Find the Best Workers' Compensation Insurance Options in Maine
There are about 147,000 small business owners in Maine. All businesses with employees should consider getting workers' compensation insurance to reimburse losses related to lost wages and medical expenses if an employee gets injured or ill due to their job or workplace. Also, workers' comp is often mandatory for most businesses. In Maine, workers' comp is mandatory for businesses with at least one employee, with few exceptions.
Fortunately, an independent insurance agent in Maine can help you find the right workers' comp. They know exactly how much coverage your specific business needs. But first, here's an overview of workers' comp in Maine.
Maine Workers' Compensation Laws
Maine's workers' compensation requirements can vary depending on the type of business. But most businesses in Maine with at least one employee must have workers' compensation insurance. Businesses with zero employees, however, are not required to carry coverage. This includes sole proprietors.
How Does Workers' Compensation Insurance Work in Maine?
In Maine, workers' compensation insurance works by offering benefits for injured or ill employees if the incident occurred due to their job. If an employee got injured due to their work tasks or tools or equipment necessary to perform their job, or the workplace was unsafe and resulted in an injury, they would be eligible to receive workers' comp benefits. The same applies if the job site, tasks, equipment, etc., resulted in an illness. Workers' comp could pay for some of the employee's wages while they had to miss work for treatment and the cost of prescription medications and medical care necessary to treat them.
With workers' comp as a part of your Maine business insurance policy, your business is exempt from employee lawsuits for related incidents. The family members of affected employees cannot sue the business either if this coverage is provided. Maine workers' comp insurance can protect your employees and your business.
Maine Workers' Compensation Exemptions
There are some exemptions to Maine's workers' comp requirements. When determining if your business needs coverage, consider which industry it falls into and what type of company it is. Also, be sure to review Maine's specific workers' comp exemptions, such as:
- Sole proprietors with no employees
- Independent contractors hired on a project-by-project basis
- Domestic workers in private homes
- Agricultural businesses that have seasonal workers and at least $25,000 in employer liability coverage and $5,000 in medical payments coverage
- Agricultural businesses with six or fewer employees and at least $100,000 in liability coverage for each full-time employee and at least $5,000 in medical payments coverage
A Maine independent insurance agent can help you determine if your business is required by law to have workers' comp.
Do Independent Contractors Need Workers’ Comp Coverage?
If your Maine business has employees, it's required to provide them with workers' comp coverage. All workers are typically considered employees for tax purposes in Maine. However, this doesn't apply to independent contractors.
If your Maine business hires independent contractors, it's not required by state law to cover them with workers' comp. However, keep in mind that this exclusion only applies if the independent contractor isn't considered to be under your essential control while they perform their job duties for your business. If you have any questions about whether you need to cover your independent contractors with workers' comp, ask your Maine independent insurance agent for further clarification.
Do Maine Business Owners Need to Be Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
In Maine, business owners typically need to include themselves in the company's workers' comp policy. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. The first is for business owners who are sole proprietors with no employees.
Other Maine workers' comp exemptions are for parents, spouses, and children of sole proprietors, business partners, and bona fide owners of at least 20% of a firm. You can also be exempt from Maine's workers' comp requirements if you're a member of an LLC. If any of these exemptions apply to you, it's likely that you aren't required by state law to be covered by workers' comp as a business owner.
What Does Maine Workers' Compensation Cover?
In Maine, workers' comp covers the costs of medical expenses, including hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription medications, and more, for employees who get injured or ill due to their work or job site. Workers' comp can also help replace some of an employee's income while they have to miss work to recover from their injury or illness. You'll need to review your specific workers' comp policy to be sure of the extent of coverage for your employees.
A Maine workers' comp policy can also cover funeral costs if an employee tragically dies due to the work environment or job duties. Further, having workers' comp prevents employees who get injured or ill due to the job or workplace from filing lawsuits against your business for these incidents. These employees' families cannot press charges against the business, either.
Here's more of a breakdown of what workers' comp covers in Maine:
- Time off during recovery: This coverage can pay for some of an employee's wages while they take necessary time off work to recover from a covered injury or illness. So, if an employee needs to rest at home for a week after surgery following a workplace accident, workers' comp can help continue some of the wages they would've made during that time.
- Medical expenses: This coverage can help pay for the medical expenses related to employee injuries or illnesses resulting from the job, including prescription medications. So, workers' comp can pay for this cost if an employee needs a prescription for chronic pain due to their work tasks.
- Ongoing care: This coverage can help pay for required ongoing care costs to continue treating an injury or illness caused by an employee's work. So, if a worker needs physical therapy due to a workplace injury, this coverage can help pay for that cost.
- Death benefits: This coverage can even provide death benefits for employees who pass away as a result of their job or work environment. Death benefits are usually paid to an employee's surviving dependent family members or spouse.
- Funeral costs: This coverage can even help cover funeral costs for deceased employees if the incident is covered. This can include burial costs, the cost of the casket, and more.
- Disability benefits: This coverage can also pay for disability benefits, including temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and permanent total disability benefits. If an employee qualifies for disability benefits due to a workplace incident, Maine workers' comp can help cover these costs.
A Maine independent insurance agent can help review your policy with you so you can be sure of what your workers' compensation policy covers.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Maine?
The average cost of workers' compensation insurance in Maine is $40 per month or $480 per year. But the cost of your workers' comp insurance can vary due to a number of factors. Your business's number of employees and annual payroll are two major factors impacting workers' comp costs.
Your business's location and industry also affect the cost of workers' comp. Certain industries come with greater risk factors, such as businesses in the construction industry. Due to the higher likelihood of injuries in specific industries, insurance companies must charge more for workers' comp. Also, the claims history of your business and the coverage limits applied to its specific policy will impact the cost of its workers' comp premiums.