Workers sometimes get hurt on the job. In 2017 alone, employees in Massachusetts reported approximately 73,300 work-related injuries and illnesses. That is a rate of 2.7 injuries for every 100 full-time employees. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover the associated costs.
Some workers’ compensation insurance companies are better than others at covering companies in certain industries. A local independent insurance agent can help you find the best and most affordable coverage for your Melrose business. Find an insurance agent near you to get started.
What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect both businesses and employees by covering a wide assortment of costs associated with workplace injuries and occupational illnesses.
This insurance can prove quite beneficial because costs related to worker injures can be very expensive. In 2018 alone, for instance, workers’ compensation companies in Massachusetts paid out $1,258,680,000 in insurance claims.
Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Required in Melrose?
All employers in Melrose are required by Massachusetts state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few exceptions. It is not necessary to purchase coverage for sole proprietors, partners, LLC members, or domestic laborers who work for you fewer than 16 hours a week.
Failure to meet Massachusetts’ coverage requirements opens your business up to potential lawsuits and legal action. If discovered to be uninsured, your company can be issued a Stop Work Order, fines, and penalties. Additionally, as the business owner, you could face fines and jail time.
How Much Does Workers' Compensation Insurance Cost in Melrose, MA?
As an employer in Melrose, you may be happy to learn that workers’ compensation insurance rates in Massachusetts are some of the lowest in the country. Your cost for coverage will be based primarily on the types of jobs your employees do and how much they are paid.
Every occupation is assigned a specific 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 in each position are to sustain serious injuries on the job.
Commercial insurers use these designated 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 Melrose, MA?
The following are base rates paid per every $50,000 in employee payroll for three very different occupations that can be found in Melrose, MA.
- Tree pruning and removal workers: $4,355 a year
- Long-haul truck drivers: $1,645 a year
- Sales and service representatives: $25 a year
As you can see, rates can vary significantly from one job to another. More dangerous occupations, like tree trimmers, will cost far more to insure than jobs that come with very little risk of injury, like sales positions.
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Workers’ Compensation Insurance Covers Medical Treatments
Workers’ compensation is designed to cover all costs associated with the treatment of worker injuries and occupational illnesses. This coverage includes the following costs.
- Ambulance rides
- Hospital stays
- Medical appointments
- Follow-up care
- Prescription medications
- Devices like crutches and slings
- Physical therapy
- Other related costs
Your employees should pay nothing out of pocket. Workers’ compensation insurance can even reimburse injured employees for their mileage to and from medical appointments and the pharmacy.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Covers Disability Pay
Disability benefits are designed to cover a significant portion of your employee’s lost wages if they need to take more than six days to recuperate from an on-the-job injury or occupational illness.
There are different types of disability, including the following.
- Total temporary disability: If an employee is unable work while recuperating, they can receive 60% of their average weekly pay for up to 156 weeks. 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 recuperating, 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 will be 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 provides annual cost-of-living increases.
Workers’ compensation weekly disability benefits cannot exceed the state’s average weekly pay, which as of October 1, 2020, stands at $1,487.78. This amount is updated annually.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Covers Fatalities
Unfortunately, on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses are sometimes fatal. In these cases, workers’ compensation insurance can ease the financial burden on surviving family members by providing them with compensation.
Workers’ compensation can cover the employee’s burial costs and can provide the employee’s spouse and dependents with biweekly 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 Melrose, MA?
Your workers’ compensation insurance provider may deny claims if they are 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 this insurance will cover. For instance, workers’ compensation will not cover injuries that occurred under the following conditions.
- Injuries that happened when the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Injuries that are believed to have been intentionally self-inflicted.
- Injuries that occurred while the injured employee was engaged in illegal or criminal activity.
- Injuries that were sustained outside of working hours.
- Injuries that are related to preexisting conditions.
Denied claims may be appealed by petitioning the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. Talk to a local independent agent to learn more about the limitations of the workers’ compensation insurance policies you are considering.
Where Can Melrose Business Owners Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
In Melrose, most business owners purchase workers’ compensation insurance through any of the many commercial providers that are licensed to issue coverage in this state.
If your business is considered 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. These assigned risk policies are more expensive than coverage through a commercial provider, so they should be used only as a last resort option.
Alternatively, if approved, your business has the option to self-insure. To qualify, you must be able to demonstrate that your business has the financial means to cover worker injuries.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Melrose, MA?
If you are an employer in Melrose and you are looking for the best and most affordable workers’ compensation insurance policy, a local independent agent can help. These agents can match you up with an insurance company that specializes in covering businesses like yours.
Independent agents can also ensure that you are getting your policy at a great price by helping you obtain and compare a selection of customized quotes. Discover the many benefits of working with a local insurance professional. Contact an independent insurance agent near you to get started.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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