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workers' compensation Archives - Harrington Insurance Agency

Fraud and Workers’ Compensation Insurance

By | Workers' Compensation

What you need to know about fraud with Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Most businesses in California are required by law to have workers’ compensation. Despite this mandate, some businesses try to avoid paying for the proper coverage. There are three basic types of workers’ comp fraud.

Three Basics of Workers’ Compensation Fraud

Some businesses commit fraud by improperly classifying their workers. Just because an individual provides a service for your business, does not mean he or she is an employee. Independent contractors are one instance of this – people under this title do not have to be provided insurance. Before you label a worker as such, however, it is vital you ensure the term correctly describes his or her relationship with your business.

Another way a business might attempt to minimize the cost of workers’ comp premiums is deducting the amount from their staff members’ paychecks. This is illegal in the state of California. Doing so can get you fined, and even open the way for a legal suit by your employees.

Other businesses simply fail to obtain coverage altogether, which could result in serious financial burden. Should an accident occur on the premises and it is discovered that you do not have the proper insurance; your business could be held responsible for paying medical benefits and lost wages to the affected worker. The labor board may even close your business until the right insurance is obtained.

Do not risk the financial future of your business. Contact our agency today to ensure you are adequately insured.

The Rules of Workers’ Compensation Insurance

By | Business Insurance, Workers' Compensation

Employees or Independent Contractors?

In California, all employees must have workers’ compensation provided to them by their employers, according to the Department of Industrial Relations. Just because an individual completes a job for your business, however, does not mean he or she is always an employee. Depending on the details of your professional relationship, he or she could be labeled an independent contractor.

To determine how to classify your workers, consider the following:

  • Do you control the work that is done by the individual?
  • Do you determine how the work is done?
  • Is the service the individual provides related to your business’s primary purpose?
  • Do you provide the equipment or work area?
  • Does the job performed by the individual require a high level of expertise?
  • Do you pay the individual by the hour?
  • Is the position the individual holds a permanent role in your business?

While there is no legal definition for independent contractor, answering “no” to more than one of the above questions may mean the worker is a contractor. It is of course, important to clarify the situation – getting it wrong could be costly.

As the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement automatically categorizes all workers as employees unless evidence proves to the contrary, it is vital you ensure you are classifying your workers correctly. One of our agents would be glad to assist you in obtaining coverage for your eligible workers.

Helping Your Employees with Workers’ Compensation Insurance

By | Business Insurance, Workers' Compensation

Having Workers’ Compensation Insurance will Benefit Your Employees Greatly

The Golden State has one of the highest populations in the United States. As such, it also boasts a large workforce. As a business owner, you know a great percentage of the cost of doing business comes from employee salaries. Workplace accidents could also lead to an increase in costs. Insurance is available to help businesses provide compensation to injured workers. But as well as having workers’ compensation insurance in place, you might also want to create policies to help staff members return to the office more quickly after being injured, saving you time and money on hiring a temporary replacement.

  • You could adjust the job duties to make allowances for the employee’s health.
  • Modifying work procedures could also help.
  • You may want to consider allowing employees that were previously full-time to take on a part-time schedule.
  • Changing the workstation could make completing their previous job easier.

Incentives for Businesses with Workers’ Compensation Insurance

California encourages businesses to make adjustments that allow injured workers to return to their jobs sooner. For businesses with at least 50 employees, a 15 percent discount may be available on weekly permanent disability benefits to employers who work with employees after accident on getting back to work. How much importance do you place on minimizing an employee’s time off after an accident?

Contact Harrington Insurance Agency in San Jose, CA for your personalized workers’ compensation insurance policy for your business!

Workers’ Compensation Insurance and Preventing Workplace Accidents

By | Business Insurance, Workers' Compensation

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is Important for Workplace Accidents

One reason California workers compensation may be important for your business is in covering employees who may fall while on the job. A major concern for all business owners is the prevention of falls. According to Injury Facts 2012, which is compiled by the National Safety Council, over eight million ER visits follow accidental falls per year. With June being National Safety Month, the NSC has set aside the week beginning June 17 to concentrate on educating the public on the danger of falls.

