As the third most populous city in the US, Chicago is home to numerous businesses representing a wide range of industries. If you own a company in the Windy City, you are expected to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for your employees. You are also responsible for covering the cost of medical treatment and other associated costs if your workers are injured on the job.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides this coverage. Local independent insurance agents are able to shop around to help you find the best and most affordable policy to cover your specific business. Contact an insurance agent in Chicago to learn more about workers’ compensation insurance.
Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Required in Chicago?
Nearly every employer in Chicago is required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance. The state of Illinois mandates that if you have at least one employee, you must have coverage.
It is not necessary to cover family members who are corporate offers or direct family members who live with the employer, but you can buy coverage for these individuals if you want to. If you are a sole proprietor with no employees, you do not need to cover yourself.
In Illinois, it is a felony to not have coverage for your employees. If you are caught, you can face jail time of one to three years as well as a fine of up to $25,000.
How Much Does Worker’s Compensation Insurance Cost in Chicago?
Rates for workers’ compensation insurance are calculated according to the kinds of jobs your employees do and your company’s overall payroll. Every job type is assigned a specific classification code, and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission assigns base rates for each of these job classifications.
The more likely a worker is to suffer a significant injury on the job, the more it will cost to cover them. A construction worker would be much more expensive to insure than a clerical worker. The following are average rates paid per every $100,000 in employee payroll for the three top industries in Chicago, IL:
- Professional, scientific & technical services: $580 a year
- Health care: $1,910 a year
- Educational services: $700 a year
Of course, costs can vary within industries. A scientific researcher who works with numbers and data will have a lower risk of injury than a scientist who is working with volatile chemicals. To find out how much workers’ compensation insurance will cost for your particular business, contact one of the many independent insurance agents in Chicago.
What Does Chicago Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance (sometimes referred to as “workman’s comp”) is designed to cover the costs associated with on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses. This saves your employees from facing large financial losses as a result of these injuries. It also significantly reduces your company’s risk of being involved in a liability lawsuit.
You can expect your Chicago workers’ compensation insurance policy to pay for the following:
- Medical treatment: Workers’ compensation will cover all costs associated with necessary medical treatment and follow-up care related to illnesses and injuries sustained on the job. As the employer, you can designate a list of preferred physicians that your employees will need to use for their treatment.
- Mileage reimbursement: If your employee must travel a great distance to receive necessary medical treatment for a work-related injury or occupational illness, your workers’ compensation insurance may reimburse them for their mileage and travel expenses.
- Short-term disability: Employees who need to take more than three consecutive days off work to recuperate from a work-related injury can collect a weekly benefit of two-thirds of their average weekly pay until they are able to return to work.
- Permanent disability: If a work-related injury is so severe and the injured employee cannot return to work, workers’ comp can pay a weekly benefit of two-thirds of their average weekly pay for a number of weeks that is based on the severity of their injury.
- Death benefits: If an employee dies due to a work-related injury or illness, workers’ compensation can cover burial expenses up to $8,000 and will provide compensation to the employee’s spouse and dependent children for 25 years or $500,000, whichever is greater.
You can get more information about each of these benefits by talking with an independent insurance agent in Chicago.
What If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
Workers' compensation claims are sometimes denied. Insurance companies will deny claims if they have reason to believe that:
- The injured worker was not an official employee of your company.
- The injured worker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time the accident occurred.
- The injured worker was committing a crime at the time the injury was sustained.
- The injury was self-inflicted and intentional.
- The injury did not actually occur while working.
If you believe that your workers’ compensation claim was unjustly denied, you do have options. You can file an appeal with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. They will assign an arbitrator who can set up an arbitration hearing to review the facts.
Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Chicago
A local independent insurance agent can help you find an industry-appropriate workers’ compensation policy to cover your Chicago business. Your agent can provide you with customized quotes from a selection of competing insurance companies. That way, you can be sure you are getting great coverage at a competitive price.
Discover how easy it can be to find the right workers’ compensation policy for your business. Contact an insurance agent in or near Chicago, IL to get started.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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