Friday, January 16, 2015

Worker's Compensation Insurance Basics

Whether you own a one-man operation or a company with hundreds of employees, most states require you to have Worker's Compensation insurance. This insurance protects employees by providing benefits for job-related injuries or illnesses. It also protects you and your company by eliminating lawsuits from employees related to these injuries or illnesses. Since every state has different insurance requirements, it's important that you talk to your Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent about your individual insurance needs.

Worker's Compensation

Consider the following situations:
  • One of your workers seriously injures their back while moving boxes. 
  • A group of employees is exposed to harsh chemicals and they must be taken to the hospital. 
  • An employee is badly burned on the job. 
Insure the Lake has the insurance experience to help you put together a worker's compensation insurance policy to protect both you and your employees in these types of situations. 

Missouri Laws 

Generally, employers in Missouri have to carry workers compensation insurance. However, there are exceptions. As a general rule, companies with five or more employees must have insurance coverage. Although, contractors with even just one employee must also buy coverage. However, the law exempts such employees as farm laborers, domestic servants, certain real estate agents and direct sellers and commercial motor-vehicle owner-operators from carrying workers compensation insurance. Regardless of whether your business is required by law to carry workers compensation coverage, you will likely be held responsible for a work related injury to an employee, so why not protect yourself and business from what could be a high costing out of pocket claim?

Premium Calculation

Your workers compensation premium is calculated using rates based on your business classification and operations. Those rates are multiplied by the employee payroll for those classes to come up with the premium. Missouri employers that are included in coverage are given a specific payroll to utilize for themselves. In 2015 the payroll charge for an employer is $38,400. This owner payroll figure changes each year and is used regardless of if the employer makes $10,000 or $1,000,000 in actual payroll, so when you work with your agent and the auditor it is best to keep the owner payroll and employee payrolls separate. You should also obtain certificates of insurance from all 1099 subcontractors. If you do not show that the subcontractor carries his own coverage by providing documentation in the form of a certificate, you will be charged for the exposure of the subcontractor that is working on your behalf.

If you have questions about worker's compensation insurance at the Lake of the Ozarks, give us a call at 573-348-2794. Your business is your financial future and Insure the Lake is here to help you succeed. Our office works with your business in order to provide you with the best insurance products to cover your unique situation!

Steve Naught, CIC

3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral

T: 573-348-2794
F: 573-348-0191