Even when all the proper safety protocols are being followed, accidental injuries and occupational illnesses sometimes happen. In fact, employees in Massachusetts report approximately 85,000 on-the-job injuries every year. Workers’ compensation insurance can cover the associated costs.
Some workers’ compensation insurance companies are better suited than others to cover businesses in certain industries. A local independent insurance agent can help you find the best and most affordable coverage for your business. Find an insurance agent in or near Falmouth to get started.
What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Workers’ compensation insurance is a commercial insurance policy that is designed to protect your business and your employees by covering a wide assortment of costs associated with on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses.
These costs can add up quickly. In 2018 alone, workers’ compensation companies in Massachusetts paid out $1,258,680,000 in insurance claims.
Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Required in Falmouth?
All employers in Falmouth are required by Massachusetts state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Exceptions are made for sole proprietors, partners, LLC members, and domestic workers employed fewer than 16 hours a week.
Failure to meet the Massachusetts’ coverage requirements opens your business up to potential lawsuits and legal action. If caught, your company can be issued a Stop-Work Order, fines, and penalties. Additionally, as the business owner, you could also face fines and jail time.
How Much Does Worker’s Compensation Insurance Cost in Falmouth, MA?
The good news for employers in Falmouth is that workers’ compensation insurance rates in Massachusetts are some of the lowest in the country. Your costs will be based primarily on the types of work your employees do and how much they are paid.
Each specific type of job is assigned a classification code, and rates for each class code are assigned by the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (WCRIBMA) according to how likely employees are to sustain serious injuries.
Commercial insurers use these base rates as a starting point and can raise or lower costs in accordance with qualified discounts, incentives, and experience modifiers.
What Are Some Base Rate Examples in Falmouth, MA?
The following are base rates paid per every $50,000 in employee payroll for three very different occupations that can be found in Falmouth, MA:
- Tree removal and trimming services workers: $4,355 a year
- Short-haul truck drivers: $1,645 a year
- Salespeople and service representatives: $25 a year
As you can see, rates can vary significantly from one job to another. This is because the person who is pruning branches from a 50-foot tree in your front yard is more likely to be seriously injured on the job than someone who is trying to sell you some new kitchen appliances.
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What Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover in Falmouth, MA?
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover medical treatments, disability pay, and death benefits if workers are injured or killed due to work-related injuries or occupational illnesses.
By providing this coverage, this insurance not only protects your workers’ best interests but also shields your business from potential liability lawsuits.
Coverage for Medical Treatments
Workers’ compensation is designed to cover all costs associated with treatment for work-related injuries and occupational illnesses, including ambulance rides, hospital stays, medical appointments, follow-up care, prescribed medications, devices like crutches or slings, and physical therapy. Your employees should pay nothing out of pocket.
Workers’ compensation insurance can also reimburse employees for their mileage to and from medical appointments and the pharmacy.
Coverage for Disability Pay
Disability benefits are designed to cover a large portion of your employee’s lost wages if they need to take more than six days to recuperate.
There are different types of disability, including:
- Total temporary disability: Employees can receive 60% of their average weekly pay for up to 156 weeks while they recuperate. The first six days of disability are not covered unless the employee requires more than 21 days to recover.
- Partial temporary disability: If an employee is approved for light-duty or part-time work while recovering from an injury or occupational illness, workers’ compensation can make up 75% of the difference in pay for up to 260 weeks.
- Total permanent disability: If an employee’s injury is so severe that they are unable to work in any capacity for the foreseeable future, they can receive two-thirds their average weekly pay for as long as they are disabled. This benefit includes annual cost of living increases.
The weekly benefit paid out for workers’ compensation disability cannot exceed the average weekly pay in Massachusetts, which as of October 1, 2020 stands at $1,487.78 a week. This amount is updated annually.
Coverage for Fatal Work Injuries
If an on-the-job injury or occupational illness proves fatal, workers’ compensation insurance can ease the burden on surviving family members by providing them with financial compensation.
Workers’ compensation can cover the employee’s burial costs and can provide the employee’s spouse and dependents with bi-weekly payments of two-thirds the deceased employees average wage for as long as they qualify for this benefit.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Not Cover in Falmouth, MA?
Workers’ compensation claims may be denied if a claim is filed too long after the injury took place or if the claim is for an injury or illness that falls outside the scope of what is covered by this insurance. Examples of times when a claim may be denied include:
- The injured employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
- The injury was intentionally self-inflicted.
- The employee was injured while engaged in illegal or criminal activity.
- The injury occurred outside of working hours.
- The injury or illness is related to a preexisting condition.
- The claim is being filed for a worker who was not an official employee of the insured at the time the injury took place.
Denied claims may be appealed by petitioning the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.
Where Can Falmouth Business Owners Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
In Massachusetts, workers’ compensation insurance can be purchased through any of the many available commercial providers who are licensed to issue coverage in this state. This is how most business owners in Massachusetts get their coverage.
If your business is high risk and you cannot find an insurance company willing to write you a policy, you can obtain coverage through the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts. It will be more expensive so it should be used only as a last resort option.
Alternatively, with approval, your business has the option to self-insure. To qualify, you must apply for approval while demonstrating that your business has the financial means to cover worker injuries.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Falmouth, MA?
If you are a Falmouth employer and you are looking for the best and most affordable workers’ compensation insurance for your business, a local independent agent can help. These agents can match you up with an insurance company that specializes in covering businesses like yours.
Your agent can also ensure that you are getting your policy at a competitive price by helping you obtain and compare customized quotes. Discover the many benefits of working with a local insurance professional. Consult an independent insurance agent near you to learn more.