Arkansas requires businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have three or more employees.
Most businesses with three or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in Arkansas. Some businesses with fewer than three employees are required to carry workers’ comp coverage if they work in an especially risky industry, such as construction.
Employers in Arkansas are required to pay the full amount of the workers’ compensation policy cost. It cannot be deducted from the worker’s pay.
Even when it's not required, purchasing this policy is a smart decision. Your personal health insurance plan might exclude work injuries. Workers' comp would help pay your medical bills, and also provide part of the wages you'd otherwise lose while recovering from a work injury.
This policy also provides death benefits in the event of a work-related fatality.
Workers' compensation costs are based on the risk of a workplace injury. Some employers will have a variety of workers’ compensation class codes, which help insurers determine exposure to risk. Your business might have some office staff whose workers’ comp costs are lower than employees who work outside of your office and face more risks.
To save money on workers' comp, it's important to make sure you classify your employees correctly so that you're not paying too much for employees with low risks. This also helps you avoid misclassification fines.
In some cases, small business owners can choose to buy pay-as-you-go workers' compensation. This type of workers' comp policy has a low upfront premium, and lets you make payments based on your actual payroll instead of estimated payroll. It's useful for businesses that hire seasonal help or have fluctuating numbers of employees.
Finally, a documented safety program can help lower workers' comp costs. A safer workplace means fewer accidents, which helps keep your premium low.
When an employee suffers a physical injury on the job or develops an occupational illness, workers' compensation covers medical costs and part of the wages lost during recovery.
In Arkansas, the injured employee must go to the doctor chosen by their employer or their employer's insurance company to qualify for workers' compensation benefits.
Workers' comp can help cover:
Policies usually include employer's liability insurance, which can help cover legal expenses if an employee blames their employer for an injury. However, the exclusive remedy provision in most workers' comp policies prohibits an employee from suing their employer if they accept workers' comp benefits.
According to state law, employers who fail to carry the required coverage will be required to pay fines as a penalty to the state. In addition, they will lose protections provided by the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission (AWCC).
Death benefits are available to family members who are financially dependent on an employee who dies after a work-related injury or illness. If there are no surviving dependents, benefits could be awarded to partial dependents.
A dependent could be the deceased worker’s:
Workers’ compensation pays benefits in the amount of 67% of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage based on a maximum that changes each year. The surviving dependents receive that amount divided among them.
A workers’ compensation settlement is an agreement between the parties that will resolve your workers’ compensation claim. This benefits both the employee and the employer.
With a workers’ comp settlement, the injured worker can receive a lump-sum payment that covers medical expenses, ongoing treatments or therapies, and past and future lost wages.
The employer then is free from the claim, and the employee can no longer bring additional claims for that injury.
A workers’ compensation claim can cover an injury from a single accident or injuries that take place over long periods of time like repetitive motion disorders, job-related hearing loss, or occupational diseases such as mesothelioma.
The statute of limitations is the amount of time an employee has to file a workers' comp claim following an injury.
Under the Arkansas workers' compensation law, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of injury or from the date that the worker should have known that an injury or impairment developed as a result of job conditions.
Start a free online application today to compare workers’ compensation insurance quotes for your small business from leading U.S. carriers. Insureon’s licensed agents specialize in insurance for a variety of Arkansas businesses.