Your Worker’s Comp Policy Doesn’t Cover This…


Your Worker’s Comp Policy Doesn’t Cover This…

Here at Baker Harris, we have written a lot about the coverage an employee gets if they are injured on the job – thanks to workers compensation policies. However, a lot of employers themselves come to us confused about what their policy does and does not cover.

The main thing to understand is the policy is meant to help the injured employee – not you. It should cover their visit to a local hospital, any follow-ups with a Blackfoot-area doctor, any medication, rehab and so on. The policy is essentially a safety net for employers so they aren’t stuck paying huge medical bills out of pocket. After all, most accidents at work are just that – accidents. Having a good policy in place should ease the pain of an injury from the company’s perspective, and help the company focus on helping the employee recover and return to work as soon as possible.

So here are several basic things you should not expect from your workers compensation policy:

 Money to improve safety within the company.

Sure, this injury may have shown you some areas needing improvement – but it is up to you to make it happen. It’s obviously best to take a good look at your safety measures now, before something happens or someone gets hurt.

 Help covering OSHA penalties.

Again, workers compensation is meant for the employee, not the company. So no, your policy is not going to help you pay for any fines OSHA might send you way after an injury at your facility.

Salary/pay for a temporary employee.

 Again, nope. Your most valuable employee could be out of commission for a while after an injury, and you’re going to need to be ready to bring in someone else to fill their shoes in the meantime. That includes having money to pay them.

One caveat here is that the workers comp policy will cover some of the wages of the employee who was hurt, so you won’t be stuck paying double while that employee is laid up.

 Injuries to people who don’t work for you.

 Workers compensation policies are meant for the people who work for you, and no one else. That includes your customers, people passing by, the UPS driver delivering a shipment to you … and so on. This is where liability insurance comes into play. There are a number of insurance policies business owners should have in place, and liability insurance is certainly among them. That policy will help cover the medical bills of someone injured on your property – and the legal bills should they choose to sue you.

What IS Covered

 So now that you understand what your workers compensation policy will not cover, rest assured it does cover a great many other things including:

  • Medical Treatment: surgeries, hospital stays, doctor visits, medications, medical equipment like crutches, rehab and so on.
  • Wages: there are several levels to this, but essentially the amount an employee can receive is based on what they earned before the injury and is generally two-thirds of their income. These may fall more into the disability benefits category.
  • Death Benefits: funeral and burial expenses, and financial support for the surviving family members.

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