Nebraska Considering Workers Compensation Opt-Out, Though Significant Value to Businesses

workers compensation safety

No matter how diligent and careful you are as an employer, if you have employees working for your business then there is always the risk of someone suffering from a work-related illness or injury. You can avoid these nasty unforeseen events costing you large sums of money by taking out a good Workers Compensation insurance policy.

Workers Compensation insurance helps to ensure that employees who are injured at work or fall ill due to the nature of their work receive wage compensation and have their medical bills covered, thus saving employers from potentially expensive lawsuits. The insurance is compulsory in most U.S. states, though requirements vary by number of employees and industry. A bill to give businesses the right to opt out is currently under consideration in Nebraska.

As Workers Compensation insurance laws are set at state level, there is variation between states in how they operate. This includes what is covered, who needs to be covered and who is considered as an employee (with some states classifying paid contractors and subcontractors as employees) as well as who provides the insurance. Most states allow businesses to purchase Workers Compensation from a private provider, but five states (North Dakota, Ohio, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming) plus two US territories (Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) currently require coverage from a state-run fund.

This means that you will need to look into the legislation in the state where you are based, and it can make the situation complex if a business operates in more than one state.

But whether Workers Compensation is mandatory or not, it is still very valuable for both employers and employees, and mitigates risks that can be costly for both parties if no insurance is in place. As a general rule, if your business has employees (including contractors and subcontractors) who are not owners of the business, you should look into the situation regarding Workers Compensation insurance.

A Workers Compensation insurance policy will pay out when a worker becomes ill or injured at work, regardless of whose fault it is. Policies also often include death benefits to dependent family members in the event of fatal accidents or illnesses, and are often extended to cover job-related psychological illness and stress.

A good Workers Compensation insurance policy will cover the following:

  • Medical expenses for work-related illnesses and injuries
  • Occupational illness
  • Psychological illnesses caused by work-related stress
  • Injuries and illness caused by workplace violence
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Death benefits for dependent family members
  • Costs of rehabilitation and retraining

You can find out more about Workers Compensation insurance and get a free quote here.