Workers CompENSATON Insurance in Massachusetts

What is Workers Compensation Insurance?

Every year, there are thousands of work-related injuries and illnesses, many of which are serious. When employees become ill or injured on the job, the employer can frequently be held responsible for lost wages, medical expenses and other claim-related expenses. Workers compensation insurance policies help Massachusetts employers protect themselves from many of the costs that accompany covered work-related injuries and illnesses.

Workers compensation insurance is a highly specialized form of insurance. As such, it’s usually purchased as a stand-alone policy that’s separate from any other policies.

WHAT KINDS OF INJURIES AND ILLNESSES ARE COVERED BY WORKERS COMPENSATION?

Workers compensation policies cover a range of injuries and illnesses, so long as they are work-related. Some examples of ailments that a policy might cover include:

  • Repetitive motion injuries

  • Burns, scrapes and cuts

  • Fractures and sprains

  • Short-term and long-term illnesses

  • Deaths

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What Businesses in Massachusetts Need Workers Comp Coverage?

As a general rule, businesses that have employees are required by Massachusetts law to carry workers comp coverage. While there may be a few exceptions, any business that gives employees W-2s at year’s end typically need a workers compensation policy.

As a general rule, however, this guideline doesn’t capture all of the situations where businesses and organizations need workers comp coverage. Other times when a workers compensation policy may be in order include:

  • When a business owner is actively engaged in operations

  • When a nonprofit organization is responsible for volunteers

  • Select times when a business hires an independent contractor

These are specialized situations, and they don’t always call for workers comp coverage. For example, businesses that use independent contractors usually don’t need workers comp coverage the independent contractors. There are a few rare and particular situations that call for coverage, though.

Businesses and organizations that are in any of these more specialized situations should contact an insurance agent who specializes in workers compensation policies. A specialized agent will have an in-depth knowledge of when coverage is required and what coverage is available. They’ll be able to help businesses decide whether coverage is appropriate and find a policy if one is required.

WHAT FACTORS AFFECT WORKERS COMPENSATION POLICIES’ PREMIUMS?

As is true with most insurance policies, workers compensation policies’ premiums are based on many factors. Some of the items insurers may consider when calculating a particular policy’s cost include the:

  • Number of employees a business has

  • How much a business pays its employees

  • Industry a business operates in

  • Recent claims history of a business

What is a Workers Compensation Audit?

Insurers frequently conduct audits when a workers compensation policy expires. The purpose of this audit is to ensure that a policy’s premium was correct, and the process straightforward.

In most cases, this type of audit simply involves sending the insurer a copy of the business’ books. The insurance company usually then reviews the books to make sure the salaries actually paid to employees match what a business expected to pay employees when it purchased the policy. Other items may also be checked.

The insurance company looks at salaries because potential payments and premiums are largely based on employees’ salaries. If what was actually paid is more than what was first stated, a bill is normally sent for the remaining balance. The what was paid is less than what was stated, a refund is typically issued.

How Can Massachusetts Businesses Get Workers Compensation Insurance?

Because workers compensation insurance is such a unique form of insurance, Massachusetts businesses should work with a specialized independent insurance agent when selecting a policy. An agent who knows the details of this insurance will be able to thoroughly compare different policies, and an independent agent can compare policies from multiple insurers. With a qualified agent’s help, businesses can quickly and easily find an excellent policy.

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