Workers’ compensation insurance is required for all Louisiana employers with one or more employees. This includes full-time, part-time and seasonal workers as well as employees who are minors.1
Subcontractors and independent contractors may also be considered employees if they are performing substantial manual labor or are involved in the pursuit of the employer’s business. Employers should inquire with their insurance carrier if they are not sure whether these types of workers must be covered.
In Louisiana, workers’ compensation insurance entitles workers to certain benefits if they are injured on the job, including:
There are a limited number of exceptions to the requirements for workers’ compensation. Louisiana laws do not require coverage for the following types of employees:
Business owners in Louisiana may not have to carry workers’ compensation insurance for themselves if they fall into one of the following categories:
Even if you don’t need to have workers’ comp coverage according to these exemptions, you may find that some clients require you to have it in order to meet the obligations of your contract.
Employers may apply to the Louisiana Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration if they wish to self-insure, which means that they agree to pay workers’ comp benefits directly to their employees.3 A self-insurance application must include the following:
If the application is approved, the employer will be required to post security in an amount determined by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration.
In Louisiana, workers’ comp covers physical injuries as well as occupational diseases. Certain mental injuries which result from a physical injury or from sudden, extreme stress related to their employment are also covered.
The following types of benefits may be paid directly to the employee:
For example, if an employee is injured while moving a piece of machinery on the job, workers’ compensation insurance would pay for the medical expenses they accrue as well as lost wages during the time they have to take off to recover.
There are several types of workers’ compensation income benefits in Louisiana:
The employee suffers an injury that causes them to be unable to work until they reach a certain level of recovery.
The employee’s injury limits their ability to perform any type of work on a permanent basis.
The employee is able to return to work, but is unable to earn at least 90% of their pre-injury wage.
When an employee dies within two years of the last treatment as the result of any job-related accident, their surviving spouse and/or dependents may be entitled to death benefits. A one-time benefit may be paid to each surviving parent if the employee has no surviving dependents. Additionally, workers’ comp will cover reasonable burial expenses up to $8,500.
In addition to getting the required insurance, business owners have a few other important responsibilities related to workers’ comp. Louisiana employers must report any injury or death to their insurer within 10 days.
They must also post a notice in a convenient and conspicuous location in their workplace which includes the following information:
Any employees hired in Louisiana must be covered by a policy from an insurance company authorized to conduct business in Louisiana. If out-of-state employees work within Louisiana, their out-of-state employer can cover them with a policy from their home state as long as that coverage extends to operations in Louisiana.
Employers can be fined up to $250 per employee for first violations and $500 per employee for subsequent violations for failure to carry workman’s comp insurance. Louisiana businesses may also be charged with criminal violations for certain offenses, like willful failure to provide workers’ comp or providing false information to reduce insurance premiums.
If an employer is found to be in violation of laws for workers’ comp in Louisiana, they may be served an injunction which prevents them from doing further business until the matter is resolved.
There are varying rates for workers’ compensation. Louisiana insurance carriers typically look at the following factors to determine an employer’s premiums:
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Your workers’ compensation insurance provides important protections for your business. But to minimize your risk, you’ll need to add a few other policies to your Louisiana business insurance package.
Some of the most common insurance options for Louisiana businesses include:
General liability insurance protects employers from some of the most common business risks, like property damage or bodily injury to a third party.
Professional liability insurance can help you cover the costs of a lawsuit if a client claims that you made a mistake in the course of your work.
Commercial auto insurance protects you and your employees if you have to drive for work. If an accident occurs, this insurance can help cover related costs, such as property damage, medical bills and rental reimbursement.