New Mexico is no stranger to structure fires and wildfires. Imagine being a firefighter tasked with putting out a house fire in Albuquerque, or tamping down a wildfire on the outskirts of town. In addition to flames and smoke, firefighters often enter environments filled with burning, toxic chemicals that can lead to illness months and even years down the road.
Dangerous occupations like firefighting and many others are the reason that a remedy is needed for workers who are injured on the job. And accidents happen all the time, even in very safe work environments like offices or retail stores. Injuries and illnesses don't need to be life-threatening to be costly for everyone involved.
When workers become ill or are get injured in the workplace, New Mexico workers’ compensation insurance is there to provide wage replacement and medical treatment benefits so employees can recover without a cost burden.
An independent insurance agent in or near Albuquerque can help you obtain quotes for workers’ compensation coverage, and can help you be sure that you are complying with the state laws.
Is Workers’ Compensation Required in Albuquerque?
Most Albuquerque employers will need to purchase workers’ compensation insurance that is in compliance with all of New Mexico’s workers’ compensation laws.
In general, all New Mexico employers with three or more employees must purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Charities, nonprofits, and religious organizations are included in this requirement.
Every employee must be counted properly in order to determine if you need to purchase New Mexico workers’ compensation insurance. Owners, family members, and part-time and seasonal workers should be included in the employee count.
If you are required to purchase coverage, you can choose to exclude coverage for corporate officers or members of an LLC. What’s more, sole proprietors and partners are automatically excluded from coverage, but you can choose to include them in your policy.
New Mexico employers involved in the construction industry must purchase workers’ compensation insurance if they have one or more employees. In addition, several types of employees are exempt from the rules. These include:
- Real estate agents, domestic employees and independent contractors
- Agricultural workers who spend the majority of their time growing or harvesting produce, meat, or dairy products
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Albuquerque, NM?
Workers’ compensation premiums are based on a variety of factors. The most important factor is the risk for at-work injury or illness for workers in your industry.
Albuquerque workers’ compensation premiums are also based on how many employees an employer has, the employer’s annual payroll, and the employer’s history of accidents and workers’ compensation claims.
If you have a good safety record, you may be rewarded with lower premiums than others in your industry.
The New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration partners with the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) to set rates. Each occupation is associated with a classification code, and each class code is assigned a base rate that is recommended by the NCCI and approved by the state.
Here are three of the most prevalent industries in Albuquerque, and the average annual workers’ compensation premium based on a business with a $100,000 payroll:
- Professional, Scientific & Technical Services: $695
- Retail Trade: $2,850
- Healthcare Services: $1,825
Employers in every industry need to find ways to keep employee injuries and workers’ compensation costs under control. This becomes even more important if you own a high-risk business.
Professionals, healthcare workers, and retail workers in Albuquerque might not be exposed to the same kinds of dangers as firefighters or construction workers. But accidents can still happen, and you need workers’ compensation insurance to protect both your employees and your business when these incidents occur.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent about how to obtain Albuquerque workers’ compensation insurance that protects your employees and your business from the costs of workplace accidents.
What Does Albuquerque Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
New Mexico workers’ compensation insurance provides three main benefits to injured Albuquerque workers:
- Medical bills: The primary goal of workers’ compensation insurance is to pay the medical expenses of injured workers and return them to work as quickly as possible. Workers’ compensation policies in Albuquerque pay for reasonable and necessary medical care related to a work-related injury or illness. Travel and lodging costs related to medical care will also be reimbursed.
- Wage replacement: New Mexico workers’ compensation insurance helps injured workers recoup a portion of their lost wages if they are unable to work during their recovery period. The amount of disability benefits that an employee receives is dependent on the degree and duration of their disability, or their inability to return to work.
- Death benefits: If a work-related fatality occurs, New Mexico workers’ compensation insurance offers death benefits to help ease the financial burden for the deceased worker's surviving family members. A deceased employee’s family may receive a portion of their compensation for a certain period following their death. The surviving family may also receive a separate lump-sum payment designated for funeral expenses.
What Happens When Workers’ Compensation Claims Are Disputed?
Sometimes an employee, an employer, or even an insurer has concerns about a particular workers’ compensation claim. Claims can be denied, complaints can be made, and all parties involved must have a means to fairly resolve any denials or disputes.
The New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration provides an Adjudication Bureau, which is tasked with providing assistance when claims are in dispute. The Adjudication Bureau is staffed with professional mediators and judges who work with the parties to resolve complaints and disputes according to New Mexico law.
Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Albuquerque
Purchasing workers’ compensation is complicated for most employers, with many complex variables. If you would like to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for your Albuquerque business, contact an independent insurance agent who is licensed to sell workers’ compensation insurance in New Mexico.
A local agent can help you find the best coverage for your industry, and can help you assess and implement safety and risk management programs that help to keep your workers’ compensation costs under control.
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