Did you know that there is a difference between slipping, tripping, and falling?

  • A slip occurs when the level of traction between a foot and a surface falls below a certain point.
  • An imbalance in momentum, often caused by stepping on an unseen object, causes a person to trip.
  • Typically, falls occur as an individual is moving to a surface that is a different height than his or her current position.
  • To help prevent slipping, tripping, and falling accidents, the NSC has suggested the following tips.
  • Floors and stairwells should be kept clutter-free.
  • Both the interior and exterior of a building should be well lit.
  • Spills should be cleaned up right away.
  • Electrical cords should not be draped across walkways.
  • Consider adjusting your dress code to address the need for proper footwear.

It’s all in the numbers

How many California workers compensation claims for falls were filed by your business in the past year? What is your business doing to help workers avoid such injuries? By making the reduction of fall hazards a priority, you may be able to diminish the instances of such claims.

Contact
Harrington Insurance Agency today!

Workers’ Compensation Insurance for on the Job Emergencies

By | Business Insurance, Workers' Compensation

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is Important for all Types of Businesses

All your employees should be covered by California workers compensation, including the ones who work offsite. Some jobs, such as traveling salesmen, could take workers away from easy access to medical support. Should an accident occur and professional medical help not be immediately available, they may have to be a little creative when administering first aid.

Imagine this Scenario

What would happen if one of your employees broke an arm or leg in this kind of situation? It may be a smart idea to train your workers to use everyday items to create a splint.

  • Strips of fabric could make a great sling and could be taken from a coat or shirt.
  • For splints, look for something wide and rigid. Rolled up newspaper or a belt may work if nothing else is available.
  • Padding could help cushion the wounded limb in the sling and help prevent movement. Anything soft, from rags to moss, might fill this purpose.

Proper Emergency Training is Pertinent

What are the benefits to you of training your staff members to create a splint from common items they have on hand? A homemade splint could prevent further harm to the wounded area which may in turn reduce the healing time required.

Do any of your workers travel to remote areas in California? Workers compensation insurance is of course a great financial back up, but first aid training and first aid kits can also be important. Contact Harrington Insurance Agency today for quotes on your workers’ compensation insurance!

Workers’ Compensation in California and its Many Benefits

By | Business Insurance, Workers' Compensation

Workers’ Compensation in California is the Most Important Insurance for a Business Owner

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to not only know the risks your business faces, but also to brainstorm ways of solving those problems. Do you have California workers compensation? Failing to have the appropriate coverage could lead to multiple difficulties. How much money could you save by having this essential coverage? Consider all the benefits workers’ comp offers injured employees.

Workers’ Compensation Offers Many Benefits:

  • Injured workers have the right to quick and proper healthcare. Do you know how expensive medical care is nowadays? These bills could be paid by workers’ compensation.
  • Workplace injuries could be debilitating. This coverage offers temporary disability payments to help keep employees who are unable to work during recovery financially afloat. Permanent disability benefits are also available for individuals who never fully recuperate after their accident.
  • With supplemental job displacement, workers who are unable to return to their previous jobs because of the injury or illness they experienced may be provided training for a new career path.
  • Sometimes an illness or injury ends in a worker’s demise. The workers’ comp death benefits could help ensure the individual’s family is not left in financial distress after their loss.

How many of the above benefits could your business afford without going bankrupt? Could your business survive a million-dollar lawsuit brought by an injured employee? Such issues could be avoided by obtaining California workers compensation now before a workplace accident occurs.

Business Insurance for Your Employees and Yourself

By | Business Insurance

Business Insurance Coverage for your Entire Company

Business owners are free to choose and purchase the types of business insurance protection that best suit their businesses. However, some types of insurance are not optional: for instance workers’ compensation is a mandatory California business insurance product for an employer who has one employee or more.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance For Your Company

By carrying workers’ compensation insurance in your business you cover your statutory obligations to pay for medical treatment, disability and loss of wages if any of your workers suffers a work-related illness or injury. Most employers go beyond the minimum statutory requirements and take steps to avoid employees being harmed in the workplace by providing high quality protective clothing, excellent training in safe working practices and other measures help to keep employees safe. A program to emphasize workplace safety that results in reduced workers’ compensation claims can lower the cost of workers’ compensation premiums paid by the employer.

