The Small-Business Owner's Guide to Workers' Compensation Insurance

Chapter 2: How Workers' Comp Insurance Works
Part 5: How Does Workers' Comp Protect a Business?

Did you know that in 2011, the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses amounted to $55.4 billion in direct U.S. Workers' Compensation expenses? The 2013 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index [PDF] New browser window icon. broke down its findings into the most common and costly workplace ailments (ranked from most to least expensive):

  1. Overexertion involving outside source ($14.2 billion).
  2. Falls on the same level ($8.6 billion).
  3. Struck by object or equipment ($5.6 billion).
  4. Falls to lower level ($4.9 billion).
  5. Other exertions or bodily reactions ($4.2 billion).
  6. Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles ($2.4 billion).
  7. Slip or trip without fall ($2.1 billion).
  8. Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks ($2 billion).
  9. Struck against object or equipment ($1.6 billion).
  10. Caught in / compressed by equipment or objects ($1.6 billion).

It makes you wonder: could your business survive these costs if it didn't have Workers' Compensation Insurance to fall back on? For most small-business owners, the answer would be a swift and resounding "no."

In 2011, the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses totaled $55.4 billion in direct Workers' Compensation costs.

After all, the average cost of a 2010 lost-work claim was $65,000 in California. (Read more in the Sacramento Business Journal's article New browser window icon..) That number doesn't even include medical costs.

But if you need a few more reasons to justify Workers' Compensation Insurance premiums, keep reading. We'll examine how the coverage protects your employees, your business, and your bottom line.

In 2010, the average cost of a California lost-work claim was $65,000.

Next: Why Workers' Comp Makes a Difference

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