Employees sometimes get hurt on the job. When this happens, workers’ compensation insurance can cover the associated costs. This important insurance protects employees and businesses owners alike by preventing workplace injuries from resulting in unmanageable expenses.
If you are among the many employers in Arlington, MA, an independent insurance agent can help you find the best and most affordable workers’ compensation policy to cover your business. Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Are Businesses in Arlington Required to Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
With few exceptions, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts mandates that you must carry workers’ compensation insurance if you have at least one employee, even if that person is part time. Exceptions are made for the following situations.
- Domestic workers that are employed fewer than 16 hours a week.
- Sole proprietors, partners, and LLC members so long as they are not also considered employees.
Failure to carry required coverage opens your business up to potential lawsuits related to workplace injuries. It can also result in the issuance of a Stop Work Order (SWO) and a fine of $100 a day, including weekends and holidays, from the time the SWO is issued until your business acquires workers' compensation coverage and the fine is paid in full.
Business owners who are issued SWOs can face criminal charges, fines, and up to one year in prison, so foregoing this coverage is not worth the risk.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Arlington?
The good news for employers in Arlington is that Massachusetts is among the least expensive states for workers’ compensation insurance. Rates can vary significantly from one business to the next because they are calculated based mainly on the following criteria.
- The number of employees you have and how much you pay them
- The types of jobs your employees do and the likelihood they will be hurt while doing them
- Your company’s claims history and safety record
Every occupation is assigned a classification code and coverage rates for each of these class codes are regulated by the Commonwealth’s Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau (WCRIBMA).
Insurance companies must use these designated base rates when calculating costs, but they are permitted to be competitive by offering discounts, credits, and incentives. That is why it pays to compare a few rates before selecting a policy.
Base Rate Examples in Arlington
Let’s take a look at the base rates per every $50,000 in employee payroll for three jobs you can find in Arlington, MA.
- Roofing contractors: $7,120 a year
- Lawn service workers: $510 a year
- Clerical and office employees: $15 a year
As you can see, the rates for these different jobs vary significantly. Because clerical workers have a very low risk of being injured on the job, rates for coverage are nominal. However, because roofers can be seriously injured in falls, rates for these jobs are much higher.
While rates may seem rather high for some jobs, consider this: in 2018 alone, workers’ compensation companies in Massachusetts paid out more than $1.25 billion in claims to injured workers.
What Does Arlington Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover the various costs that are associated with on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses. You can expect your policy to cover the following.
- Medical treatments: If a worker is injured, all necessary medical care will be covered including ambulance rides, hospital stays, medical appointments, follow-up care, prescription medications, physical therapy, and other treatments. Employees must begin their care with an authorized provider but may follow up with a doctor of their own choosing.
- Travel reimbursement: Workers’ compensation can reimburse employees for miles driven to and from medical appointments and the pharmacy.
- Temporary total disability: If an employee needs more than six days to recuperate from a work-related injury, they can collect a weekly benefit of 60% of their average weekly pay until they are able to return to work. Benefits can continue for up to 156 weeks.
- Temporary partial disability: If an employee’s injury enables them to continue working but in a limited capacity, they can receive a benefit of 75% of the difference in pay if they are earning less in their alternate job. This benefit can continue for up to 260 weeks.
- Permanent disability: If a worker is left permanently disabled, this insurance can provide them with an ongoing weekly benefit of two-thirds their average wage. This benefit comes with annual cost-of-living increases.
- Survivor benefits: If a work-related injury or illness is fatal, this insurance can ease the financial burden on surviving family members by covering burial expenses up to $10,000 and by providing the employee’s spouse and dependents with compensation.
Weekly disability benefits cannot exceed the state’s average weekly wage, which is adjusted annually. On October 1, 2020, the maximum weekly disability payment was set at $1,487.78.
You can learn more about workers’ compensation insurance by speaking with an independent insurance agent in Arlington.
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What Does Arlington Workers’ Compensation Insurance Not Cover?
As with any insurance policy, workers’ compensation insurance has its limitations. For instance, your insurance provider will likely deny coverage for claims involving the following.
- Injuries that occurred while the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Injuries that occurred outside of working hours.
- Injuries or illnesses that are related to pre-existing conditions.
- Injuries incurred by workers who were not official employees of the insured at the time of the injury.
If you believe that a claim was unjustly denied, you can appeal the decision to the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.
Where Can Arlington Business Owners Buy Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
Workers’ compensation insurance can be purchased from any commercial provider that is authorized to sell this insurance in Massachusetts.
High-risk businesses that are unable to find a commercial provider willing to cover them can purchase an assigned risk policy through the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau. These policies will cost a lot more than policies purchased through a commercial provider, but the coverage is guaranteed.
Alternatively, your company may opt to self-insure. You will need to demonstrate that your business has the financial means to cover workplace injuries and must be approved by the state to do so.
Most businesses in Arlington purchase coverage through a commercial provider.
How to Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Arlington, MA
Let an independent insurance agent help you find the right workers’ compensation policy to cover your Arlington business. These agents can get you customized quotes from a selection of insurance providers that specialize in covering businesses like yours. That way, you can be sure you are getting the coverage you need at a competitive price.
Contact an insurance agent near you to discover how easy it can be to find an ideal workers’ compensation policy for your business.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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