What is the difference between Workers’ Compensation and Employers Liability Insurance when it comes to a commercial insurance policy?
First and foremost, Workers Comp is the one commercial insurance policy that is required by law in most states. Workers comp covers injuries that happen to your employees that occur as a part of the normal business operations. It pays for medical costs and some lost wages. Typically, 60 percent of the wages are paid depending on the particular plan. Employers liability is a part within a work comp plan that that deals with most types of liability that are not associated with lost wages or medical costs. Most commonly this is the cost of a lawsuit. If you have an employee who is hurt on the job and they sue on top of their workers’ comp coverage for damage caused by you or your business these costs can be covered by an employer’s liability portion of a workers’ compensation insurance policy.
What is one type of insurance that many business owners turn down that they frequently regret when claims occur?
Business loss of income coverage is one that many fail to see the value of unfortunately until it is too late. The most basic example of the need for this coverage is when a fire occurs. The general liability or commercial property policy will cover the cost to rebuild your premise, but they will not pay for lost revenue and employee wages while your business is closed to rebuild. If a business cannot withstand several weeks or a few months without revenue this frequently is when they are forced to close altogether. Fortunately, this coverage is usually a part of a business owners package. When businesses by the package they usually are fully insured for these types of losses.
How does a well-documented safety program effect what I pay for a commercial insurance policy?
The main way safety programs can help is when you are asking for credits or discounts and when you are challenging your experience modifier after a claim. If you have had a claim and you have a well-documented safety program in place your agent can use this as evidence that the occurrence was an outlier and not a sign of more incidents to come.
How does my businesses claims history effect what I pay for Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Your claims history is part of the formula insurance carriers use to come up with your experience modification rating. This rating determines how much of a risk your business is to insure and it is the main factor carriers take in to account when they are deciding to insure your business or not, as well as how much to charge your business in premium. This and the businesses workers comp codes are the main controllable factors insurance carriers use to determine premium rates.
When should I consider going with Pay as You Go Workers’ Compensation?
Seasonal or cash flow strapped companies benefit best from a Pay as You Go Program. This program allows you to pay a small portion of the premium up front and then the rest is due in monthly installments based on your monthly payroll. It helps to free up cash on the front end of the policy period and it prevents excessive audits on the back end of the policy period.
Where can I go to get help when a claim occurs on my businesses commercial insurance policy?
Actually your carrier is the best person to contact with a claim, but it is always a good idea to keep your agent in the loop as well. Your carrier is set up to handle and process the claim. Ask them for help with a return to work program if you do not already have one in place. Studies show the sooner the worker gets back to work in any capacity the more likely they are to return to work and the claim does not get out of control. Keeping your agent in the loop is great as well because they can go to bat for you in the event the carrier is not satisfying you or your employees needs during the claims process.