Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical costs and lost wages for work-related injuries and illnesses. This policy is required in almost every state for businesses that have employees.
If an architect trips and breaks a leg at a construction site, or an engineer develops carpal tunnel and requires surgery, it can lead to expensive medical bills and lost time at work. Workers’ compensation insurance can pay for an injured worker’s medical expenses as well as wages lost during recovery.
Typically included in a workers’ comp policy, employer’s liability insurance provides protection when an employee decides to sue the business owner over a work injury. Even if the lawsuit is frivolous, you could find yourself paying for a costly legal defense.
Employer’s liability insurance can help cover:
The amount you pay for workers’ compensation is a specific rate based on every $100 of your business’s payroll. Your premium is determined by the type of work done by your employees (classification rate), your experience modification rate (claims history), and your payroll (per $100).
The formula is:
Classification rate x Experience modification rate x (Payroll / 100) = Premium
Each state creates its own laws for workers’ compensation insurance. For example, every building design business in New York must carry workers’ compensation insurance for its employees – even part-time workers. However, Alabama businesses are only required to carry workers’ compensation when they have five or more employees.
While independent contractors, sole proprietors, and partners don’t have to carry workers’ compensation insurance, you can purchase a policy to protect yourself, too. It's a good idea to carry this coverage for financial protection against work injuries, which health insurance might not cover.
In certain states, building design businesses must purchase coverage through a monopolistic workers' comp state fund. Those states are:
If you purchase workers’ comp through a monopolistic state fund, it might not include employer’s liability insurance. However, you can purchase it as stop gap coverage from a private insurance company.
Even employees who only work in an office are at risk for an injury. They could slip on a wet floor or trip over equipment. If an employee is injured on the job it can lead to an insurance claim — and a rise in your premiums.
Every business owner can manage some risks by providing safety training and removing clutter and other hazards from the workplace. Taking these steps could reduce employee injuries along with insurance rates.
Workers’ compensation offers protection for your employees and to some extent your business, but it doesn’t provide coverage for all risks. Building design business owners should also consider:
General liability insurance: This policy covers customer injuries and customer property damage, along with lawsuits over slander, libel, and copyright infringement.
Business owner’s policy: A BOP defends against the most common risks faced by building design professionals. It bundles general liability insurance with commercial property insurance at a lower rate than purchasing both policies separately.
Cyber liability insurance: This policy helps architects, engineers, and other building designers recover financially from data breaches and cyberattacks.
Commercial auto insurance: This policy helps cover costs if your business vehicle is involved in an accident. Each state has its own requirements for auto liability insurance.
License and permit bonds: Architects and engineers may need a license or permit bond to work in their state, or to take on certain projects.
Are you ready to protect your building design business with workers’ compensation insurance? Complete Insureon’s easy online application today to compare quotes from top U.S. carriers. Once you find the right policy, you can begin coverage in less than 24 hours.