Let’s face it. Some jobs are more dangerous than others, and employees sometimes get hurt while working. Fortunately, business owners in Chattanooga can prevent workplace injuries from leading to large financial losses by investing in a suitable workers’ compensation insurance policy. Workers’ compensation coverage can be purchased through a commercial provider. Some insurance companies are better suited to cover certain industries than others. A local independent insurance agent can help you find the best coverage for your Chattanooga business. Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Required in Chattanooga?
Employers in Chattanooga must be in compliance with Tennessee’s workers’ compensation coverage requirements. You are required to carry this insurance if you meet any of the following:
- You have at least five employees, including part-time workers and family members
- You own a construction business
- Your business operates in the coal mining industry
You are not required to purchase coverage for corporate officers, partners, sole proprietors, or LLC members, but you do have the option to do so if you want to.
How Much Does Worker’s Comp Insurance Cost in Chattanooga?
Every business is different, and workers’ compensation rates reflect this. Your cost for coverage will depend on the types of work your employees do and your company’s overall payroll amount. Each job is given a certain classification code, and rates for each class code are set by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development according to the risks associated with the jobs.
Commercial insurers use these rates as a starting point and are permitted to offer discounts according to your company’s safety rating, claims history, and experience modification. It is therefore in your best interest to compare quotes before making a purchase. The following are average rates paid per every $100,000 in employee payroll for three of the top industries in Chattanooga, TN:
- Manufacturing: $4,510 a year
- Retail Trade: $1,230 a year
- Accommodation & Food Service: $1,620 a year
Of course, these are just average rates and the costs can vary according to more specific information regarding the jobs your workers do. Some manufacturing jobs are more dangerous than others, so your rates will depend on what your company produces. Talk to an independent insurance agent in Chattanooga to learn how much workers’ compensation will cost you.
Chattanooga Workers’ Compensation Pays for the Cost of Medical Treatment
If an employee is injured or becomes ill on the job, they can report their injury to a supervisor to begin the workers’ compensation claims process. As the employer, you can select a group of authorized physicians that these employees can receive treatment and follow-up care from. An exception is made for injuries that require immediate attention. In that case, workers’ compensation insurance will cover the cost for the worker to be treated in the closest emergency room. If an employee must travel more than 15 miles one way to receive treatment from an authorized physician, workers’ compensation will also provide reimbursement for their mileage.
Chattanooga Workers’ Compensation Insurance Provides Disability Coverage
Disability coverage is designed to replace lost wages if an employee must take more than seven days off work. This coverage can provide injured employees with 2/3 of their average weekly wages during the time they are off work under doctor’s orders. If an employee is approved by a physician for light-duty work while recuperating, they must report for this work or risk losing their disability benefits.
If the light-duty job pays less than their previously earned wages, workers’ compensation will help injured employees bridge the gap by covering 2/3 of the difference in pay. If an injury results in an employee being deemed permanently disabled, workers’ compensation will pay out a lump-sum settlement payment. This will provide the injured worker with 450 weeks’ worth of compensation in an amount that is based on the employee’s previous earnings and their impairment rating.
Workers Compensation Covers Fatal Work Injuries in Chattanooga
Sadly, employees are sometimes killed on the job. From collisions, while making deliveries to tragic machinery malfunctions, these accidental deaths are hard on employers and the employee’s family alike. Workers’ compensation insurance can help surviving family members get through their loss by providing them with financial compensation. For job-related fatalities, workers’ compensation can cover up to $10,000 in burial costs. It also provides death benefits as follows:
- If the employee leaves behind a spouse but no dependent children, the spouse can receive a weekly benefit of 1/2 of the employee’s average weekly wages.
- If the employee leaves behind a spouse and at least one dependent child, the spouse can receive a weekly benefit of 2/3 of the employee’s average weekly wages.
- If the employee leaves behind no spouse or dependents, a lump sum of $20,000 will be credited to the employee’s estate.
How to Appeal Workers’ Compensation Claim Denials
Workers’ compensation claims are sometimes denied. This may happen if the insurance company believes that the injury occurred outside of working hours, or if there is reason to suspect that the injury was intentionally sustained or the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time the injury occurred. If an employee feels that a workers’ compensation claim was unjustly denied, or is unhappy with a settlement amount, the decision may be challenged by contacting the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Chattanooga
If you are among the many employers in Chattanooga who are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, a local independent agent can help you find the right policy. These agents can match you up with an insurer who specializes in covering businesses in your industry and can ensure that you are getting your coverage at a competitive price. Discover the many benefits of working with a local, independent insurance professional.
Find an insurance agent in or near Chattanooga to get started.
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