So one of your employees is taking out the garbage. He/she has done this countless times. Pulls the bags up the basement access, up the sidewalk access and onto the street, except that last friday on the way up, the basement access door suddenly slams on his/her right hand and just like that, you have an employee injury on your hands. Your employee suffers three broken fingers (middle, ring and pinky). Sounds like fiction? Think again. I do this everyday.
I spend many hours every week helping business owners protect the profits they work hard to earn. About a year ago we sat down to discuss his insurance needs, he told me he had no need for workers compensation. He believed his work environment- a local grocery store was low risk and nothing could go wrong, yet almost a year later, we were filling out an employee injury incident report. Thankfully I insisted that he purchase the Workers Compensation and Disability policies.
Many business owners consider insurance another item on the list of monthly bills, but this is a costly mistake. Besides a $2,000 fine for every 10 days without workers compensation by the NY State Workers Compensation board, your injured employee has no where to go to handle their medical bills and since they are out of the office for “hopefully” a short, they still need an income to keep up with life.
Most employers tend to think employees should be insured but its safe for the owner to fly unprotected. Here are three questions to consider before you make that decision:
In some states like NY, Workers Compensation provides unlimited medical benefits in addition to replacing a substantial part of the income to the injured party. So think about the benefits you are giving up when you choose to be excluded from your Company’s policy. You are just as likely to be injured as anyone in the company and when the owner is injured the impact to the bottom line is significant because the owner continues to draw down their salary, even though the company may suffer a partial loss of their expertise on a day to day basis.
In closing, remember that the uninjured employees are watching management’s handling of any injury incident. It is management’s responsibility to care for its employees. The workplace needs to be a safe environment. Pay attention, even when its just a broken chair or a carpet out of place. Any hazardous situation needs to be addressed immediately. Injury caused by an unsafe work environment can lead to punitive damages being awarded to the injured party. Lastly and most important, be sure to complete an incident report immediately following the incident and send it to your Insurance Professional or your Workers Compensation Insurance Carrier.
If you still have doubts about whether you should get a Workers Compensation policy or not? If your pay your workers a 1099 and not sure what the law requires, reach out to one of our experts at Alpha Direct Agency LLC or call 212-568-5700. We will guide you in understanding what is legal in any of the states where you conduct business.
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