Some employers who are sole owners or partners in a business choose to include themselves in the coverage when they purchase workers’ compensation. Suffering an occupational injury that left you unable to work for an extended period could have disastrous financial consequences for you and your business; owners of small businesses might want to consider consulting an insurance agency to ask whether they are eligible to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for themselves and discuss the benefits and costs of purchasing this coverage.

Harrington Insurance can shop the market to find suitable California business insurance solutions for your business. Consult an insurance agent for advice on business or personal insurance matters and assistance in managing your insurance needs.

Find the Right Workers’ Compensation Insurance in California for Your Business

By | Business Insurance, Workers' Compensation

How Do I find The Right Workers’ Compensation Insurance Policy in California

Workers’ compensation insurance in California is compulsory in the Golden State even if you only have one employee. This applies to both California-based firms as well as those based out of the state but operating in California. By law you must also notify your workers of their rights under workers’ compensation and advise them of who to contact to seek treatment for illness or injury sustained while at work.

Designed To Protect Your Employees

While mandatory requirements vary from state to state, workers’ compensation coverage is designed to financially protect employees who sustain an injury or illness at their workplace. The insurance covers wages and medical benefits for the employee as an alternative to them having to sue the company for compensation. The coverage is designed to give some compensation to the worker, while protecting the employer from damaging and potentially costly court actions.

However some disputes do arise in the settling of workers compensation insurance California. Many of these cases are handled by the workers’ compensation section of the Californian government’s Department of Industrial Relations. The DWC works to monitor and provide assistance to help resolve such disputes. Should you be seeking further information on workers’ compensation coverage, contact one of our agents and arrange a consultation.

How California’s Law Works for Workers’ Compensation Insurance

By | Business Insurance, Workers' Compensation

What is the Law on Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

The law is very clear on workers compensation insurance, California. All firms with at least one employee must have such insurance in place. The law will impose a stop on companies that do not adhere to this regulation, and severe penalties (including jail) may be incurred if insurance is not purchased following this.

However your premium may vary according to a number of factors and it may be advisable to obtain the advice of an insurance agent regarding this type of coverage. The list below may give you an idea of some of the factors that can influence the cost of your coverage.

Do you have a poor history of workplace accidents?

This may well affect the premium you end up paying for the insurance. However if you can demonstrate that you have learned the lessons of those accidents, and have put in place effective preventative measures, this may bring the premium down in the future.

What is the type of industry?

Does your business operate in a high risk environment? This may affect insurance premiums. The size of your workforce and the types of tasks they do are all considered.

Do you need to speak to someone about obtaining workers compensation insurance? California business owners are welcome to contact us to arrange coverage.

California Workers’ Compensation Insurance & Risk Management

By | Business Insurance

Does Your Business Have a Risk Management Plan?

Do you have a risk management plan that (among other risks) addresses workplace safety and the need to reduce the risk of claims on your workers’ compensation insurance? California employees may be protected financially from workplace injuries, however it’s also a responsibility of employers to reduce the risks of injuries occurring.

The first step is identifying the range of risks

Naturally these will vary from one business to another depending on the task in which employees engage however, here are some of the more common injury risks:
Repetitive Strain: Repetitive work – whether it’s typing, filing or lifting items onto or off a conveyer belt in a factory – has the potential result in painful conditions like Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.
Lifting Injuries: A lifting injury can occur as easily in an office or restaurant as it can on a construction site or supply warehouse. Workers with a low level of personal fitness or might be particularly vulnerable
Stress: Unrealistic deadlines, conflict with management or other employees, bullying and harassment have the potential to lead to a stress related claim.

Important To Be Prepared

It’s not enough to prepare a safety policy and write up safety procedures. Management has a duty to ensure a safe workplace and part of the process is ensuring employees are aware of policy and procedures and generally follow them.

Are you about to take out your first policy for workers compensation insurance? California business owners might like to contact one of our agents to ascertain the cost and get the information they need.