Tag Archives: Worker’s Compensation

Employment Practices Liability Insurance Versus Worker’s Compensation: What You Need to Know

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Employment Practices Liability Insurance Versus Worker’s Compensation: What You Need to Know on avanteinsurance.com

Is your business adequately protected?

As a small business owner, it’s likely you foster a close relationship with your employees. Nevertheless, even if you have a tight-knit group, the possibility of a worker suing you and your company one day isn’t completely impossible. American companies actually face a 12 percent chance of being sued by their employees at one point or another. And it’s not just large corporations that are at risk; approximately 41.5 percent of employee claims are filed against businesses with less than 100 workers. The incidence of these lawsuits has grown exponentially as more people realize their legal rights in the workplace.

The only way to protect your company is to make sure you have the proper coverage, and to understand that your general business liability policy may not be enough. Today, many small businesses are adding employment practices coverage even though they already have worker’s compensation in place.

What is employment practices liability insurance?

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) protects your company and all of its business assets. In the event that you are sued by an employee, it deals with the following types of claims:

Gender or age discrimination

Sexual harassment

Negligent compensation

Failure to promote

Denial of career opportunity

Intentional infliction of emotional distress

Wrongful discipline

Wrongful termination

Libel or slander

Invasion of privacy

Emotional distress or mental anguish

Breach of contract for employment

With an EPLI policy in place, you have defense against claims directed at your company. You will also have access to advanced coverage for judgments, settlements, court, and attorney fees related to the claim. EPLI differs from general business liability policies by providing a more specialized coverage. And though it’s not always understood, worker’s compensation policies do not protect against discrimination and other related claims. Here’s a look at what worker’s comp covers:

Worker’s comp deals with accident and injury

Worker’s compensation addresses any accidents, injuries, or illnesses that are work related or occur on your property. Whether the injury is caused by an employee’s carelessness or is purely a freak accident, this policy covers any related expenses. In most states, worker’s compensation is required to ensure a healthy and safe work environment. Benefits of worker’s comp include:

Coverage for any medical expenses resulting from the injury or illness (including doctor’s visits, medication, and surgery)

Replacement income in the event that the employee is unable to work while recovering

Rehabilitation

Compensation for permanent injury

Payout to family or survivors if a worker is killed on the job

Retraining or new job placement (in the event that the employee can no longer perform their original job responsibilities)

A key component to worker’s compensation is that your employee cannot file charges against you if they are collecting benefits from this policy.

Protect your company with complete coverage

Many small businesses choose to be proactive and invest in both EPLI and worker’s compensation coverage. Only having one or the other leaves you at risk of certain types of losses, so it’s a safer bet to cover all of the bases.

If you are interested in finding out more about an EPLI policy for your business, give us a call today at 305-648-7070 or fill out our online quote request form. As a leader in the insurance industry, we have extensive experience in providing top insurance solutions to small businesses.

Why Worker’s Compensation Isn’t Always Enough

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Why Worker’s Compensation Isn’t Always Enough on avanteinsurance.com

How you can prevent illness and injury from happening in the first place

As a business owner it’s your duty to protect your employees from injury and illness. And whether you have a team of 4 or 4,000, it is critical to make sure that your organization has and follows safety guidelines—especially when it comes to complying with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).

Many business owners believe that if they have business liability insurance and a worker’s compensation policy they are covered, but unless you have taken measures to make your workplace safe, you could not only be endangering your staff, but also risking OSHA fines for violations. Use this guide to get an idea of the steps you can take to make your organization safer:

1.  Assess your safety level

Before you do anything else, it is recommended that you analyze the safety of your workplace environment. Assess the conditions of your building, the equipment, any potential hazards or risks and examine each work station and area closely. If you have a warehouse or a machinery room, get key personnel in each department involved as well. To ensure that you are in compliance with OSHA regulations, request an onsite consultation—they offer this at no charge.

2. Create a health and safety program

The next step to making your business safer is developing your own program that outlines the safety standards and procedures that are specific to your company. If you do have an analysis done by OSHA, implement their recommendations and suggestions into your program.

Here are key elements to include:

 

  • • Workplace hazards3

 

  • • Using equipment and tools safely

 

  • • Reporting unsafe conditions

 

  • • Create safety teams

 

  • • Protective gear and equipment requirements

 

  • • Emergency procedures

 

3. Implement a safety assessment schedule

Maintaining a safe workplace is only achieved if it is done on a regular basis. To ensure that you are complying with OSHA and that your environment is safe, it is best to schedule a safety assessment either monthly, bi-monthly or for whatever time frame is most suitable for your company. Things to consider are:

 

  • • New equipment and any potential hazards

 

  • • Safety training of new employees as they come onboard

 

  • • Emergency drills (monthly, bi-monthly)

 

  • • Any changes in production/processes that need to be addressed

 

4. Get expert guidance

In addition to providing free onsite consultations, OSHA has myriad services that they offer to help businesses make their workplace safer. This includes training and workshops, recognition programs, mentoring and safety education resources online.

