance. Workers comp claimants do not have to pay deductibles. In many states they may visit as many doctors and specialists as they like. There is generally no requirement for doctors to prescribe generic rather than brand name drugs.