Common Myths About Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Common Myths About Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Operating a business comes with many types of risk. Your business can be sued, suffer property damage, and more. Employee injuries are another concern for companies and their workers. Fortunately, workers’ compensation insurance can pay for medical costs, lost wages, etc., due to an injury or illness at work.

Having workers’ compensation insurance and other critical policies means you don’t have to worry about these and other incidents potentially damaging your company’s finances and even threatening its ongoing viability.

Correcting Misconceptions About Workers’ Comp

Most companies with employees are required by the states where they operate to have workers’ compensation insurance. Often referred to as workers’ comp, this coverage provides vital protection for employees from the potentially high cost of workplace injuries and illnesses. If an employee dies at work, workers’ comp can pay a so-called death benefit to surviving family members.

Despite workers’ comp coverage being available at nearly every company, many people don’t know how it works, or worse, they have a mistaken understanding of it. All too often, a myth develops and gets shared as if it’s a fact, causing workers (and employers, in some cases) to be confused about this critically important coverage.

Below, we debunk seven of the most common workers’ comp myths.

Myth 1: Workers’ comp only pays costs from serious injuries.

Fact: Workers’ Comp covers a range of injuries, from minor cuts, sprains, and repetitive use issues to broken bones, occupational diseases, and other conditions. It helps employees recover from incidents quickly and get back to work

Myth 2: Workers’ comp insurance is expensive.

Fact: The cost of workers’ comp is based on employee payroll and other factors that yield a rate that’s very affordable for employers. In addition, it’s worth the price when you consider the enormous out-of-pocket expenses a company can incur if it doesn’t carry workers’ comp and an employee sues. There are also potential fines, penalties, and other legal consequences if a company is required to carry workers’ comp and doesn’t have it.

Myth 3: Employees shouldn’t file workers’ comp claims for minor injuries.

Fact: Employees should report all injuries, even those they consider minor. Filing a report protects the worker’s rights, which can be important if the injury worsens. For example, let’s say a worker suffers a small cut on their face. It’s small, and the bleeding stops quickly, so they don’t report it. Later, the wound gets infected, requiring surgery to facilitate healing and prevent scarring. Failing to report the cut initially might affect how or if the patient’s medical bills are covered.

Myth 4: Employers who have workers’ comp insurance become the target of insurance fraud.

Fact: Insurance fraud does occur with all types of policies. However, workers’ comp fraud isn’t common thanks to processes for investigating and verifying claims. Companies can also reduce their fraud risk by establishing and training employees on injury reporting procedures. 

Myth 5: Workers’ Comp doesn’t cover incidents if the employee is at fault.

Fact: Workers’ comp is a “no-fault” system, meaning workers can get benefits if incidents occur at work and aren’t due to willful misconduct or intoxication.

Myth 6: Companies sometimes fire employees for filing workers’ comp claims.

Fact: Federal and most state laws provide robust protection for employees. Laws prohibit retaliation of any kind against people who file workers’ comp insurance claims. There are multiple ways to file complaints against employers about workers’ comp claims and retribution. Check with authorities in your state for details.

Myth 7: Workers’ comp only pays medical bills and covers a portion of lost wages.

Fact: An employer’s workers’ comp policy can cover other expenses, like disability (partial, total, temporary, or permanent) and vocational rehabilitation (training for a different job if the employee can’t return to their previous one). As mentioned above, workers’ comp can also provide a death benefit to family members.

Real-Life Workers’ Comp Scenarios

If you emphasize safety at your company and everyone follows your protocols, you might think it’s unlikely someone will get hurt and, consequently, question the need for workers’ comp insurance. However, your state probably requires you to have a policy.

The potential penalties and legal consequences are enough to convince most owners to have workers’ comp. Plus, it only takes a quick review of the most common workplace injuries to see that having a policy is wise. The list includes:

  • Overexertion injuries. These injuries occur when workers lift, pull, push, hold, carry, or throw heavy objects. Overexertion injuries can affect muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves, resulting in strains, sprains, and tears.
  • Slip-and-fall injuries. Slippery floors, uneven surfaces, and cluttered walkways can all contribute to slip and fall injuries, which can range from minor bruises and scrapes to serious fractures and head injuries.
  • Falls from heights. Workers in construction, roofing, and other industries that involve working at heights are at risk of falls. These falls can cause severe injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.
  • Repetitive motion injuries. Repetitive motions, such as typing, assembly line work, and using vibrating tools, can lead to repetitive motion injuries. These injuries often affect the hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders, and they can cause pain, inflammation, and numbness.
  • Struck-by-object injuries. Workers can be hit by falling objects, moving vehicles, or swinging equipment. These injuries can result in bruises, cuts, fractures, and internal injuries.
  • Machine entanglement injuries. Workers who operate or work near machinery can be caught in or between moving parts. These injuries can cause amputations, crush injuries, and severe lacerations.
  • Vehicle accidents. Workers who drive as part of their jobs are at risk of vehicle accidents. These accidents can cause a variety of injuries, including whiplash, broken bones, and head injuries.

Safety protocols and risk awareness/avoidance processes can reduce the injury risk for your employees. However, given the many ways to get hurt at work, it’s likely someone will suffer an injury at some point. Fortunately, workers’ comp can keep an incident from creating financial pain for an employee by covering medical costs and lost wages.

Workers’ Comp: Essential Coverage for Protecting Your Employees and Your Company

Operating a business can be a thrilling and rewarding experience. However, employee injuries can take the fun out of work for the injured person and the business owner if the company doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance.

The good news is that leading business insurance companies make pricing and purchasing workers’ comp insurance. Typically, you can get a quote and buy a policy online in minutes whenever convenient. Then you can sleep better at night knowing your people and company are protected.

Joshua White is a passionate and experienced website article writer with a keen eye for detail and a knack for crafting engaging content. With a background in journalism and digital marketing, Joshua brings a unique perspective to his writing, ensuring that each piece resonates with readers. His dedication to delivering high-quality, informative, and captivating articles has earned him a reputation for excellence in the industry. When he’s not writing, Joshua enjoys exploring new topics and staying up-to-date with the latest trends in content creation.

Author

Related Articles

Responses

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *