Merrimack, New Hampshire, residents get to enjoy performing arts venues, museums, breweries, and restaurants. When it’s time to get to work, most Merrimack citizens report for duty in the healthcare, food services, education, and construction industries. No matter the type of work your employees perform, there’s always a chance that a worker can get hurt while on the clock.
In fact, every seven seconds in the US, a team member is injured while on the job. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover the costs associated with an employee’s work-related injuries or illnesses. Deciding on the best insurance can be a confusing task, whether you’re looking for workers’ compensation or life insurance. There is a great solution for any business owner wondering about how to protect their business and staff. Reach out to an independent insurance agent in Merrimack who can help. To learn more, call a local insurance agent today.
Is Workers' Compensation Insurance Required in Merrimack, New Hampshire?
New Hampshire requires businesses with one full or part-time employee to buy worker’s compensation insurance written through an insurance carrier, even if the employer is a nonprofit organization. However, if your New Hampshire business is a sole-proprietorship, partnership, or you’re self-employed, then you aren’t required legally to buy workers’ compensation but may elect to do so. If your business has three corporate officers and no other employees, then you aren’t required to buy workers’ compensation either.
Your business can buy workers’ compensation insurance from a commercial insurance company or you can self-insure. Of course, if you opt to self-insure your business, then you’ll need to apply for approval and prove that you have the financial resources to do so. If you do decide to skip buying a workers’ compensation policy, then be aware that you’re operating illegally and could be fined up to $2,500 for not having a policy. Plus, you may receive additional penalties of $100 per day for every additional day you operate without being properly insured.
If one of your employees gets hurt, your business will probably have to pay out of pocket for the injured employee’s medical care and lost wages. That’s why it’s just easier and more cost-effective to buy workers’ compensation coverage for your business instead of avoiding the expense.
How Much Does Workers' Compensation Cost in Merrimack, New Hampshire?
Workers’ compensation premiums are calculated according to how risky your industry is and how likely your employees are to get hurt or killed while working. For this reason, workers' comp rates can vary quite a bit among different industries.
Every US occupation in New Hampshire has a designated classification code with corresponding rates that are managed by the New Hampshire Department of Labor and the National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCCI). Commercial insurers use these rates as base amounts when calculating premiums but can give discounts of up to 25%. That’s why it’s important to work with an independent insurance agent who can compare rates among several insurance companies.
Let’s look at some estimates of New Hampshire workers’ compensation premiums by industry. Keep in mind, these examples are based on $100,000 in employer payroll.
- Landscaping: $8,400
- Restaurant: $1,900
- Plumbing: $4,260
- Retail Store: $1,720
- Carpentry: $8,380
- Clerical: $180
The NCCI sets two different rates for each New Hampshire class code, one low and one high. Your insurance agent can tell you about possible credits and discounts offered by different insurance carriers.
So, the only way to really know how much a workers’ compensation plan will cost your business is to get customized quotes. Contact a Merrimack, NH, insurance agent for help with your workers’ compensation policy, as well as other business insurance.
What Costs Will Merrimack, New Hampshire, Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
You may be wondering “does workers’ compensation pay for the cost of medical treatment in Merrimack, New Hampshire?” Or you may be thinking “does workers compensation insurance provide disability benefits in Merrimack, New Hampshire”?
Workers’ compensation insurance is meant to pay for costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses. Your workers' comp policy will cover all these possible expenses:
- Medical care: Workers’ compensation covers all expenses for medical care needed to treat an occupational injury or illness. This includes things like follow-up treatment, physical therapy, diagnostic testing, and medications. Employees pay nothing out of their own pocket.
- Temporary disability: If an employee must take more than five days off work to recover from an occupational injury or illness, they’ll be able to collect a weekly cash benefit until they can resume working. The amount of the benefit is two-thirds of their average weekly pay.
- Travel reimbursement: Workers’ compensation coverage will reimburse employees for the miles driven to and from medical appointments related to their workers' comp injury. Reimbursement rates are updated annually by the state’s Department of Labor. As of January 1, 2020, the NH Department of Labor approved a 57.5 cents per mile travel reimbursement rate.
- Permanent disability: If an occupational injury or illness is so serious that the employee can’t return to their job, workers’ compensation coverage can provide the worker with a weekly cash benefit. The amount of the benefit is two-thirds of their average weekly pay. The disabled employee may collect this cash benefit for up to 450 weeks or more than eight years.
- Compensation for workplace fatalities: In the case of most workers' comp plans, a survivor benefit exists for the loved ones of a worker killed as a result of a work illness or injury. For example, the policy may pay a lump sum of $1,000 to the worker’s spouse and pay up to $5,000 for burial costs. In addition, the workers' comp coverage will typically provide the worker’s dependents with two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wages for up to 450 weeks, or more than eight years.
Keep in mind that weekly benefits can’t exceed the maximum allowed by the New Hampshire Department of Labor. As of January 1, 2019, $1,629 is the maximum weekly payout for Merrimack, New Hampshire, employees with a workers' compensation claim.
You can learn more about workers’ compensation insurance benefits by talking with an independent insurance agent. While you’re at it, feel free to find out more about disability insurance and commercial auto insurance too.
What Does Workers' Compensation Not Cover in Merrimack, New Hampshire?
Here are some things workers’ compensation will not cover:
- Injuries caused by illegal drugs or intoxication
- Claims filed after the employee has been fired or laid off
- Wages for a replacement worker
- Injuries caused by a violation of corporate policy/safety rules
- Independent contractor (1099 worker) injuries
- OSHA fines
Legally, your employees have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits after a covered injury or illness. In New Hampshire, this holds true regardless of who’s at fault for the workplace illness or injury. By accepting the workers' comp money, your employee is giving up their right to sue your company for additional compensation.
How to Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Merrimack, New Hampshire
Working with an insurance agent is the easiest way to find a great workers' compensation policy. Independent insurance agents in Merrimack, NH will be able to get you a variety of workers' comp quotes, answer questions, and help you apply for coverage. A professional Merrimack insurance agent will be more than glad to find the right workers' comp policy for your company.
Give your local independent agent a call for free assistance finding the best workers' compensation at the right price.
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New Hampshire Department of Labor
The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI)
National Safety Council