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Workers Comp Insurance
What is Workers Comp Insurance?
Workers comp insurance is a mandatory coverage employers must purchase for the benefit of their employee’s. As the oldest form of social insurance in the U.S., workers comp insurance came about as a direct result of the trade union movement’s around the turn of the twentieth century resulting from the devastating impact injured workers had on their families, as well as their dependents. Workers compensation insurance works by providing several overages for employees ranging from first aid to permanent disability and even death benefits for effected workers.
What Benefits are Available in a Workers Comp Policy?
California workers compensation insurance is structured to provide six core benefits for injured employees. These six core benefits are used to cover among other things, physician visits, prescription medications, surgeries as well as other benefits related to time missed from work and indemnity benefits. Depending on each scenario, an injured worker may be entitled to one or more of the following coverage’s:
Injured employees are entitled to receive all medical treatments necessary and within reason to cure or treat a work related injury including physician services, medication, and chiropractic services among other remedies as determined by the treating doctor.
First aid treatment is a standard feature within workers compensation benefits. It’s important to note that all treatments requiring a physician are required to be reported on a “Doctors First Report of Injury” that must be sent to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) by the doctor, regardless of the extent of an injury.
Workers that miss three days of work or more because of a work related injury are entitled to temporary disability benefits. Work related injuries must be verified by a physician to obtain benefits.
Workers unable to return to their prior occupation because of a work related injury are entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits that include the cost of training, funds for the development of a new career plan, as well as funds to cover living expenses during the transition period.
Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
Permanently disabled workers are entitled to supplemental job displacement benefits that are payable to an approved, or accredited school. Additional requirements apply.
Funeral expenses and support payments are available to qualified surviving dependents for a period of time if an employee is fatally injured in the course of work.
Workman’s Comp Laws
Who is required to purchase workers comp insurance?
Under California Labor Code 3700, ALL California employers must provide workers compensation benefits to their employees if they have one or more employees. In addition, self employed roofing contractors are also required to have workers comp insurance. With this in mind, most self employed individuals, independent contractors and some corporate officers are exempt from mandatory coverage requirements. Each of these cases must be carefully reviewed with your insurance advisor to ensure proper compliance with California workers comp laws.
What happens to an employer that does not purchase workers comp?
Failure to purchase workers compensation insurance can result in severe civil and criminal penalties. Typically, a violating business will be issued a stop order which essentially closes a violating business down, followed by penalties and fines that begin at $1,000 per employee. The owner can also face misdemeanor charges for “willful failure to secure workers compensation insurance as prescribed by law” in addition to any liability lawsuits stemming from injured workers.