No matter how careful you are, which precautions you take, and how much luck you have on your side, employee accidents happen. As a contractor and business owner, that can cost you. A lot.
In the high-risk industry of construction, workers’ comp coverage does more than just protect your employees. It can protect your bottom line.
Did you know? Almost all construction workers will have at least one work-related injury during their career.
3 Benefits of Workers Compensation for Contractors
Insurance isn’t as fun as rolling up your sleeves and getting to work, but it is necessary to keep your business moving forward, should an accident occur. Here are three big benefits to making sure you have the right workers’ comp protection in place.
1. Stay Compliant with State Laws and License Requirements
In many states, workers’ comp insurance is required by law. In California, for example, business owners in any profession are required to carry workers’ comp if they have one full-time employee.
Not only is there a good chance that you’re legally required to provide workers’ comp as an employer, but you’re likely required to provide it as a licensed contractor, as well. California State Licensing Board (CSLB) requires license applicants to do one of two things when it comes to workers’ compensation:
- Provide CSLB with a valid Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance
- Provide CSLB with a signed exemption, certifying you have no employees at this time
Even if you don’t have any employees, you may still be required to carry workers’ comp if you want to obtain or reactivate a contractor’s license. Roofers, we’re looking at you: all C-39 contractors in California are required to carry comp, whether or not they have employees.
2. Protect Your Employees
This industry isn’t for the faint of heart. Construction is hard work that involves a certain amount of risk.
As you know, someone who sits in front of a computer all day is in far less danger of being injured on the job then a roofer who spends their day 15 feet off the ground. And contractors working on the ground face risks of injury from above and below, be it falling object, tripping hazard, or any number of risks.
Your employees work hard to help you build your business. Workers’ comp works hard to get them back to work if something happens.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified the four leading causes of fatality in the construction industry (aka the Fatal Four). These dangers are:
- Being struck by objects
- Caught-in or -between hazards
In 2012, the construction industry was responsible for 19.5% of workplace deaths in the United States. 57% of those deaths were the result of a Fatal Four accident.
One in ten construction workers is injured every year. If that happens to one of your employees, that’s when workers’ comp coverage gets to work.
Workers’ comp ensures your employees get the treatment they need to get healthy after an injury. And it protects them from the high costs of medical treatments.
If something were to happen to an employee of yours on a jobsite, workers’ comp covers more than you might imagine. As they recover from their injuries, workers’ comp helps pay for:
- Disability benefits
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages during recovery
And, in the event of a lawsuit, legal fees. Which leads us to another benefit of workers’ comp coverage...
3. Protect Your Assets
Imagine if your best worker got injured on the job. What if you’ve been trying to fly under the radar and you don’t have workers comp? You try to make things right, paying out of pocket for his medical bills and giving him some extra cash to help him make ends meet while he’s not working.
But then your trusted, loyal worker decides to sue you for not carrying the insurance coverage you’re required to by law.
Now you’re paying the costs of medical bills, time off, lawyers, fees, court costs, and judgements completely out of your own pocket.
Suddenly, the cost of workers’ comp premiums sounds like pocket change compared to the high price of one unfortunate accident.
Workers’ comp insurance for contractors gives you the security that you can rest easy knowing that your employees and business are covered in the event of an accident. When you have workers’ comp coverage you have more than insurance - you have peace of mind that you’re in compliance with laws and regulations, that your employees are protected, and that your assets won’t be at risk if something goes wrong.