The capital of Mississippi, Jackson is home to more than 20,000 businesses of varying size and scope. From manufacturing plants to accounting firms, these businesses drive both the local and state economies. Unfortunately, employees at these businesses sometimes get hurt on the job. When that happens, workers’ compensation insurance can provide a financial safety net.
If you are an employer in Jackson, a local independent insurance agent can help you find the best and most affordable workers’ compensation insurance policy to cover your business. Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Required in Jackson, MS?
Businesses in Jackson need to be in compliance with Mississippi state employment laws. In this state, all businesses that employ at least five people are required to cover their employees with workers’ compensation insurance.
There are a few exceptions. In this state, it isn't necessary to purchase coverage for domestic workers, farm and ranch laborers, independent contractors, employees covered under federal compensation laws, or people who work for nonprofit charitable, religious, cultural or fraternal organizations.
If you fail to carry workers’ compensation for your employees, you can be penalized with fines up to $1,000, or jail time, or both. If an employee is injured and you are not properly covered with workers’ compensation insurance, your company’s officers may have to pay for the injured employee’s medical care and lost wages out of their own pockets.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Jackson, MS?
The amount you will be expected to pay for workers’ compensation insurance is based mainly on the types of jobs your employees do. Every job is assigned a designated classification code, and rates for each class code are regulated by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC). The more likely it is that a worker will suffer a serious injury, the higher the cost for coverage will be.
Insurance providers are required to use the state’s assigned rates as guidelines when assessing costs for coverage. Factors such as experience modifiers, claims histories, worker safety records, and incentives can result in discounts of up to 25%. That is why shopping around for rates can be beneficial.
The following are the average rates paid per every $100,000 in employee payroll for three of the top industries in Jackson, MS:
- Health care: $1,180 a year
- Educational services: $1,015 a year
- Accommodation & food services: $2,000 a year
A fry cook at a local diner has a much higher risk of suffering a work-related injury than an adjunct professor at Jackson State University. That is why average workers’ compensation rates are higher in the accommodation and food services industry than in the educational services industry. More hazardous jobs like construction and roofing will cost significantly more to cover.
Of course, these are just averages. There is a wide range of jobs under each industry umbrella and costs can vary accordingly. Talk to an independent insurance agent in Jackson to find out how much workers’ compensation insurance will cost for your particular business.
Jackson Workers’ Compensation Covers the Cost of Medical Treatment
Workers’ compensation insurance ensures that if employees suffer work-related injuries or occupational illnesses, they will be able to receive appropriate medical care with no out-of-pocket costs. This insurance covers the cost of treatment, follow-up visits, medications, physical therapy, and other associated costs as needed.
Employees can also be reimbursed for the cost of driving to and from medical appointments. The Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission updates reimbursement rates periodically. As of January 1, 2020, employees could receive compensation of 5.75 cents per mile driven.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Provides Disability Coverage for Jackson Employees
If an employee needs to take more than five consecutive days off to recuperate from a job-related injury, workers’ compensation insurance can ease their financial burden by offering disability coverage. Through this coverage, disabled employees can receive a weekly benefit of two-thirds of their average weekly wages.
Disability benefits are paid bi-weekly in an amount that is two-thirds of the injured employee’s average expected wages. If an employee needs more than 14 days of recovery time, workers’ compensation will pay for all lost time; however, if the recovery period is under 14 days, the first five days won't be covered.
There is, however, a cap on how much can be collected. This amount is updated and increased annually by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission. As of January 1, 2020, the maximum weekly benefit was $505.43, and the maximum lifetime disability benefit was $227,443.50.
Workers' Compensation Covers Fatal Work Injuries in Jackson
Unfortunately, workplace injuries are sometimes so severe that they result in fatalities. Workers’ compensation insurance can help surviving family members manage the financial difficulties of such a loss by providing them with death benefits, or survivor benefits.
These benefits include up to $5,000 in burial costs, an immediate lump-sum payment of $1,000 to the employee’s spouse, and up to 450 weeks of monetary payment to the employee’s spouse and dependents.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more about workers’ compensation death benefits in Jackson.
What Can Cause a Workers’ Compensation Claim to Be Denied?
There are a number of reasons why workers’ compensation insurance companies may refuse to honor a claim. Claims can be denied if they believe that:
- The injury occurred outside the workplace or while the worker was doing something other than their job.
- The injured employee was intoxicated at the time of the accident.
- The injured employee failed to use provided safety equipment or follow established safety protocols.
- The injured worker was not officially an employee of your company at the time of the accident.
- The injury occurred while the employee was committing a crime.
- The injury was purposely self-inflicted.
If you feel that a workers’ compensation claim was unjustly denied, you can file a Petition to Controvert with the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission. At that time, formal negotiations will begin with a mediator. If a resolution can't be reached through mediation, then the case will move on to a formal hearing before a WCC judge, who will render a final decision.
Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Jackson, MS
If you are looking for the right workers’ compensation insurance policy to cover your Jackson employees, an independent agent can help. These agents can match you up with an insurance provider that specializes in covering businesses like yours. Your agent can also help you compare rates so that you can be sure your premiums are competitively priced.
If you're ready to find the best workers’ compensation policy for your business, you can get started by contacting an independent insurance agent near you.
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