Regardless of the types of companies they work for, employees in the Bay State sometimes get injured on the job. In fact, according to the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents, more than 50,000 workers’ compensation insurance claims are processed in the commonwealth every year.
Independent insurance agents in Brookline can help you find the best and most affordable workers’ compensation policy to cover the people who work for your business. Contact an insurance agent near you to get started.
What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Worker’s compensation insurance, which is also referred to as “workers’ comp,” is a policy that can cover the costs associated with on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses.
This insurance is designed to shield businesses from potential liability lawsuits and to ensure that injured employees do not face undue financial losses as a result of workplace injuries.
Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Required in Brookline, MA?
Virtually all employers in Brookline are required by law to carry worker’s compensation insurance. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts mandates that you must have this coverage if you employ at least one full- or part-time worker.
Exceptions are made only for the following.
- Domestic help who work fewer than 16 hours a week
- Sole proprietors, partners, and LLC members who are not also considered employees
Failure to carry this required coverage is illegal and can result in fines and jail time for the company owners. Additionally, your company can be issued a Stop Work order and fined $100 a day, including weekends and holidays, until workers' compensation coverage is obtained and all fines are paid in full.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Brookline?
If you are a Brookline business owner looking for an affordable workers’ compensation policy, you will be happy to learn that rates in Massachusetts are among the lowest in the United States.
Premiums are based primarily on the following.
- The number of employees you have
- The types of jobs your employees do
- Your company’s overall payroll
- Your company’s safety record
The more likely a worker is to be seriously injured on the job, the more it will cost to cover them with workers’ compensation insurance. So, for instance, it would cost more to cover an ER nurse at New England Baptist Hospital than it would to cover an instructor at Pine Manor College.
The only way to find out how much workers’ compensation insurance will cost for your business is to contact a few competing insurance companies and request customized quotes. A local independent insurance agent can save you time by doing this for you.
Workers’ Compensation Base Rate Examples
In Massachusetts, every kind of occupation is assigned a classification code, and coverage rates for each of these class codes are managed by the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (WCRIBMA).
Insurance companies are required to use these designated base rates when assigning costs, but they are allowed to be competitive by offering discounts and credits at their discretion. That is why shopping around for the best rate can save your business money.
Let’s take a look at the base rates per every $50,000 in employee payroll for three very different jobs that can be found in Brookline, MA.
- Roofing contractors: $7,120 a year
- Door and window installers: $3,060 a year
- Restaurant workers & caterers: $250 a year
While it may seem like a lot of money to pay for some of the more hazardous occupations, consider this: in 2018, workers' compensation companies paid out nearly $1.26 billion in claims in Massachusetts alone.
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What Does Brookline Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
If a worker is injured on the job or is stricken with an occupational illness, you can expect your workers’ compensation policy to cover the following.
- Medical treatments: Workers’ compensation covers all necessary medical treatments and expenses related to worker injuries and occupational illnesses. This includes any associated ambulance rides, follow-up care, medications, physical therapy, and other treatments.
- Travel reimbursement: Workers’ comp insurance can reimburse employees for miles driven to and from medical appointments and the pharmacy.
- Temporary total disability: If a worker needs time off to recuperate from a work-related illness or injury, they will be able to collect a weekly benefit of 60% of their average pay for up to 156 weeks.
- Temporary partial disability: If an employee’s injury enables them to return to work but in a limited capacity, workers’ compensation can make up 75% of the difference in pay between what they are currently earning and what they were earning prior to the injury. This benefit can last for up to 260 weeks.
- Permanent disability: If a work-related injury is so severe that the worker will be unable to ever return to their job, workers’ comp can provide them with an ongoing benefit of two-thirds their average wage. This benefit includes annual cost-of-living increases.
- Death benefits: If a work-related injury or illness is fatal, workers’ compensation can cover burial expenses and provide the employee’s spouse and dependents with an ongoing benefit of two-thirds the employ’s average weekly pay.
Weekly disability benefits may not exceed Massachusetts’ average weekly pay, which is updated annually. As of October 1, 2020, the maximum weekly benefit was set at $1,487.78.
What Does Brookline Workers’ Compensation Not Cover?
As with any insurance policy, workers’ compensation has limitations on what it will cover. For instance, most policies will exclude coverage for these type of injuries:
- Injuries that were intentionally self-inflicted
- Injuries that occurred outside of working hours
- Injuries that are related to pre-existing conditions
- Injuries that were sustained while committing a crime
- Injuries that occurred while the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If an employee believes that their workers’ compensation insurance claim was unjustly denied, they can appeal the decision by petitioning the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.
Where Can Brookline Business Owners Purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Several private insurance companies are authorized to sell workers’ compensation insurance in Massachusetts. Most businesses in Brookline purchase their coverage through one of these commercial providers.
Companies with significant risk profiles or poor safety records may find it impossible to find an insurance company willing to cover them. In this case, they can obtain their coverage through the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (WCRIBMA).
A local independent insurance agent can help you get the coverage you need through an insurance provider that specializes in covering businesses in your industry.
How to Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Brookline, MA
If you are looking for the best workers’ compensation policy to cover your Brookline business, look no further than a local independent agent. These agents can help you obtain and review customized quotes from a variety of competing insurers. That way, you can be sure that you are getting your coverage at a good price.
You can learn more by arranging an obligation-free consultation with an insurance agent near you.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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