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Workers Compensation Insurance by Builders Choice Insurance Services

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Workers Compensation Insurance provided by Builders Choice Insurance Services

Workers compensation provides payments to injured workers, without regard to who was at fault in the accident, for time lost from work and for medical and rehabilitation services. It also provides death benefits to surviving spouses and dependents. Workers’ Comp (formerly “workman’s comp”) emerged from a “grand bargain” between business owners and workers. Business owners were tired of being sued by injured workers. Workers were tired of being injured. So Workers’ Comp Insurance was designed to help pay for work injuries and illnesses without the hassle of a lawsuit.

Who Needs Workers Compensation?

All employers are required to buy Workers' Compensation Insurance as soon as they hire their first employee in almost every state. In 2016, Workers’ Compensation covered an estimated 138.3 million U.S. jobs, with a covered payroll of $7.4 trillion.

What Does Workers Compensation Cover?

Workers Comp Can Pay For:

  • Medical Bills
  • Ongoing Care (including medication and rehabilitation)
  • Missed wages (often partial) during recovery
  • Legal Fees should an employee file a lawsuit against your company
  • Funeral expenses for fatal incidents
  • Death benefits to support the deceased's family

Workers Comp Can't Pay For:

  • Injuries caused by intoxication or drugs
  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Injuries from a fight the employee starts
  • Injuries caused by horseplay or company policy violations
  • Off-the-job injuries
  • Injuries claimed after an employee is fired or laid off
  • Independent Contractor injuries
  • OSHA Fines

How Much Does it Cost?

Risk exposures in the construction industry are typically higher than most industries.  The cost of Workers' Compensation varies from state to state but depends on:

  • Your state.
  • Your industry.
  • How many employees you have.
  • The type of work your employees do.
  • Your payroll.
  • Your claims history

What If I’m The Sole Proprietor?

If you are the sole proprietor of your business, you may be exempt from state law mandating Workers' Compensation coverage. However, you may want to cover yourself anyway as added protection and income security in case you are ill, injured, or otherwise unable to work. Speak to a Builders’ Choice agent to help you understand what your state requires and what makes sense for your business.

What is Employer's Liability?

Employer's Liability is Part B of your policy that protects you against lawsuits linked to Worker's Compensation claims. Workers' Comp benefits will automatically pay for an injured employee's medical bills and lost wages during recovery, but if an employee sues you for an occupational disease stemming from an unsafe environment that caused the injury or an action over claim, Part B, Employer's Liability coverage will kick in.

An action over claim typically involves product liability-type claims. EX: An injured employee sues the manufacturer of the apparatus that caused the injury, then the manufacturer sue the employer for poor maintenance. In the construction industry, an action over claim comes via an employee suing a property owner for an unsafe condition, who then sues the employer/contractor for negligence.

Part A, has no limit stated on the policy. This is because the actual amount of payment is stipulated in the applicable state law.

Part B, does have a limit and is represented in 3 ways: The most the policy will pay for claims arising from an accident, the maximum the policy will pay for any one disease, and a limit per person per disease. Employer's Liability limits can range from $100,000 per accident, $500,000 per disease, and $100,000 per person per disease, all the way up to $1,000,000, $1,000,000, $1,000,000.

For Contractors, Builders & Other Construction Professionals

The dangers of operating machinery, the exposure to potentially hazardous materials, and the toll of repetitive motion injuries are all risks contractors and contracting professionals face on a daily basis. And while safety training and personal protective equipment are necessary risk management tools, construction businesses know accidents happen all the time.
With an adequate policy, you know your construction and contracting business will have the necessary funds to cover court costs and settlements should unexpected accidents and lawsuits occur. If one of your subcontractors is hurt due to malfunctioning equipment or falls ill due to exposure to asbestos-containing materials (ACM), your business could be held responsible. Your Workers' Comp policy helps protect your construction and contracting business assets in the event of a costly lawsuit.
Because on-the-job accidents can quickly lead to lawsuits, most Workers' Compensation policies also include Employers' Liability Insurance. If your injured or ill employee sues your company, this policy will help pay for the legal costs of defending against the claim.

Construction Business Risk Management Tips

Implement these basic risk reduction strategies to keep your construction and contracting business operating safely for you and your employees. Visit our Safety Basics page for more information.

  • Make sure employees are trained in safety protocol. This may include asbestos awareness, machine operation, safe lifting and back safety, hazard communication, vision and hearing protection, waste management, respiratory protection, and first aid training.
  • Ensure construction and contracting employees wear appropriate PPE. Personal protective equipment may include non-metallic toe safety shoes or boots, long pants, impact-resistant safety glasses, earplugs or ear muffs to minimize noise exposure, and a NIOSH-approved dust mask when performing particulate-generating work tasks.
  • Assess the worksite before your begin a project. Contractors are regularly exposed to hazardous substances such as wood dust, asbestos, and medium density fire board (MDF). While short-term exposure to such substances may result into respiratory complications, long-term exposure could lead to chronic respiratory illnesses including asbestosis. Keep your employees safe by assessing the work area and identifying the materials that contain asbestos before starting the job.
  • Provide workers with a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) so that your employees know what hazardous materials they are expected to deal with and how to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves.

For labor-intensive fields where the potential costs of work-related injuries are high, Workers' Comp coverage is always a wise investment.  Still have questions?  Aren't sure what your state requires?  Ask a Builders' Choice agent today! 

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