Workers’ Compensation is a critical type of insurance that every business both big and small needs to manage risk and take care of their employees. It shields businesses by limiting the amount of liability they could face if injury occurs on the job and protects employees who experience work-related injuries by providing benefits and wage replacements. Workers’ compensation can be complicated though. Below are some common myths:
Myth 1: Only manual labor-focused companies need workers’ compensation coverage
While it is true workers’ compensation injuries are common among manual labor-focused jobs, such as construction and factory workers, anyone can suffer injuries on the job. Slips and falls can happen anywhere, especially with polished or cracked and damaged flooring. Repetitive tasks, like typing in an office, can cause Musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel. These common workplace injuries cost employers billions annually. Workers’ compensation covers all of these injuries and helps protect the employer if they are sued.
Myth 2: You don’t need to cover seasonal or part-time employees
Idaho law requires every business with one or more employees to have workers’ compensation insurance including seasonal, part-time and occasional employees. In fact, businesses are required to have workers’ compensation insurance before they hire their first employee. If a business does not comply, it can be subject to numerous fines and risk being charged with a misdemeanor for breaking state law.
Myth 3: If there is an accident you can pay out of pocket
Besides breaking the law, not having workers’ compensation coverage is a huge risk because it leaves an employer unprotected against lawsuits. Additionally, if an accident occurs there are many costs, including medical bills, rehabilitation bills, and lost wages. These costs can be exorbitant, and that doesn’t include the cost of being sued. Paying out of pocket after an accident or in lieu of workers’ compensation is not realistic for most small businesses.
Myth 4: You can rely on health insurance if someone gets hurt
If someone is injured on the job, private health insurance is not required to cover the costs of the injury. Workers’ compensation exists specifically for injuries or accidents on the job. Many health insurance companies make a point of not paying out on accidents or injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation.
Owning a small business is a dream come true for many; be sure you have the right coverage to protect your investment. To learn more about business insurance from Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Idaho, contact your local agent.
Disclaimer: The information included here is designed for informational purposes only. It is not legal, tax, financial or any other sort of advice, nor is it a substitute for such advice. The information may not apply to your specific situation. We have tried to make sure the information is accurate, but it could be outdated or even inaccurate in parts.
National Safety Council
Idaho Industrial Commission