Workers’ compensation helps cover costs related to work injuries. Coverage includes everything from ambulance rides to medication and physical therapy.
When an accident happens at a workplace, workers’ compensation insurance covers the cost of immediate care, such as an ambulance ride or an emergency room visit. It also helps pay for surgical procedures, medications, hospital stays, and other medical bills. Ongoing care, such as continuing medication and physical rehabilitation, is also covered.
Example: A painter falls off a ladder while working on a ceiling and breaks a leg. Workers’ compensation insurance pays for the ambulance ride to the hospital, surgery, medications, and physical rehabilitation.
A serious injury can prevent an employee from returning to work for days, weeks, or even months. Workers’ compensation often pays for part of the wages lost while an employee is recovering from a workplace injury or occupational illness.
Example: An HVAC installer accidentally lowers an air conditioner onto his foot and breaks several bones. The installer has to stay off his feet for a month, which prevents him from working. The installation company’s workers’ comp policy pays part of the wages that would have been earned during the month of missed work.
When a work-related incident is fatal, workers’ compensation pays death benefits that cover funeral expenses and help support the deceased individual’s family.
Example: An electrician accidentally touches a live wire, goes into cardiac arrest, and dies. The electrical company’s workers’ comp policy covers the cost of the funeral and burial. It also provides financial support to the electrician’s spouse and children.
Workers’ compensation insurance typically includes employer’s liability insurance. This policy protects the employer from a lawsuit claiming a worker was injured by the employer’s negligence. If an employee sues, it can help pay for:
Example: A chef in a restaurant suffers third-degree burns while trying to put out a grease fire. The chef blames the restaurant for failing to provide a fire extinguisher and adequate safety training. The case goes to court; the restaurant’s workers’ comp policy pays for the cost of hiring a lawyer and the eventual settlement.
Healthcare providers and first responders could potentially make a workers' comp claim if they develop COVID-19 in the course of their work. Workers in other professions might not be covered.
State laws for workers' compensation vary dramatically, which means your state might help cover the costs when employees contract the coronavirus or are unable to work because of the pandemic. Check with your insurance company's claims department if you think you might be eligible.
In the following states, employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation from a monopolistic state fund:
Workers’ comp purchased from a mandatory state-run fund does not include employer’s liability insurance. An employer can purchase stop gap coverage from a private insurer to fill this gap in coverage. Compare quotes for free online from leading carriers with Insureon.