When you run your own company, there are many types of business insurance coverage you may need. This can include anything from basic business liability coverage to property insurance, car insurance for your company vehicles, and more. One type of coverage you won't want to overlook when it comes to protecting your growing business, however, is workers' compensation insurance.
What is Workers' Compensation Coverage?
Specifically, a workers' compensation insurance policy covers medical bills, lost wages, and similar expenses related to an employee's on-the-job injury or ailment. For example, if one of your retail employees slips on a wet floor and breaks his or her wrist, workers' compensation can provide the monetary benefits needed to cover that worker's hospital bills, ongoing medical expenses, and the like. This saves you from having to dip into your company's own finances and may protect you from a potential lawsuit from the injured employee.
When You Need Workers' Compensation Insurance
Each state has its own laws regarding when workers' compensation coverage is required versus when it may not be. In general, if your business has any employees, it's in your best interest to carry workers' compensation coverage whether your state requires it or not. Otherwise, all it takes is one on-the-job incident and subsequent lawsuit to cost your business thousands of dollars (or much more).
Carrying workers' compensation insurance is also a great way to show your workers that you care enough about their well being to protect them while they're on-the-job.
When You Might Not Need Coverage
If your state doesn't require workers' compensation coverage or if you don't have any employees (for example, you work exclusively for yourself), then you may be able to get away with not carrying this coverage. Texas is an example of one of just a few states where this type of insurance is typically not required of business owners. Still, if you decide to opt out of coverage, just be aware that you could end up being sued for medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses if an employee is injured at work.
Overall, workers' compensation coverage can give you and your hard-working employees more peace of mind--especially if your business operates in an industry where there are a lot of on-the-job health and safety risks. And when you take the time to shop around for the right policy, you may also find that this type of coverage is well within your budget.