Having a worker’s compensation policy will ensure that you have the insurance necessary to cover your employees in the event that someone is injured on the job. In addition, it’s critical to make sure that your company is in compliance with OSHA safety standards and regulations—especially if you want to avoid fines. Keep in mind that it is not unusual for OSHA to conduct inspections without any advanced notice, so implementing healthy and safety procedures should be a continuous priority.

For more information on making your workplace safer or to find out about worker’s compensation or any other insurance products for your business, give us a call today.

Illnesses and Diseases Under Workers’ Compensation

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Determining if an Illness or Disease is Compensable Under Workers’ Compensation

With the recent ebola outbreak getting closer and closer to home, we thought it was the perfect time to discuss illnesses and diseases and how they are classified under workers’ compensation. In order for an illness or disease to be occupational and compensable under workers’ compensation, two conditions must be met.

  1. The illness or disease must be occupational. This means that it must have risen out of the scope and course of employment
  2. The illness or diseases must be caused by or arise from conditions that are peculiar to the work.

For the first condition- the simplest way to know if it is satisfied is to ask whether or not the employee was benefiting the employer at the time they were exposed to the disease or illness. While it varies state to state, this condition is the easier one to meet.

For the second condition, if the illness or disease is not peculiar to the work, then it is not compensable under workers’ compensation. For example, a case in which disease is peculiar to the work would be if a healthcare worker contracted an infectious disease due to contact with infected blood.

There is no single test that can be applied to every case, as they differ and must be judged separately, and the facts surrounding the sickness, as opposed to the disease or illness itself, are often investigated in order to separate opinion from fact. Physicians will often investigate things such as the whether or not the illness is common to the industry, medical history and personal habits of the individual, the timing of the symptoms in relation to work and whether or not co-workers show similar symptoms.

The process of determining whether or not a claim in compensable under workers’ compensation can take years, as it is often dragged out by the time it takes to compile facts, medical evidence and history, and compare the case with others. In short, unless you can prove that an illness is peculiar to a job, the illness is not compensable under workers’ compensation.

To learn more about workers’ compensation and to ensure that you’re protected, click here.

What You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation

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Workers’ Compensation covers all accidental injuries and occupational diseases arising out of and in the course and scope of employment, including diseases or infections resulting from such injuries. The law also covers death resulting from such injuries within specified periods of time. Even if you do not think an injury is covered, you must still file the First Report on Injury or Illness (DWC-1) with your insurance carrier for determination of responsibility within 7 days of your first knowledge of the accident or injury.

 

Workers’ Compensation does not provide coverage for the following:

  • a mental or nervous injury due to stress.
  • a work related condition that causes an employee to have fear or dislike for another individual because of the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap.
  • “Pain and suffering.” The employer may not sue an injured worker for causing a catastrophe, nor can the injured worker sue the employer for their injury. This trade-off makes it possible for injured workers to receive immediate medical care, at no cost to the injured worker, without any consideration for who was at fault, the employer or the employee. In civil law, negligence must be established through litigation before any compensation is awarded.
  • If the injury is caused by the employee’s willful intention to injure or kill himself or another.
  • If the injury is caused primarily because the employee is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
  • If the injury or death of the employee is covered by the Federal Employer’s Liability Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act or the Jones Act.

 

Who needs Workers’ Compensation coverage?*

  • If you are in an industry other than construction and have 4 or more employees (full-time or part-time), you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. An exempted corporate office does not count as an employee.
  • If you are in the construction industry and have 1 or more employees (including yourself), you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. An exempted corporate office or member of a limited liability company does not count as an employee.
  • If you are a state or local government, you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage.
  • If you are a farmer and have more than 5 regular employees and/or 12 or more other workers for seasonal agricultural labor lasting 30 days or more, you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage.

*Do you need Workers’ Comp? We can help!

 

There are several ways for an employer to obtain workers’ compensation insurance:

  • By purchasing a policy from an insurance agent that represents approved insurance companies.
  • From the Joint Underwriting Association (JUA) www.fwcjua.com.
  • By qualifying as an individual self-insured. Contact the Division of Workers’ Compensation at 850-413-1784.
  • An employer may contract with a professional employer organization (employee leasing) that has secured workers’ compensation coverage.

 

Click here for answers to all your Workers’ Compensation questions!

For more information, visit us at https://www.avanteinsurance.com or call us at 305-648-7070.