Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation, even if they only have one employee on the books. This type of insurance helps employees who have sustained a work-related injury or contracted an illness while on the job. This insurance recovers lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and more, protecting the employee and employer from financial damage. While you may have just secured this insurance because you know you need it, do you know what injuries it covers?

What injuries are covered by workers’ compensation insurance?

Workers’ compensation covers work-related injuries that are sustained while on the job. But, what does this actually mean? A work-related injury is one that happened while an employee was doing something on behalf of the employer or otherwise in the course of employment. Most injuries that can be classified as work-related are those that occur at the workplace. However, they may also occur in company-owned cars and trucks, as well as other locations where employees are doing something connected to their job. Keep in mind this also includes company parties and other social events that are sponsored or hosted by the employee.

For example:

  • An employee develops lung cancer as a result of second-hand smoke at a restaurant that permits smoking
  • An employee develops carpal tunnel syndrome caused by working at a computer
  • An employee sprains their wrist after falling from a telephone pole
  • An employee trips at a company-sponsored holiday party

These events would all be covered by a workers’ compensation policy. Injuries can sometimes include those resulting from “horseplay” and other instances where an employee was acting outside of the workplace safety rules.

What about during breaks?

If an employee sustains injuries during their lunch break, it may or may not be considered work-related. If it happens at the company cafeteria, on employer-owned property, or is otherwise connected to the course of employment, it is likely that insurance would regard this as a viable claim. What’s more, alcohol-related injuries, mental injuries (anxiety, depression) may be covered if they were sustained while working or caused by the course of employment. A pre-existing condition that has worsened by the employee’s work may also be covered.

When accidents happen

When an accident or injury does happen, it’s essential that you react to it in a timely manner. Gather information, take pictures of the accident scene if available, and contact your insurance agency right away. In the best-case scenario, your workers’ compensation claim will be processed in a prompt manner and you will receive adequate compensation for the injury. If necessary, your employee will need medical assistance and even rehabilitation services, depending on how severe the injury is. Keep in contact with the employee and make returning to work and seamless.

Working with a reliable commercial insurance agent can help you find the right policy that suits your business and budget. Contact the team at Northeastern Group Ltd. to get started on your tailored coverage during this challenging time. We serve New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Florida business owners.

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