Rochester, New Hampshire residents get to enjoy the beautiful Rochester Opera House and Rochester Museum of Fine Arts during their downtime. When it’s time to get to work, most Rochester citizens report for duty in the healthcare, education, construction, or food industries. No matter what type of work your employees perform, there’s always a chance that a worker can get hurt while on the clock. In fact, every 7 seconds in the US a team member is injured while on the job. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover the costs associated with employees' work-related injuries or illnesses.
Deciding on the best insurance can be a confusing task, whether you’re looking for workers’ compensation, life insurance or homeowners 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 Rochester that can help. To learn more, call a local insurance agent today.
Is Workers' Compensation Insurance Required in Rochester, 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 legally required to buy workers’ compensation but may elect to do so. If your business has 3 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 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 Rochester, 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 or become ill while working. For this reason, work comp rates can vary quite a bit among different industries.
Every US occupation 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 Rochester, NH insurance agent for help with your workers’ compensation policy, as well as other business insurance.
What Costs Will Rochester, New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
You may be wondering, “Does workers’ compensation pay for the cost of medical treatment in Rochester, New Hampshire?” Or you may be thinking, “Does workers' compensation insurance provide disability benefits in Rochester, New Hampshire”?
Workers’ compensation insurance is meant to pay for costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses. Your work 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 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 work 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 8 years.
- Compensation for workplace fatalities: In the case of most work comp plans, there is a survivor benefit for the loved ones of a worker who dies as a result of a work illness or injury. 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 work 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 8 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 Rochester, 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 Doesn't Workers' Compensation Cover in Rochester, New Hampshire?
Here are some things workers’ compensation won't 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 work 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 Rochester, New Hampshire
Working with an independent insurance agent is the easiest way to find a great workers' compensation policy. Independent insurance agents in your community will be able to get you a variety of work comp quotes, answer questions, and help you apply for coverage. A professional Rochester insurance agent will be more than glad to find the right work comp policy for your company.
Contact an independent agent in or near Rochester, NH to set up a free consultation. It's a great way to support your employees while protecting your company's bottom line.
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New Hampshire Department of Labor
The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI)
National Safety Council