What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Workers’ compensation insurance helps your business cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages for employees who are injured or get ill in the course of carrying out their job. It covers any accidents, injuries, illness, or other occurrences related to working for your business.
This policy acts as a shield for both the employee and the employer as it recompenses the employees with income lost when they are unable to work while protecting the employer from employee-related lawsuits.
What Does It Cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance covers costs related to work-injuries ranging from medical expenses to wages missed during recovery. It can also cover partial wage replacement if the worker is no longer able to work to full capacity because of their injuries/ illnesses.
This policy will include coverage for:
- Medical bills related to injury or illness
- Travel expenses incurred while visiting doctors for a medical appointment
- Reimbursement of lost/damaged property
- Permanent partial or total disability
- Re-training expenses or job assistance post recovery from injury
However, it will cover only such accidents, injuries, and illnesses that occur while your employee is at work. Therefore, your business can not be held liable for injuries sustained by your employees while they are not at work. A typical example of this is an employee who gets injured while skateboarding with friends during the weekend. Such injuries will not be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance in WA
Workers’ compensation insurance is mandated by law in almost every state. It is required in Washington for any business with one or more employees (both full-time and part-time).
However, the following are a few circumstances under which a worker would be exempt from the WA state workers’ compensation requirement:
- If you are a musician/ entertainer performing at specific events
- If you are a child under 18 years of age and are employed by your parent for farm work
- If you are a cosmetologist or a barber and have rented out your space
- If you are involved in gardening, repair/ maintenance work at private homes
- If you are a sole proprietor or a business owner who is a member of an LLC/ partnership firm (However, you may opt for a workers’ comp insurance coverage to suit your unique business needs.)