How does a Workers' Comp claim affect the employer?

It's essential to be prepared for the potential impact of a workers' compensation claim on your business.

Kim Mercado
By Kim Mercado
Published Jan 5, 2024
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Workplace injuries or illnesses can have far-reaching implications, both emotionally and financially. When an employee gets hurt or falls ill at work, the severity of the situation can significantly impact your business.

By understanding the potential severity and taking proactive steps, you can navigate these challenges more effectively, ensuring the well-being of your employees and the stability of your business.

Jump ahead to learn:

3 ways a workers’ compensation claim can affect the employer

Workers’ compensation claims have a higher impact on smaller businesses. Because larger businesses have deeper pockets and more workers, they can bear losses more easily.

These are a few ways workers’ comp claims can affect employers:

1. Financial implications

When an employee files a workers’ comp claim, it’s natural to be concerned about the financial consequences. Here are a few key factors to consider:

Insurance premiums. Workers’ comp claims can influence the cost of your insurance premiums when you purchase a new policy after your existing coverage expires. Insurance providers assess your claim history to determine your rates. Frequent or severe claims may increase premiums, impacting your bottom line.

Productivity loss. Injured employees may require time off for medical treatment and recovery. Their absence can disrupt workflow, potentially reducing productivity.

Legal expenses. In some cases, disputes may arise regarding the validity or extent of a workers’ comp claim. Defending your position may involve legal fees, particularly if the claim is contested.

2. Workplace morale and reputation

Workers’ comp claims can significantly impact workplace morale and your company’s reputation.

Employee morale. When an employee is injured at work, it can create anxiety and uncertainty among your staff. Open communication, empathy and support are crucial to maintaining employee morale during this challenging time. Showing that you genuinely care about their well-being can help ease their concerns.

Reputation. How you handle workers’ comp claims speaks volumes about your company’s values. Committing to employee safety and well-being can enhance your reputation as a responsible employer. Conversely, mishandling such situations may lead to negative publicity and a tarnished image.

3. Safety improvements and prevention

Workers’ comp claims provide an opportunity to evaluate and enhance workplace safety measures.

Identify risks. Investigate the incident’s circumstances to identify potential hazards or safety gaps contributing to the accident. Addressing these issues can help prevent future occurrences and protect your employees.

Training and education. Regular workplace safety training programs ensure employees have the knowledge and skills to mitigate risks. Encouraging a safety-conscious culture fosters a proactive approach to preventing workplace accidents.

Workers’ Comp claim vs. paying out of pocket

Having workers’ compensation insurance in place may help prevent your business from paying out large out-of-pocket costs for workplace injuries. Here’s why:

1. Financial protection

Workplace injuries can be costly, especially if they result in medical expenses, rehabilitation and lost wages. Workers’ comp insurance can help provide financial protection because the insurance company can help cover the costs, helping to mitigate the financial burden on your business.

2. Predictable costs

Insurance premiums are based on factors such as your business’s operations and claims history. By paying regular premiums for a workers’ comp policy, you can anticipate costs, and help avoid unexpected financial shocks in the event of an employee injury.

3. Employee protection

Workers’ compensation insurance provides essential protection for employees. This ensures that your employees injured on the job can focus on their recovery without worrying about the financial implications of their injury.

4. Legal protection

By accepting workers’ comp benefits, injured employees typically waive their right to sue their employer for negligence related to the injury. This legal protection can help safeguard your business from costly and time-consuming lawsuits.

Workers’ comp premiums are tied to payroll. For example, say you had $100,000 in salary obligations, you might hypothetically pay a few thousand in premiums annually, depending on your business type. By comparison, premiums pale to medical bills and/or lawsuits that could reach in the hundreds of thousands or more.

How NEXT helps protect small business owners from injuries at work

NEXT’s workers’ compensation coverage can help small business owners and their employees after an injury at work. It can also help protect you from lawsuits with built-in employer liability coverage.

Getting coverage is easy. Just start a free quote, review your options and select the coverage you want. Once your purchase is completed, you’ll have immediate access to your certificate of insurance. The entire process can take about 10 minutes.

Get an instant quote today.

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Kim Mercado
About the author
Kim Mercado is a content editor at NEXT's blog, where she writes and edits posts for small business owners. She enjoys helping entrepreneurs solve their business challenges and learn about insurance. Kim has contributed to Salesforce, Samsara and Google.

You can find Kim trying new recipes and cheering the 49ers.

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