Reduce Your Workers Comp Costs With an EWP

Reduce Your Workers Comp Costs With an EWP

An EWP, or Employee Wellness Program, is a series of well-defined activities and policies designed to encourage health and wellness in your employees. The goal of the program isn’t to force your employees into an unwanted exercise or diet program, but to provide them with information about health they may not be aware of, allowing them to make better-informed choices regarding their own lifestyles, health, and safety. For an EWP to be effective, it should include the following three things: An overall health risk assessment questionnaire given to individual employees Biometric testing (blood pressure, glucose, BMI, etc.) should be provided to identify any existing or early warning signs of potentially dangerous diseases Behavior modification programs offered once testing is complete to assist those who are at higher risk The difference between healthy and unhealthy employees is significant. For example, employees who are at high risk of depression often cost a company 70% more than those who are not, while those at risk for high stress can cost a company 46% more than other employees. The greater expense doesn’t necessarily come from treating depression or stress but from production losses associated with these problems. Employees in these situations tend to lose focus often, have lower response times, and may exhibit risky behavior. When it comes to physical injuries, obese employees have an average recovery time 13 times longer than non-obese employees, and 11 times the indemnity cost. An effective EWP that helps employees live healthier, happier lives can seriously reduce your workmans compensation insurance costs due to the simple fact that they’re less likely to get injured or suffer from...
Workers Compensation Insurance – What Does it Cover?

Workers Compensation Insurance – What Does it Cover?

In the State of California, any business with at least one employee who is not the sole proprietor must provide workers compensation insurance. The coverage is designed to provide financial protection for employees who are injured while performing their duties in the workplace, and protect business owners from getting sued by their employees. Most of the protection provided by workers compensation insurance falls into one of four categories: medical treatment, disability, rehabilitation, and death and funeral services. Medical Treatment Medical treatment coverage provided by workers compensation insurance can be used to pay for doctor visits, hospital stays, emergency room visits, medications, therapy, and rehabilitation treatments. Coverage amounts will vary pretty widely depending on which plan a business owner chooses to buy, but most of them include coverage for additional equipment like crutches and wheelchairs. Disability Workers compensation can help cover a worker’s wages while they’re unable to attend due to their covered injury. The amount of coverage given will depend on the severity of the injury sustained. Insurance companies will classify covered injuries into one of four categories: temporary partial, temporary total, permanent partial and permanent total. Rehabilitation With some injuries, simply getting medical attention isn’t going to be enough. If someone sustains significant damage to one or more limbs, or are off their feet for an extended period of time, they may need to attend rehab to restore their ability to move freely. Workers compensation insurance provides coverage for physical and/or cognitive therapy as well as vocational rehabilitation to help an employee learn new skills if they will be unable to perform their old job after their injury....
Penalties for Not Buying Workers Compensation Insurance

Penalties for Not Buying Workers Compensation Insurance

Workers compensation insurance is required by the State of California for all businesses that have at least one employee. Those who own a sole proprietorship and therefore only employ themselves are exempt from the requirement, but if they hire anyone else to do anything, they’ll need to buy workers compensation insurance or face some stiff penalties. If the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement becomes aware that a business owner who meets the requirement is operating without workers compensation insurance, the first thing that will happen is that a stop order will be issued to the business. The stop order requires that the business owner cease using employee labor until workers compensation coverage is obtained. Ignoring or refusing to comply with the stop order is a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or fines of up to $10,000. When an employee is injured and files a workers compensation claim before the business owner buys workers compensation insurance, the business owner faces a fine of $10,000 per employee that was on the payroll at the time the injury took place. The $10,000 fine is only if the claim is determined to be compensable, if it isn’t, the fine is reduced to $2,000 per employee on the payroll at the time the injury took place. Last but not least, failing to obtain workers compensation insurance prior to hiring employees is in itself a misdemeanor offense. It’s punishable by up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. As you can see, not having workers compensation insurance is always going to cost more...
Workers Compensation Insurance Tips for the Small Business Owner

