The city of Cookeville, TN is home to many businesses. They range from large companies like Averitt Express to small accounting firms run out of people’s homes. There are all kinds of ways that workers at these companies can get hurt on the job. That’s why workers’ compensation insurance is so important.
Some workers’ compensation insurance companies are better suited than others to cover businesses in certain industries. A local independent insurance agent can help you find the best and most affordable coverage for your Cookeville business. Find an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Required in Cookeville?
Employers in Cookeville are required to stay compliant with Tennessee state laws regarding workers’ compensation insurance. In this state, you are required to carry this insurance if at least one of the following is true:
- Your business employs at least five workers
- Your business operates in the coal mining industry
- Your business operates in the construction industry
It isn't necessary to purchase coverage for sole proprietors, partners, or LLC members, but you can if you want to. Either way, these people must be included in your overall employee count when determining whether you have enough workers to make coverage mandatory.
Coverage can be purchased through a commercial provider. Or, with approval, your business can self-insure. Most small businesses in Tennessee opt to purchase coverage.
How Much Does Workers' Comp Insurance Cost in Cookeville, TN?
Your cost for workers’ compensation coverage will depend on the types of work your employees do and your company’s overall payroll. Each job is given a certain classification code, and rates for each class code are set according to how likely a significant injury is to occur.
These rates are reviewed and modified periodically by the Workers’ Compensation Division of Tennessee and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Commercial insurers use these rates as a starting point, though they can offer discounts of up to 25%. That's why shopping around for rates can be so beneficial.
The following are the average rates paid per every $100,000 in employee payroll for three of the top industries in Cookeville, TN:
- Educational services: $280 a year
- Accommodation & food services: $1,620 a year
- Health care: $1,420 a year
A fry cook in a diner is more likely to experience a work-related injury than a professor at Tennessee Technological University, and workers’ compensation rates reflect this. To find out how much a policy will actually cost for your business, you can consult a local independent insurance agent in Cookeville to start comparing customized quotes.
Cookeville Workers’ Compensation Pays for Medical Treatment
If employees are injured or suffer occupational illnesses because of the jobs they do, they can begin the workers’ compensation claims process by reporting their injury to a supervisor. All employers are required by law to post a workers’ compensation notice at every worksite so employees are aware of their rights and the procedures for getting compensation.
Workers’ compensation will pay for all necessary medical treatment, follow-up care, medications, and other related expenses. Employees are not responsible for any costs or copays, but they must coordinate all their care through someone on your company’s list of authorized treating physicians.
Workers’ compensation insurance will also reimburse employees for miles driven to medical appointments if they must travel more than 15 miles one way. The mileage reimbursement rates are updated annually. As of January 1, 2020, the rate was 57.5 cents per mile.
Cookeville Workers’ Compensation Insurance Provides Disability Coverage
In Tennessee, workers’ compensation disability coverage is designed to replace lost wages if an employee must take more than five consecutive work days off in order to recuperate. This coverage can provide injured employees with two-thirds of their average weekly wages during the time they are unable to work according to doctor’s orders.
If an employee needs to take fewer than 14 days off work, the first five days of lost wages will not be compensated. If the injury or illness requires 14 or more days off work, all days lost will be covered.
There are different types of disability:
- Total temporary disability: This is when an employee is temporarily unable to work at all while recuperating from an injury or occupational illness. In this case, injured employees can receive two-thirds of their average weekly pay until they are approved by their treating physician to return to work.
- Partial temporary disability: This is when an employee is approved only for light-duty or part-time work while recovering from an injury or occupational illness. In this case, workers’ compensation can bridge the gap between their previous earnings and their light-duty earnings by compensation of two-thirds of the difference in pay.
- Total permanent disability: This is when an employee injury is so severe that the injured employee is unable to work at all. In this case, the injured employee can receive compensation in the amount of two-thirds of their previously earned wages until they reach the age of retirement.
- Partial permanent disability: This is when an employee is injured in such a way that they must obtain a job in a different line of work in order to continue to earn money. In this case, they can receive compensation in the amount of two-thirds of their previously earned wages for a number of weeks that is determined according to the nature and severity of the injury.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more about what workers’ compensation can do to help injured employees who are unable to work.
Workers’ Compensation Covers Work-Related Fatalities in Cookeville
Unfortunately, employees sometimes suffer fatal injuries on the job. From traffic collisions while transporting goods to tragic machinery malfunctions, these accidental deaths are hard on both employees' families and the companies that employed them.
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed help surviving family members manage their loss by providing them with financial compensation.
For work-related fatalities, workers’ compensation will cover up to $10,000 in burial costs and will provide ongoing compensation to the employee’s spouse and dependents. If the deceased employee left behind no spouse or dependents, workers’ comp will award a lump-sum payment of $20,000 to the employee’s estate.
How to Appeal Workers’ Compensation Claim Denials
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation claims are sometimes denied. This may happen if your insurance company believes that:
- The injury occurred outside the scope of the job
- The injury was intentional
- The injured worker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time the accident occurred
- The injury occurred while the employee was engaged in illegal activity
- The injured employee purposely failed to follow established safety protocols or use provided safety equipment
If you or your employees feel that a workers’ compensation claim was unjustly denied, the decision can be appealed by taking the case to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. This board is made up of three judges who are appointed by the governor. This board will hear your arguments and issue a decision.
Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Cookeville
If you're an employer in Cookeville and are looking for the best workers’ compensation insurance for your company, a local independent insurance agent can help. These agents can match you with an insurance company that specializes in covering businesses like yours. Your agent can also ensure that you are getting your coverage at a competitive price by enabling you to compare customized quotes.
Discover the many benefits of working with a local, independent insurance professional. Contact an insurance agent with an office in Cookeville to set up an obligation-free consultation.
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