Work-related injuries happen every day, from simple trips and falls to serious, life-altering injuries. Whether you employ metal fabricators, masons, or accountants, your employees can be injured or become ill because of their work.
Employees need help paying for medical bills when they are injured on the job. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect employees from the costs of workplace injuries, and it protects employers from lawsuits and unpredictable costs, too.
An independent insurance agent in Lafayette can help you purchase workers’ compensation insurance that complies with Louisiana’s workers’ compensation laws.
Is Workers’ Compensation Required in Lafayette?
Employers in Lafayette must comply with all of Louisiana's workers’ compensation laws, just like employers in every other city in the state.
Lafayette employers 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, such as domestic employees and real estate agents, are exempt from coverage under a Louisiana workers’ compensation policy. A local independent insurance agent can help you evaluate your employee population to determine if any or all of them are exempt from coverage under Louisiana law.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Lafayette?
Workers’ compensation insurance always costs more for industries and occupations that are presumed to have a higher risk of occupational injuries or illnesses. When you are shopping for workers’ compensation insurance, the premiums you are quoted are determined by how many employees you have, the types of jobs they perform, and your history of accidents and workers’ compensation claims.
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.
To determine the total premium, an employer’s annual payroll at the beginning of the policy period is divided by 100, and then multiplied by the base rate.
Take a look at three of the most prevalent industries in Lafayette, and what the average annual workers’ compensation might be (assuming a $100,000 payroll):
- Healthcare: $2,190
- Accommodation and Food Services: $1,210
- Professional, Scientific & Technical Services: $320
Lafayette employers can attempt to control workers’ compensation costs by reducing workplace injuries and illnesses. A local independent insurance agent can help you get the right coverage for your employee population, and can help you learn more about how to control costs.
Lafayette Workers’ Compensation Insurance Covers Employee Medical Expenses
The goal of workers’ compensation insurance is to pay the medical expenses of injured workers and return them to work as quickly as possible.
Workers’ compensation policies in Lafayette pay 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.
Lafayette Workers’ Compensation Insurance Includes Wage Replacement Benefits
Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance helps injured workers recoup a portion of their lost wages if they are unable to work during their recovery period. The amount of disability benefits that an employee receives depends on the degree and duration of their disability, or inability to return to work.
Louisiana workers are entitled to wage replacement benefits in cases of temporary disability, permanent partial disability, and permanent total disability.
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 or Survivor Benefits under Lafayette Workers’ Compensation Insurance
An employee fatality is the worst possible scenario for everyone involved. Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance offers benefits to help ease the financial burden for the injured worker’s 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 Administration (OWCA). These mediators are licensed attorneys who are trained to mediate disputes in accordance with Louisiana workers’ compensation laws.
Claim disputes that are not resolved by the mediator may be filed with the OWCA district office and may be referred to a Workers’ Compensation Judge for resolution.
Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Lafayette
Workers’ compensation insurance is very complex and is governed by a set of very specific rules and regulations. Failure to comply can lead to fines and penalties for your business.
To learn more about Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance and obtain quotes, you need an experienced and knowledgeable independent insurance agent. A local independent agent can help you understand the state’s workers’ compensation laws and will help you get the coverage you need to protect your employees and your business.