May 04, 2018 @ 12:00am

Workers compensation can be a large expense for small businesses. It’s not uncommon for small business owners, especially new business owners, to exclude themselves from coverage on their own company’s workers’ compensation policy to reduce the expense. The assumption is that their health insurance will cover any injuries they suffer while working. The truth is that most health insurance policies do not cover work related injuries. The benefit for lost wages provided by a workers compensation policy is often overlooked during this cost/benefit analysis. Most disability policies also exclude work related disability as well. Can you afford to go without health insurance and disability insurance when you are most at risk?

As a business owner, make sure you understand whether you have any coverage for work related injuries on your health insurance and disability insurance before making any decision regarding including or excluding yourself on your workers compensation policy. And remember, as you change health and disability insurance carriers or programs, the provisions regarding “work related injuries” may change as well.

And finally, don’t fall into another trap trying to avoid the one just described. A business owner “included himself” on the workers compensation policy he bought for his employees. Unfortunately, he never showed any payroll for himself so when he was injured while working and missed a month of work, his insurance company lacked any basis for establishing his wage history and defaulted to the state minimum wage, to his dismay. 

Protect yourself by discussing this and other related issues with your trusted insurance advisor. If you have never had this conversation with your insurance advisor, it is time to make an appointment so you have the best and most timely advice. 

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