Olive Branch, Mississippi is home to a large number of small, locally owned businesses that have been servicing the area for many years. There are also several larger businesses that help drive the economy. Whatever type of business you may own, if your employees are injured on the job, you are liable for covering their medical care and lost wages. Workers’ compensation insurance provides this coverage.
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 particular business. Find an insurance agent in Olive Branch to learn more.
Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Required in Olive Branch?
Employers in Olive Branch are required to stay compliant with Mississippi state laws regarding workers’ compensation insurance. In this state, you are required to carry this insurance if you have at least five regular employees. There are a few exceptions. It isn't necessary to buy coverage for:
- Federal employees or employees who are covered by federal compensation laws
- Employees of religious, charitable, cultural, or fraternal organizations
- Domestic servants
- Independent contractors
- Farm or ranch laborers
Coverage can be purchased through a commercial provide; or, with approval, your business can self-insure. Most small businesses in Mississippi opt to purchase coverage.
How Much Does Worker’s Comp Insurance Cost in Olive Branch, MS?
Your cost for workers’ compensation coverage will depend on the types of work your employees do and your company’s overall payroll. Each job is given a certain classification code, and rates for each class code are set by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) according to how likely a significant injury is to occur.
Commercial insurers use these rates as a starting point, but they may offer discounts of up to 25%. That's 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 Olive Branch, MS:
- Construction: $10,205 a year
- Health care: $1,180 a year
- Truck transportation: $7,030 a year
Truck transportation and construction are among the most dangerous occupations in Mississippi, and workers’ compensation rates for these industries reflect this. Of course, these are average rates for large industry umbrellas. To find out how much a policy will actually cost you, consult a local independent insurance agent to start comparing customized quotes.
Olive Branch Workers’ Compensation Pays for Medical Treatment
If employees are injured or suffer occupational illnesses because of the jobs they do, they can begin the workers’ compensation claims process by reporting their injury to a supervisor. All employers are required by law to post a workers’ compensation notice at every worksite so that employees are aware of their rights and the procedures for getting compensation.
Workers’ compensation will pay for all necessary medical treatment, follow-up care, medications, and other related expenses. Employees are not responsible for any costs or copays. This insurance will also reimburse employees for miles driven to medical appointments. The mileage reimbursement rates are updated annually. As of January 1, 2020, the rate was 5.75 cents per mile.
Olive Branch Workers’ Compensation Insurance Provides Disability Coverage
In Mississippi, workers’ compensation disability coverage is designed to replace lost wages if an employee must take more than five consecutive work days off in order to recuperate. This coverage can provide injured employees with two-thirds of their average weekly wages during the time they are unable to work, according to doctor’s orders.
If an employee needs to take fewer than 14 days off work, the first five days of lost wages will not be compensated. If the injury or illness requires 14 or more days off work, all days lost will be covered.
There are different types of disability:
- Total temporary disability: This is when an employee is temporarily unable to work at all while recuperating from an injury or occupational illness.
- Partial temporary disability: This is when an employee is approved only for light-duty or part-time work while recovering from an injury or occupational illness.
- Total permanent disability: This is when an employee injury is so severe that the injured employee is unable to work at all.
- Partial permanent disability: This is when an employee is injured in such a way that they must get a job in a different line of work in order to continue to earn money.
Regardless of the type of disability category your employee falls under, workers’ compensation will provide them with bi-weekly payments of two-thirds of their average wages, up to a designated maximum amount, which is set annually by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission. As of January 1, 2020, the maximum weekly disability benefit was set at $505.43.
Disability benefits can continue for up to 450 weeks, though there is a cap on how much can be collected. The current lifetime disability maximum is currently set at $227,443.50.
Workers’ Compensation Covers Fatal Work Injuries in Olive Branch
Sadly, employees sometimes suffer fatal injuries on the job. From traffic collisions while transporting goods to catastrophic machinery malfunctions, these accidental deaths are hard on both the employee’s family and the companies that employed them. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to help surviving family members manage their loss by providing them with financial compensation.
For work-related fatalities, workers’ compensation will cover up to $5,000 in burial costs and will provide an immediate lump-sum payment of $1,000 to the employee’s spouse. It can also provide ongoing bi-weekly payments to the deceased employee’s spouse and qualifying dependents. This benefit can continue for up to 450 weeks.
How to Appeal Workers’ Compensation Claim Denials
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation claims are sometimes denied. This may happen if your insurance company believes that:
- The injury occurred outside the scope of the job.
- The injury was intentional.
- The injured worker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time the accident occurred.
- The injury occurred while the employee was engaged in illegal activity.
- The injured employee purposely failed to follow established safety protocol or use provided safety equipment.
If you or your employees feel that a workers’ compensation claim was unjustly denied, the decision may be challenged by contacting the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission and filing a Petition to Controvert.
A WCC judge will be assigned to your case, and mediation talks will begin. If you are unable to resolve the conflict through mediation, the case will move on to a formal hearing where the WCC judge will review the facts and issue a decision.
Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Olive Branch
If you are an employer in Olive Branch and you are looking for the best 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 coverage at a competitive price by enabling you to compare customized quotes.
Discover the many benefits of working with a local, independent insurance professional. Contact an insurance agent with an office in Olive Branch to set up an obligation-free consultation.
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