Operating a business comes with many legal requirements, one of the most important being workers compensation insurance. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, not having this essential coverage opens you up to major risks. Before deciding to try and save money by going without workers compensation, make sure you fully understand the potential consequences.
What Workers Comp Covers
First, it’s important to understand what exactly workers compensation insurance covers. This type of policy pays for medical expenses and lost wages when an employee gets injured on the job. Common examples include slipping on a wet floor, getting burned by hot cooking equipment, or developing repetitive motion injuries from typing all day. Workers comp kicks in, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Unlike regular health insurance, workers comp is mandated by states and covers all job-related injuries and illnesses no matter how minor. It also provides death benefits for families if an employee is killed at work. On top of medical and income benefits, workers comp offers legal protections by making it so injured staff can’t sue their employer.
The Risks of Non-Compliance
Given how vital workers comp is, operating without it puts you in legal and financial jeopardy. The penalties for not carrying mandatory coverage vary by state but are universally severe. You may have to part with anything from $50 to $2,000 per day or even have your business shut down in some states.
Beyond fines and closures, one of the biggest dangers is lawsuits. An uninsured employer loses the liability protection that workers comp provides. So if an employee gets hurt, they can sue you directly for damages.
You also risk destroying employee morale and retention without workers comp. Staff will quickly grow frustrated if you cannot pay their medical bills or wage replacement after an on-the-job accident. This leads to lost productivity and turnover as injured employees resign and healthy ones grow resentful of the lack of benefits.
The Benefits of Securing Coverage
While paying for workers compensation insurance may seem annoying or unnecessary, doing so spares you massive legal and financial headaches down the road. The peace of mind alone is worth it to know you cannot be sued if an employee gets injured.
Beyond liability protection, workers comp enables you to attract and retain the best talent. Employees today expect health and disability benefits, so not providing workers comp coverage will make hiring more difficult.
Lastly, having workers comp shows you operate a legitimate business and care about your staff’s well-being. This helps build a positive brand reputation and public image. While it may mean paying a little more upfront, viewing workers comp as an investment in your business’s future can make the expense easier to swallow.
Don’t Leave It To Chance: Get Workers Compensation Insurance
Trying to cut costs by skimping on legally required workers compensation insurance puts your business, assets, and reputation at risk. While it may not seem like an urgent priority, getting caught without coverage can quickly spiral into hefty fines, lawsuits, and legal problems that become very costly to fix. Protect yourself by contacting an insurer right away and securing the workers comp policy you need. The small monthly premium will be well worth it for the financial protection and peace of mind.