From its sugar cane farms to the restaurants and hotels that accommodate tourists to New Orleans, the state of Louisiana is home to many businesses. Employers in this state are responsible for providing a safe and healthy working environment, but accidents sometimes happen. If a worker is injured or becomes ill on the job, workers' compensation insurance can provide coverage. Local independent insurance agents can help you find the best and most affordable workers’ compensation policy to cover your Louisiana business. Find an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Do All Louisiana Businesses Need to Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
The state of Louisiana mandates that all businesses with at least one employee, whether full- or part-time, must carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few exceptions. It is not necessary to purchase coverage for sole proprietors, corporate officers, LLC members, or partners, though you may cover these individuals if you want to. Employers in Louisiana are also not required to cover:
- Crop dusting or spraying airplane crews
- Real estate agents and brokers
- Employees already covered by federal liability legislation (such as railroad workers)
- Musicians and other performers
- Unpaid officers and board members of not-for-profit organizations
- Workers involved in the exploration, development, production, or transportation of minerals
Coverage is available through a number of commercial insurance providers. High-risk companies can obtain a policy through Louisiana’s state-administered fund. With approval, companies in this state may opt to self-insure. Consult with a local independent insurance agent to learn more.
How Much Does Workers' Compensation Insurance Cost in Louisiana?
Unfortunately for employers in this state, Louisiana’s workers' compensation rates are among the highest in the country. This makes shopping around for the best price particularly important. Workers’ compensation rates vary according to the insured company’s size, industry, and scope. Your cost for coverage will be based mainly on the types of work your employees do and your company’s overall payroll.
Every job is assigned a classification code. Coverage rates for each class code are set by the Louisiana Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration in accordance with the job’s associated risks. Commercial insurance providers use these standardized rates as a starting point, but they are permitted to offer discounts and incentives. That is why comparing quotes is beneficial. Let’s take a look at the average rates paid per every $100,000 in employee payroll for some common jobs in the state of Louisiana:
- Roofing contractors: $24,965 per year
- Tree trimmers and removers: $18,855
- Landscapers: $7,435 per year
- Fast-food workers: $2,075 per year
- Clerical/office workers: $240 per year
As you can see, it costs far more to insure workers who have a high risk of injury (such as tree-trimmers) than to cover workers who very rarely suffer serious injuries in the workplace (such as clerical workers). For help obtaining actual, customized quotes for your particular business, contact a local independent insurance agent.
What Does Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance (sometimes referred to as “workman’s comp”) covers the costs associated with on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses. You can expect your policy to pay for the following:
- Medical treatment: Workers’ comp is designed to cover all reasonable and necessary medical care pertaining to work-related illnesses and injuries. This includes coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, physical therapy, and any necessary prescription medications. For any medical treatment that exceeds $750, the treating physician must first obtain approval from the insurance provider.
- Mileage reimbursement: In Louisiana, injured workers may obtain reimbursement for miles driven to and from doctor visits and other medical appointments that are associated with the work-related injury.
- Temporary total disability: Employees who need to take time off work to recuperate from a work-related injury are eligible for temporary disability compensation. Workers’ compensation will pay them a weekly benefit of 2/3 of their average weekly wages until they are able to return to work.
- Temporary partial disability: Employees who can return to work for light-duty assignments can collect 2/3 of the difference in pay between their previously earned wages and their light-duty wages until they are able to return to their previous job.
- Permanent total disability: Serious injuries may leave workers unable to ever return to work of any kind. In this case, workers’ compensation insurance can provide weekly compensation in an amount of 2/3 of their previously earned wages for as long as the disability continues.
- Permanent partial disability: Employees who are too severely injured to return to their previous job, but who are still able-bodied enough to do work of some kind, can collect permanent partial disability payments. This compensation comes in the form of weekly payments of 2/3 of their previously earned wages for a period that is dependent on the employee’s impairment rating. These benefits may continue for a range of 100 to 520 weeks.
- Catastrophic injury benefits: In addition to the other benefits listed above, workers who suffer catastrophic injuries, such as the loss of both eyes, the amputation of a limb, or paraplegia, are entitled to a one-time lump-sum payment of $50,000.
- Survivor benefits: In the unfortunate event that a work-related injury or illness results in death, workers’ compensation will pay a percentage of the employee’s average weekly wage to surviving family members as follows:
- Spouse, but no children: The spouse is entitled to 32.5% of the average weekly wage.
- Spouse and one child: The spouse and child are entitled to 46.25% of the average weekly wage.
- Spouse and two or more children: The spouse and children are entitled to 65% of the average weekly wage.
- Surviving children only: If one child, 32.5%; if two children: 46.25%; if three or more children: 65% of the average weekly wage.
- No spouse or children, but dependent parents or siblings: If one parent or sibling: 32.5%; if two or more parents or siblings: 65% pf the average weekly wage.
- No spouse or dependents: If the employee leaves behind no dependents, $75,000 will be awarded to the deceased employee’s estate.
You can learn more about each of these benefits by talking to a local independent agent.
Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Louisiana
When you are shopping for a competitively priced workers’ compensation policy to cover your Louisiana business, an independent agent can provide assistance. These agents can help you obtain and compare customized quotes from different insurers and can make sure that you are getting coverage from a reliable insurance provider that specializes in covering businesses that operate in your industry. Discover how easy it can be to find the right workers’ compensation policy for your business.
Contact one of the more than 400 independent insurance agents in Louisiana to get started.