Workers’ compensation insurance, also known as workmans’ comp, provides coverage for any employee who has suffered an illness or injury as a result of performing work-related duties. Most states, including California, require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, although the program specifics may vary.
Workers’ Compensation Coverage
Generally speaking, an employee with a job-related injury or illness can obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Whether the employer, employee, customer, coworker, or another third party was at fault, the employee is entitled to workers’ comp benefits. In exchange for these benefits, the employee forfeits the right to sue the employer for damages related to the injury or illness.
Coverage included under workers’ compensation insurance includes:
- Medical costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
Medical costs include the medically necessary costs of diagnosis, treatment, surgery, prescription medications, follow-up appointments and more. Rehabilitation costs include medically necessary therapeutic and medical care to recover from the injury. This includes physical therapy, and in some instances it may include pain therapy and counseling. Equipment needed to deal with an injury, such as a wheelchair, is also covered. Finally, if an employee is unable to return to work for a period of time due to an on-the-job injury or job-related illness, workers’ compensation kicks in to cover lost wages.
Most workers’ compensation programs also provide death benefits to the dependents of workers killed on the job, including spouses, children, siblings, and parents.
Workers’ Compensation Exclusions
Alternative treatments such as biofeedback, acupuncture and naturopathic medicine are typically not covered under most workers’ compensation plans. Similarly, experimental treatments, investigative treatments and experimental drugs may be excluded from coverage. Further, employees who suffer injuries or illnesses resulting from intoxication or willful misconduct are usually not eligible for benefits.
While employers have a responsibility to keep their workplaces and employees safe, sometimes accidents and injuries happen. Workers’ compensation is a valuable insurance policy that not only protects your employees but also benefits your business.
To protect you, the business owner, from employee lawsuits resulting from workplace injuries, illnesses and accidents, make sure you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. The insurance specialists at Dave Terpening Insurance Agency are experts in workers’ compensation and can help you find a plan to meet your needs.