An employee of a Louisiana bag maker had his index finger amputated while operating a printing press. While amputated fingers might be rare, employees can get hurt in any workplace. Failing to make safety a priority can be costly for any company, and it can be life-altering for any employee who is injured as a result. Employers are legally and morally obligated to protect their employees from the medical expenses and lost income that results from work-related injuries or illnesses.
When workers become ill or are injured in the workplace, Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance is there to provide wage replacement and medical treatment benefits so employees can recover without the cost burden. An independent insurance agent in or near Baton Rouge can help you obtain quotes for workers’ compensation coverage, and can help you be sure that you are complying with the state laws.
Is Workers’ Compensation Required in Baton Rouge?
Workers’ compensation insurance is required for almost every Baton Rouge employer. Any employer with one or more employees must purchase coverage, and every employee—including full-time, part-time, seasonal, and minor employees—must be covered on the first day of employment. Subcontractors and certain independent contractors may be considered employees for purposes of Louisiana workers’ compensation coverage.
If you are a sole proprietor or a corporate officer, you are included in your company’s work comp coverage, but you can choose to exclude yourself if you own at least 10% of the company. Certain types of employees are exempt from coverage under a Louisiana workers’ compensation policy. These include:
- Domestic employees and most real estate brokers and salespeople
- Uncompensated officers and directors of some nonprofits
- Public officials and employees covered by federal programs
- Musicians and other performers
- Oil and gas workers
- The crew of any airplane working in crop-dusting or spraying
- Employees of railroads or other vessels in interstate or foreign commerce
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Baton Rouge, LA?
The state of Louisiana regulates workers’ compensation premiums. You will find that premiums are higher for high-risk industries and lower for low-risk industries. The number of employees, the type of work they perform, and the company history of accidents and workers’ compensation claims will determine your Louisiana workers’ compensation premiums. Every employer starts out with base rates supplied by the state. From there, a complex formula is used to determine what you will pay.
Louisiana partners with the National Council for Compensation Insurance (NCCI), an independent rating and data collection bureau, to assign workers’ compensation rates for every industry. The NCCI assigns a classification code to each occupation. And each class code is then assigned a base rate for workers’ compensation insurance. Here are three of the most prevalent industries in Baton Rouge and a sample average annual workers’ compensation premium based on a business with a $100,000 payroll:
- Accommodation and Food Services: $1,210
- Construction: $9,250
- Healthcare Services: $2,190
Employers in every industry need to find ways to keep employee injuries and workers’ compensation costs under control. This becomes even more important if you own a high-risk business, like a residential construction firm. Healthcare and restaurant workers in Baton Rouge might not be exposed to the same kinds of dangers as construction workers, but that doesn’t mean that their jobs are without risk.
Healthcare workers come in close contact with sick patients, while restaurant workers might be at risk from slips and falls and other minor injuries. Talk to a local independent insurance agent about how to obtain Baton Rouge workers’ compensation insurance that protects your employees and your business from the costs of workplace accidents.
What Does Baton Rouge Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance includes coverage for certain benefits for injured workers. These include medical care for a work-related injury, wage replacement, rehabilitation services, and death benefits if a worker is killed as a result of a workplace accident. Both mental and physical injuries from accidents and occupational diseases are covered.
Medical bills: Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance pays for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to an on-the-job injury or illness. Benefits include mileage reimbursement as well as vocational rehabilitation for workers who are unable to return to their previous job.
Wage replacement: Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance helps injured workers recoup a portion of their lost wages if they are unable to work during their recovery period. Benefits are paid for temporary disability, permanent partial disability, and permanent total disability.
The benefit amount an employee receives is based on the length and severity of the disability and whether the employee is able to return to work completely, partially, or to a different position that offers less pay. A one-time payment of $50,000 may also be available if the employee’s injury is determined to be catastrophic (e.g., it results in paraplegia, quadriplegia, or the loss of two limbs).
Death benefits: If a work-related fatality occurs, Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance offers death benefits to help ease the financial burden for the deceased workers’ surviving family members. A worker’s spouse, children, or other dependents can receive weekly death benefits when the worker passes away due to a work injury.
What’s more, the family can receive up to $8,500 in funeral and burial expenses for a deceased employee.
What Happens When Workers’ Compensation Claims Are Disputed?
Any Louisiana workers’ compensation claims that are in dispute can be reported first to the employer’s insurance company. If the dispute cannot be resolved, either party can request a mediation conference with a mediator from the Office of Workers’ Compensation. These mediators are licensed attorneys who are trained to mediate disputes in accordance with Louisiana workers’ compensation law. Claim disputes that are not resolved by the mediator may be filed with the OWCA district office and may be referred to as a Workers’ Compensation Judge for resolution.
Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Baton Rouge
While you have workers’ compensation insurance to protect your business and your employees from the costs of workplace accidents and injuries, implementing proper safety and risk management techniques is the best way to keep everyone healthy and happy. An independent insurance agent in Baton Rouge can help you find suitable workers’ compensation insurance for your business. Your agent can help you find the best coverage for your industry and can help you assess and implement safety and risk management programs that help to keep your workers’ compensation costs under control.
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