Located within the Chicago metropolitan area, Joliet is home to a wide variety of businesses, from hospitals to casinos. If you are among the many employers in this city, you will need to be sure to have workers’ compensation insurance to cover any injuries or occupational illnesses your employees may suffer on the job.
Some workers’ compensation insurance companies are better suited than others to cover businesses in certain industries. A local independent insurance agent can help you find the best and most affordable coverage for your Joliet business. Find an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Required in Joliet?
Employers in Joliet must comply with Illinois state laws regarding workers’ compensation insurance. In this state, you are required to carry this insurance if you have any employees, even if you have just one part-time worker. Exceptions are made for:
- Sole proprietors who have no employees
- Family members who are corporate officers
- Direct family members who live in the same household as the employer
Exclusions do not apply for workers with dangerous jobs, like construction workers and long-haul truck drivers. These employees must be covered no matter what. Failure to meet the state’s requirements for carrying coverage can result in one to three years in jail and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
Coverage can be purchased with a commercial provider; or, with approval, you can self-insure. About 90% of all employers in Illinois choose to purchase coverage.
How Much Does Workers' Compensation Insurance Cost in Joliet, IL?
Your cost for workers’ compensation coverage will depend on the types of work your employees do and your company’s overall payroll. Each job is given a certain classification code, and rates for each class code are set by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission according to how likely a significant injury is to occur.
Commercial insurers use these rates as a starting point and raise or lower rates according to your company’s claims history and experience modification. The following are the average rates paid per every $100,000 in employee payroll for three of the top industries in Joliet, IL:
- Health care: $1,910 a year
- Educational services: $700 a year
- Accommodation & food services: $2,545 a year
A nurse at a hospital might sprain her back while moving a patient. A fry cook at a diner might suffer a serious burn. These workers are more likely than a teacher to suffer an injury in the workplace, and the industry rates reflect this. There are many different jobs under each industry umbrella. so to find out how much coverage will cost you, you can request customized quotes from in independent insurance agent.
Joliet Workers’ Compensation Pays for Medical Treatment
If employees are injured or suffer occupational illnesses because of the jobs they do, they can begin the workers’ compensation claims process by reporting their injury to a supervisor. All employers are required by law to post workers’ compensation notices at every work site so that employees are aware of their rights and the procedures for getting compensation.
As the employer, you can designate a list of authorized physicians that these employees can go to in order to receive treatment and follow-up care. Workers’ compensation will pay for all necessary medical treatment, follow-up care, medications, and other related expenses. Employees are not responsible for any costs or co-pays.
Joliet Workers’ Compensation Insurance Provides Disability Coverage
Disability coverage is designed to replace lost wages if an employee must take more than three consecutive work days off in order to recuperate. This coverage can provide injured employees with two-thirds of their average weekly wages during the time they are unable to work according to doctor’s orders.
There are different types of disability:
- Total temporary disability: This is when an employee is temporarily unable to work at all while recuperating from an injury or occupational illness.
- Partial temporary disability: This is when an employee is approved only for light-duty or part-time work while recovering from an injury or occupational illness.
- Total permanent disability: This is when an employee injury is so severe that the injured employee is unable to work at all.
- Partial permanent disability: This is when an employee is injured in such a way that they must obtain a job in a different line of work in order to continue to earn money.
If an employee is approved by a physician for light-duty work while recuperating, they must report for this work or risk losing their disability benefits. If the light-duty job pays less than their previously earned wages, workers’ compensation can help injured employees by covering a portion of the difference in pay.
If an injury requires an employee to take time off work, workers’ compensation can pay two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wages. Benefits will continue until the employee has recovered or has reached their maximum recovery. For permanent disability, compensation will continue for an amount of time that is determined according the nature of the impairment.
Workers’ Compensation Covers Fatal Work Injuries in Joliet
It is a sad fact that employees sometimes suffer fatal injuries on the job. From warehouse disasters to catastrophic machinery malfunctions, these accidental deaths are hard on both employees' families and the companies that employed them. Workers’ compensation insurance is to designed help surviving family members get through their loss by providing them with financial compensation.
For fatalities that occur within four years of the injury, workers’ compensation can cover up to $8,000 in burial costs. It also provides weekly benefits to the deceased employee’s spouse and dependents. The employee’s children are generally designated as dependents until they turn 18, but they may continue to be considered dependents after that if they are full-time students or if they have a disability.
Death benefits are paid in an amount of two-thirds of the worker’s average wages for up to 25 years or up to $500,000, whichever is greater. If a deceased worker’s spouse remarries, the benefits will continue only if there are dependent children involved. Otherwise, the spouse will receive a lump sum payment of two years’ worth of compensation, and then benefits will end.
How to Appeal Workers’ Compensation Claim Denials
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation claims are sometimes denied. This may happen if your insurance company believes that the injury occurred outside the scope of the job, or if there is reason to suspect the injury was intentional or that the injured worker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time the accident occurred.
If you or your employees feel that a workers’ compensation claim was unjustly denied, the decision may be challenged by contacting the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission to begin arbitration hearings.
Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Joliet
If you are an employer in Joliet who is looking for the best workers’ compensation insurance for your business, a local independent insurance agent can help. These agents can match you up with an insurance company that specializes in covering businesses like yours. Also, your agent can ensure that you are getting your coverage at a competitive price by comparing customized quotes.
Discover the many benefits of working with a local, independent insurance professional. Contact an insurance agent with an office in Joliet to get started.
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