Injuries and freak accidents can happen at any time in your workplace, whether you employ accountants or printing press operators. All kinds of injuries, from minor sprains and strains to lost limbs and partial blindness, can happen at work.
When accidents happen, workers’ compensation insurance makes it possible for workers to pay their medical bills and be compensated for lost wages. Almost every employer in Shreveport is required to purchase Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance.
An independent insurance agent in Shreveport can help you learn more about Louisiana workers’ compensation laws, and can help you find a policy that is best-suited for your industry.
Is Workers’ Compensation Required in Shreveport?
Most Shreveport employers will need to purchase workers’ compensation insurance that is in compliance with Louisiana workers’ compensation laws.
In fact, any employer with one or more employees must purchase coverage for every employee, including full-time, part-time, seasonal, and minor employees.
Subcontractors and certain independent contractors may be considered employees for purposes of Louisiana workers’ compensation coverage.
If you are a sole proprietor or corporate officer, you are included in your company’s workers' comp coverage, but you can choose to exclude yourself if you own at least 10% of the company.
Louisiana has some unique exemptions to its workers’ compensation requirements. The following types of employees do not need to be covered by workers’ compensation in Louisiana:
- Domestic employees and most real estate agents
- 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 Shreveport?
Shreveport workers’ compensation premiums are based on the risks for workers in your industry, as well as how many employees you have, your annual payroll, and your history of workers’ compensation claims.
Employers in high-hazard industries will pay more for workers’ compensation insurance than employers in low-hazard industries. If you have a good safety record, you may be rewarded with lower premiums than others in your industry.
The Louisiana Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA) partners with the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) to set rates. Each occupation is associated with a classification code, and each class code is assigned a base rate that is recommended by the NCCI and approved by the state. Rates are updated annually.
Here are three of the most prevalent industries in Shreveport, and a sample average annual workers’ compensation premium based on a business with a $100,000 payroll:
- Healthcare: $2,190
- Accommodation and Food Services: $1,210
- Construction: $9,250
Construction work is clearly a more dangerous occupation, and workers’ compensation premiums will be higher as a result. If you face high workers’ compensation costs for your construction firm or any other type of business, you need to find ways to reduce employee injuries and workers’ compensation claims. Providing a safe and healthy workplace goes a long way toward keeping your employees injury-free.
An independent insurance agent who understands your business and the Louisiana workers’ compensation ratings system can help you get quotes for coverage and understand all of the ways to help keep your costs under control.
What Does Shreveport Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance provides three main benefits to injured Shreveport workers.
- Medical bills
- Wage replacement/Disability benefits
- Death benefits
Medical bills: The purpose 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 Shreveport 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.
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. The amount of disability benefits that an employee receives is dependent 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 benefits: If a work-related fatality occurs, Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance offers death benefits to help ease the financial burden for the deceased 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. 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 Shreveport
Shreveport employers have a lot of options for workers’ compensation insurance. An independent insurance agent who understands your business and the state workers’ compensation law can help guide you.
To learn more about Louisiana workers’ compensation and obtain coverage for your business, contact a local independent insurance agent.