There are more than 2,500 businesses representing a wide range of industries in Columbia, TN. If you are a business owner in this city, you are responsible for covering any injuries or occupational illnesses your employees may suffer while doing their jobs. Workers’ compensation insurance provides this coverage.
Independent insurance agents can shop around to help you find the best and most affordable workers’ compensation policy to cover your Columbia business. Contact an insurance agent near you to get started.
Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Required in Columbia, TN?
All businesses in Columbia are required to maintain compliance with Tennessee employment laws. In this state, you are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if at least one of the following is true:
- Your business operates in the construction industry
- Your business operates in the coal mining industry
- Your business employs at least five regular workers
It is not necessary to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for sole proprietors, LLC members, or partners, but these employees must be included in your total employee count regardless.
Knowingly and willingly failing to carry required workers’ compensation is against the law in this state. If caught, your business can face significant fines.
Coverage can be purchased through a commercial carrier. Or, with approval, your business can opt to self-insure. Learn more about the workers’ compensation requirements in Tennessee by talking to an independent insurance agent nearby in Columbia.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Columbia?
From nurses at Maury Regional Medical Center to professors at Columbia State Community College, there are many workers representing a wide range of industries in this Tennessee city. Your workers’ compensation cost will be calculated based mainly on how likely your employees are to be hurt on the job, based on the types of jobs they do.
Every occupation is assigned a classification code, and coverage rates for each of these class codes are managed by the the Workers’ Compensation Division of Tennessee and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Insurance companies use these base rates when calculating costs, but they do have some leeway when it comes to offering discounts and incentives, so comparison shopping can save you money. Let’s take a look at the average rates paid per every $100,000 in employee payroll for three of the top industries in Columbia, TN:
- Health care: $1,420 a year
- Accommodation & food services: $1,620 a year
- Educational services: $280 a year
Of course, these are just averages for a variety of jobs under large industry umbrellas. Within each, rates can vary. Within the medical field, a nurse is far more likely to be injured on the job than a medical transcriptionist. For assistance getting actual, customized quotes for your particular business, contact a local independent insurance agent.
What Does Columbia Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance (often referred to as “workman’s comp”) is designed to cover the costs associate with on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses. As a policyholder in Columbia, you can expect your insurance to cover the following:
- Medical treatment: Workers’ compensation will cover all costs associated with necessary medical treatment, medications, and follow-up care related to occupational illnesses and work-related injuries. Workers are required to seek care from an authorized physician.
- Mileage reimbursement: If they must travel more than 15 miles one way to obtain their medical treatment, employees can receive compensation for miles driven, including tolls paid.
- Short-term partial disability coverage: If an employee’s injury enables them to return to work but in an limited capacity, short-term partial disability insurance can cover two-thirds of their difference in pay until they are able to return to their previous job.
- Short-term total disability coverage: If an employee needs to take more than one week to recuperate from a work-related injury, they will be able to collect a weekly benefit of two-thirds of their average weekly pay until they are released by their treating physician to return to work.
- Permanent partial disability coverage: If an employee suffers a permanent work injury that prevents them from returning to their previous job, they can receive compensation in the amount of two-thirds of their average weekly wages for a length of time that is determined by the severity and nature of their disability.
- Permanent total disability coverage: For injuries that result in permanent disabilities that leave an employee unable work at any kind of job, the injured worker can receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage every week until they reach retirement age.
- Survivor benefits: If a work-related injury or illness results in death, workers’ compensation can cover burial expenses up to $10,000. It can also provide weekly compensation for the employee's spouse and dependents. If no spouse or dependents are left behind, the employee’s estate will receive a lump-sum payment of $20,000.
You can learn more about each of these benefits by speaking with an independent insurance agent in Columbia.
What If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
Insurance companies sometimes deny workers' compensation claims. This could happen for a number of reasons, such as:
- If your insurer suspects that the injury did not actually occur while on the job
- If the injury was intentionally self-inflicted
- If the injured worker was not an actual employee of your company
- If the injured employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
If you believe that your workers’ compensation claim was unjustly denied, you can file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. This board is made up of three judges who are appointed by the governor. This board will hear your case and issue a decision.
Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Columbia, TN
If you are looking for the best workers’ compensation policy to cover your Columbia business, an independent agent can help. These agents can help you obtain and compare rates from insurance providers that specialize in covering businesses in your industry. That way, you can be sure you are getting great coverage at a competitive price.
Discover how easy it can be to find the right workers’ compensation policy for your business. Consult an independent insurance agent in or near Columbia, TN to start comparing customized quotes.
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