No matter what kinds of jobs they do, employees sometimes get hurt while working. That is why the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents processes more than 50,000 workers’ compensation insurance claims every year. In 2018 alone, insurance companies paid out more than $1 billion to injured workers in this state.
Independent insurance agents in Fitchburg can help you find the best and most affordable workers’ compensation policy to cover your employees. Contact an insurance agent near you to get more information.
What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Workers' compensation insurance (also known as “workers’ comp”) is an insurance policy that is designed to cover the treatment of workplace injuries and occupational illnesses as well as wages lost due to on-the-job injuries.
This insurance not only protects your employees’ financial well-being but also serves to shield your business from potential liability lawsuits.
Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Required in Fitchburg, MA?
Nearly all employers in Fitchburg are required by law to carry worker’s compensation insurance. Massachusetts mandates that you must have this coverage if you employ at least one full- or part-time worker.
Exceptions are made only for:
- Domestic servants who work fewer than 16 hours a week
- Sole proprietors, partners, and LLC members who are not also considered employees
Out-of-state employers must cover their in-state workers with a policy from an insurance company that is licensed to provide workers’ compensation in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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 coverage is purchased and all fines are paid in full.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Fitchburg?
If you are a Fitchburg 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.
Your premiums will be based primarily on the number of employees you have, how much they are paid, and how likely they are to be injured based on the types of jobs they do. The more likely a worker is to be seriously injured on the job, the higher the rates for workers’ compensation insurance will be.
Your company’s safety record and claims history can also play a role in how high or low your rates are.
What Are Some Base Rate Examples in Fitchburg?
Every different occupation is assigned a classification code, and coverage rates for each of these class codes are assigned and managed by the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (WCRIBMA).
Insurance companies are required to use these designated base rates when calculating costs, but they are permitted to maintain a competitive edge 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 for every $50,000 in employee payroll for three very different jobs that can be found in Fitchburg, MA:
- Roofing contractors: $7,120 a year
- Landscapers: $1,570 a year
- Sales professionals: $25 a year
As you can see, it costs far more to cover a roofer than it does to cover a sales professional because the risk of significant injury is far greater for roofers.
The only way to find out how much a workers’ compensation policy will cost for your business is by requesting customized quotes from a few competing insurance providers. A local independent insurance agent can save you time and money by doing this on your behalf.
Save on Workers' Comp Insurance
Our independent agents shop around to find you the best coverage.
What Does Fitchburg Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
You can expect your workers’ compensation policy to cover the following:
- Medical treatments: All costs for medical treatments related to worker injuries and occupational illnesses are covered in full. This includes any associated ambulance rides, follow-up care, medications, physical therapy, equipment, and other costs.
- Travel reimbursement: Injured employees can receive compensation 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 can collect a weekly benefit of 60% of their average pay until they are released to return to work, for up to 156 weeks.
- Temporary partial disability: If an employee’s injury enables them to return to work but in a limited capacity, they can receive compensation of up to 75% of the difference in pay, for up to 260 weeks.
- Permanent disability: If a worker’s injury or occupational illness leaves them permanently disabled, they can receive a weekly benefit of two-thirds their average wage indefinitely. This benefit also provides for 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 two-thirds the employ’s average weekly pay for as long as they qualify for this benefit.
Weekly disability benefits cannot exceed Massachusetts’ average weekly pay, which is updated annually. As of October 1, 2020, the maximum weekly benefit is set at $1,487.78.
What Does Fitchburg Workers’ Compensation Not Cover?
Workers’ compensation has limitations on what it will cover. For instance, your claim is likely to be denied if the injury:
- Was intentionally self-inflicted
- Occurred outside of working hours
- Is related to a pre-existing condition
- Was sustained while committing a crime
- Happened while the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If an employee believes that their workers’ compensation claim was unjustly denied, they can appeal the decision by petitioning the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.
Where Can Fitchburg Business Owners Purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
There are several commercial insurance providers that are authorized to sell workers’ compensation insurance in Massachusetts. Most businesses in Fitchburg purchase their coverage through one of these private insurers.
Companies with high risks or poor safety records may find it impossible to find an insurance company willing to cover them. In this case, they can purchase their coverage through the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (WCRIBMA).
Alternatively, your company may opt to self-insure. In order to do this, you will need to apply for approval and demonstrate that your business has the financial means to cover worker injuries and disability payments.
How to Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Fitchburg, MA
If you are looking for the most affordable workers’ compensation policy to cover your Fitchburg business, look no further than a local independent agent.
These agents can help you obtain and review customized quotes from a variety of insurance providers that specialize in covering businesses like yours, so you can be sure you are getting your policy at a competitive price.
Arrange an obligation-free consultation with an insurance agent near you to learn more.