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Work-related injuries and illnesses occur on a daily basis, and many of these injuries and illnesses come with significant costs. Employees who suffer from an on-the-job injury or incident may need help paying for medical care and recovering their lost wages -- and they often expect their employer to provide the financial assistance they need. Workers compensation insurance helps Massachusetts businesses pay covered expenses related to employees’ qualifying injuries and illnesses.
In covering qualifying work-related injuries, workers compensation insurance doesn’t just help businesses. While businesses are shielded from some potential lawsuits, employees are reassured that they’ll be appropriately compensated for any qualifying injuries or illnesses they suffer.
Workers comp policies normally are designed to cover employees. Who is an “employee” isn’t always straightforward, though.
In the simplest sense, employees are typically workers who receive a W-2 at year’s end. Most people who get this tax document are covered by workers comp while working, regardless of whether they’re permanent, temporary, full-time or part-time.
In select situations, workers who are given a 1099 might be treated as employees and covered by workers comp. Whether these workers are covered is highly situational, so any businesses that are unsure of how their 1099-contractors are treated by a policy should talk with a workers comp specialist.
Finally, business owners fall into a unique category. Business owners themselves usually aren’t covered simply because they have ownership in a business. Any owners who are involved in the daily operations of a business, however, might be covered. Sometimes, business owners who work for their business regularly can choose whether they want to be covered or excluded by a policy. Again, a workers compensation specialist can help business owners understand their particular situation and decide how they’d like to be viewed by a policy.
Generally speaking, Massachusetts businesses that have employees are required by state law to cover their employees with a workers compensation policy. Thus, businesses that issue W-2s at the end of the year normally need a policy. Those that hire contractors or rely on business owners’ regular assistance should consult a specialized insurance agent to see whether a policy is necessary.
The premiums that insurance companies charge for workers compensation policies vary significantly. Premiums are extremely low for some occupations but fairly substantial for others. Additionally, insurers consider more than just occupation when setting a policy’s premiums. Some of the other items they might take into account include:
Even in cases where coverage isn’t cheap, carrying a policy is still frequently more affordable than facing the legal consequences of not having coverage or going through a major lawsuit.
As is true with any insurance policy, the exact work-related injuries and illnesses that a workers compensation policy covers will be determined within the policy’s paperwork. Some types of incidents that a policy might cover are:
In Massachusetts, workers compensation insurance is normally purchased as a stand-alone policy that’s available on the private marketplace. For help finding a policy for your business, contact the workers compensation specialists at Haberman Insurance Group. Our independent insurance agents have helped many businesses with this coverage, and they know how to make sure your business is properly covered by a policy.