Workers Compensation Insurance Tips for the Small Business Owner

Making the leap from a self-run small business to one that employs other people might seem relatively simple from the outside, but hiring a member of the public to work for you is a big deal. Before you even think of placing an ad regarding your open position(s), you’re going to need to get workers compensation insurance, a.k.a. workers comp. It’s mandatory in California, and the penalty for hiring people without it is steep. For those who aren’t familiar with workers compensation insurance, here are a few tips to help you keep yourself covered in the event of a claim. Train any and all employees properly for the job they will be doing, and get them to sign off on it. One of the easiest ways to avoid injury in the workplace is to know what you’re doing. Make sure your employees do, too. Ensure your employees have adequate equipment to perform their duties. Providing work gloves to landscapers or hard hats for construction may seem like a no-brainer, but a job that requires physical labor isn’t the only kind where workplace injuries can occur. If your employees’ job is to sit at a desk and type, they’re at risk for cumulative trauma – that is, an injury that occurs as a result of repeated use of one or more parts of the body. The most prominent of cumulative trauma injuries is carpal tunnel syndrome, an injury that results from pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. Workers comp insurance claims regarding this are growing fast. If an employee does get injured on the job, keep a channel...
What Does Workers Compensation Insurance Cover?

What Does Workers Compensation Insurance Cover?

All businesses with one or more employees are required by the State of California to provide workers compensation insurance. The insurance is designed to cover injuries that result from an employer’s or employee’s carelessness. Because of this, the range of situations in which workers compensation insurance can come into play is pretty broad; however there are some exceptions. Workers compensation insurance covers: Medical care for the work-related injury or illness an employee suffers Replacement income for the time the employee is out of work Costs related to retraining Additional compensation for any permanent injuries Benefits to survivors of any employees killed on the job When an employee is injured on the job and they accept workers compensation, the trade-off for the employer is that the employee cannot then sue the employer. Workers comp. covers a number of things, but it does not provide financial assistance due to pain and suffering. A lawsuit has the potential to do so. When workers compensation insurance covers an employee’s wages, it will typically provide 2/3 of their income but has a cap that it will not go over. It’s also tax-free. Permanent Injury Coverage Workers comp. will provide coverage for someone who was permanently injured on the job. For example, if an individual is obligated to perform repetitious movements or actions that result in carpal tunnel syndrome or some other similar injury, workers compensation insurance will provide payment. What Workers Compensation Insurance Doesn’t Cover While a wide variety of workplace injuries are covered by workers compensation insurance, some things will not be. They include: Injuries resulting from intoxication or drug use Self-inflicted injuries...
Occupational Diseases and Workers Compensation Insurance

Occupational Diseases and Workers Compensation Insurance

If you had to give an example of a work-related injury, the first things that come to mind would likely be broken bones, bruises, and abrasions – and you’d be right! The overwhelming majority of on-the-job injuries covered by workers compensation insurance deal with these kinds of injuries. However, they’re not the only kind of injuries that a workers compensation policy is meant to cover. Occupational diseases are far rarer than physical injuries, but they do occur, and when that happens, you’ll want a workers compensation insurance policy that covers your employees and keeps your business safe. It’s important to understand that an occupational disease isn’t a virus like a cold or the flu that an employee just so happens to come into contact with while at work. Instead, they’re maladies that an employee obtains while being exposed to conditions at work. The disease affecting coal miners decades ago is a good example of what an occupational disease is. The workers mined in poorly lit, poorly ventilated conditions and, as a result, developed Coalworkers’ Pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. They contracted the condition from prolonged exposure to coal dust in the mines where they worked, not from each other. Most small businesses won’t have to worry about occupational diseases. However, if your company deals with any noxious or potentially dangerous chemicals, you may want to make sure your policy adequately covers occupational diseases. For more information regarding occupational diseases and workers compensation insurance, give Carol a call at 661-803-3803 or stop by InsuranceSCV.com for a FREE...