Purchasing workers’ compensation insurance is a crucial step for employers to protect their employees and comply with legal requirements. Here’s a step-by-step guide on purchasing workers’ compensation insurance:
If you employ workers in Pennsylvania, you must have workers’ compensation insurance — it’s the law.
If you are a new or start up business, or are expanding your current business operation to include employees, it is important to know that by state law you will be required to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
Generally, workers’ compensation insurance coverage is mandatory for all employers who have one or more employees, whether they’re part-time or full-time, including family members.
Coverage ensures medical and wage-loss benefits to employees who are injured during the course of their job. Employers who so provide coverage are protected against lawsuits filed by injured workers.
There are four ways a business can obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage in Pennsylvania:
Purchase a policy through an insurance agent or broker.
Purchase coverage directly from one of the 300+ private sector insurance carriers who write workers’ compensation policies. The Consumer Guide to Workers’ Compensation Insurance is found on the PA Dept. of Insurance web site.
Apply for self-insurance status. Large, financially-healthy employers that have been operating for three or more years may be interested in securing Bureau of Workers’ Compensation approval to individually self-insure their potential liability. Employers may also be eligible for joining a certified group self-insurance fund, if one operates covering their type of business. For information on individual or group self-insurance, contact the Bureau’s Self-Insurance Division.
Obtain insurance from the State Workers’ Insurance Fund (SWIF). Most new businesses have difficulty obtaining workers’ compensation insurance because of their lack of experience. As a state agency, SWIF is required to provide coverage to all businesses, especially those having difficulty obtaining coverage from private sector insurers. General information about SWIF is available on this website.
Understand Legal Requirements:
Familiarize yourself with the workers’ compensation laws in your state or jurisdiction. Different regions have varying requirements, and it’s essential to comply with the specific regulations applicable to your business.
Verify whether your business is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance based on factors such as the number of employees and the nature of your business operations.
Evaluate Your Business Needs:
Assess the size of your workforce, the nature of the work, and any potential risks associated with your industry. This information will help you determine the coverage limits and types of benefits you need.
Research Insurance Providers:
Identify insurance providers that offer workers’ compensation coverage. You can contact commercial insurance companies, state-operated insurance funds, or work with an insurance broker who specializes in workers’ compensation.
Request quotes from multiple insurance providers to compare coverage options and costs. Provide accurate information about your business, including the number of employees, payroll, and details about your operations.
Consider Additional Services:
Some insurance providers may offer additional services, such as safety training programs or risk management assistance. Consider whether these services align with your business needs and could contribute to a safer workplace.
Check Insurance Provider Credentials:
Verify that the insurance providers you are considering are licensed to operate in your state. Check their financial stability and customer reviews to assess their reputation and reliability.
It’s important to note that workers’ compensation insurance is regulated at the state level, and the specific requirements and procedures can vary. Consulting with local insurance regulators or professionals can help ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.