In recent years, Georgia has paid out $3.466 billion in workers' comp claims. Work-related injuries happen every day, from trips and falls to life-altering injuries, but having the right workers' comp coverage can help protect your business. For help navigating workers comp insurance coverage, find a local independent agent.
Workers' Compensation Coverages/Non-Coverages in Georgia
Employees need help paying for medical bills when they get injured on the job. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect employees from the costs of workplace injuries, and protect employers from lawsuits and other unpredictable costs.
Here's a closer look at what workers' compensation covers and does not cover in the state of Georgia.
Workers' comp covers the following:
- Traumatic injuries
- Repetitive-type injuries
- Certain mental injuries
- Occupational diseases
Real-life example of coverage:
A Georgia agricultural employee gets hurt while using a piece of farm equipment on the job. The worker gets taken to the hospital to be treated for their injuries. A workers' comp policy would help pay for any related medical treatments and other costs.
Workers' comp does not cover:
- Employee illnesses or injuries sustained outside of work
- Accidents that occur while an employee is intoxicated
- Intentional employee injuries to themselves at the workplace
|Workers' Compensation Coverage||Covered||Not Covered|
|Certain mental injuries||
|Employee illnesses or injuries sustained outside of work||
|Accidents that occur while an employee is intoxicated||
|Intentional employee injuries to themselves at the workplace||
An independent insurance agent can further explain what workers' compensation insurance both covers and excludes in Georgia.
Why Do You Need Workers Compensation Insurance in Georgia?
Workers' comp insurance is a necessity for most businesses for several reasons. For starters, it's actually required by law in most states, if your business has employees. Workers' comp also provides critical protection for your business against financial losses.
For most states, workers' comp is required immediately upon hiring a new employee. You'll want to be equipped with coverage before any of your workers get injured or ill on the job so that your business won't be held financially liable. Coverage doesn't kick in for workplace incidents until after you purchase a policy.
What Consequences Could You Face if You Don’t Have Workers’ Compensation in Georgia?
If your business doesn't carry workers' comp to protect your team, you could end up facing legal consequences like fines or jail time. Though some businesses think of workers' comp as optional or unnecessary due to the nature of their operations, coverage can provide important financial protection in case of an incident.
Workers' comp is mandatory in most states, including Georgia, if your business regularly employs three or more workers, meaning part-time or full-time. Businesses in Georgia who do not provide the required workers' comp coverage for employees can be found guilty of a misdemeanor and be subject to state fines of $1,000 to $10,000 or up to one year's imprisonment, or both.
Georgia Workers’ Compensation Laws
The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act defines the responsibility of employers to provide prompt medical and disability benefits for injuries sustained on the job by workers. In return, employees cannot sue employers for additional damages or benefits. The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation Insurance is responsible for overseeing and administering workers’ compensation insurance in Georgia.
In Georgia, employers who fail to provide workers’ compensation insurance as required by law are held responsible for compensable injuries in the same way as employers who have coverage. The Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation may also assess attorney’s fees, civil penalties, and a 10% increase in compensation to employees if the employer refuses or neglects to purchase the required coverage.
How Much Does Georgia Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost?
Workers’ compensation insurance always costs more for industries and occupations that are presumed to have a higher risk of occupational injuries or illnesses. Cost is determined by how many employees you have, the types of jobs they perform, and your history of accidents and workers’ comp claims.
In Georgia, the National Council for Compensation Insurance (NCCI) assigns classification codes for each occupation. Each class code is given a recommended base rate for workers’ comp. For the premium, an employer’s annual payroll at the start of the policy period is divided by 100 and then multiplied by the base rate.
Consider the following example:
- Classification Code 5022: Masonry
- Base Rate: $10.89
- Employer payroll: $100,000
- Premium calculation: $10.89 per $100 of employer payroll (or 10.89% of payroll)
- Estimated annual premium: $10,890
Most employers have employees in more than one classification. All applicable classifications and related premiums will be combined to determine the annual Georgia workers’ compensation insurance premium. Premiums are approved and regulated by the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Division and must remain within NCCI guidelines.
Georgia Workers’ Compensation Base Rate Examples
Workers' compensation rates vary significantly among insurance companies in Georgia, based on underwriting standards. Insurance companies file their premiums with the Georgia State Workers’ Compensation Board.
Here are some recent sample base rates (rate per $100 of employer payroll):
- 0042 Landscaping: $6.94
- 5183 Plumbing: $3.28
- 5427 Carpentry: $6.98
- 8017 Retail Store: $1.33
- 8810 Clerical: $0.12
- 9082 Restaurant: $1.50
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Workers' Comp Cost Per Employee in Georgia
The cost of workers' comp coverage per employee increases with higher company payrolls, as these businesses cost more to insure. Check out a breakdown of how workers' comp costs vary by payroll range in each specific industry below.
Annual Workers' Comp Cost Per Employee
|Industry||Lower Cost||Medium Cost||Upper Cost|
|Finance and Insurance||$523||$945||$3,459|
|Hotels / Motels||$384||$862||$3,643|
|Manufacturing and Food Production||$679||$1,291||$4,909|
|Professional and Technical Services||$491||$973||$3,804|
|Restaurants and Taverns||$156||$348||$1,462|
|Transportation and Warehousing||$1,171||$2,306||$8,987|
Businesses that have a greater track-record of safety and fewer accidents pay less for their coverage. Insurance companies have complex formulas to reset your rates after an accident, likely leading to a noticeable spike in your premiums.
Best Workers' Comp Companies in Georgia
Workers' comp is available from many different insurance companies in Georgia. Here are just a few of our top picks for quality workers' comp insurance carriers.
|Top Workers' Compensation Insurance Companies||Star Rating|
|Builders & Tradesmen's Insurance|
An independent insurance agent can help you look into these workers' comp insurance companies and get matched to the carrier who best meets your needs at the most affordable rate.
Top 6 Most Common Workers' Comp Claims/Injuries
- Lacerations: In other words, deep cuts. These can happen in any industry, but are especially common in the restaurant and manufacturing fields.
- Sprains/strains: Again, these injuries can happen in any industry, but are especially common in job settings where lots of twisting and turning is required.
- Contusions: In other words, bruises and other marks on the skin caused by impact. Contusions often happen from dropped objects, improper lifting, or colliding with an object.
- Burns: Burns can happen in any industry that has a heat source, including restaurants, construction businesses, bakeries, and more.
- Eye injuries: Eye injuries are most frequent in industries that require chemicals, including manufacturing, painting, and construction.
- Fractures: Fractures can happen to employees anywhere, but are especially common in industries that require a lot of movement and the use of heavy machinery.
Why Are Independent Insurance Agents Awesome?
It’s simple. Independent insurance agents simplify the process by shopping and comparing insurance quotes for you. Not only that, but they’ll also cut the jargon and clarify the fine print, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
There’s no business too small for our independent insurance agents. They have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best workers' comp coverage and competitive pricing while working for you.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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