Workers’ Compensation: Protect your Employees and your Business.

Coverage you can’t afford to be without.

When most people hear “Workers’ Comp,” they think of someone pulling a muscle or getting hurt in a vehicle crash on the job. But what about a contractor sustaining an electrical injury, or an employee aggravating a previous injury, or a serious illness deemed work-related by the Workers’ Compensation Court? Any of these instances could cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars if you don’t have the correct coverage.

Who is covered, and who needs to be?

Many business owners think they don’t need Workers’ Compensation Insurance because they only use independent contractors. Unfortunately, many of the “independent contractors” they employ are actually considered employees by the state. In Rhode Island, for example, § 28-29-17.1 states:

“A person will not be considered an “independent contractor” unless that person files a notice of designation with the director, consistent with rules and regulations established by the director, in writing, on a form provided by the director, that the person is an independent contractor.”

You may think you’re hiring an independent contractor, or several, but unless they have correctly filed the proper paperwork with the state you are probably liable for any injury or work-related illness they suffer while working for you.

What could it cost me if I don’t have the right coverage?

Aside from the costs of medical bills, lost wages and a valuable employee, failing to provide coverage exposes employers to a Felony charge, a $10,000 fine, a prison sentence of up to two years, additional fines up to $1,000 per non-compliant day, and the possibility of Rhode Island’s Department of Labor and Training shutting down your business.

Examples of costly Workers’ Comp Claims:

$324,000 settlement for a worker who injured his lower back and aggravated a previous injury, requiring two surgeries.

$425,000 settlement when a contractor suffered an electrical injury on the job site.

$320,000 settlement when a union laborer injured his face and obtained facial scars on the job.

$94,000 settlement for a nurse who was initially denied coverage because she was an “independent contractor.” The Workers’ Comp Court later deemed her an employee, entitling her to nearly $100,000.

Is there any good news concerning Workers’ Comp Insurance?

Working with a qualified, licensed insurance agent makes it easy to ensure you are covered, no matter the size or scope of your business. We can check your current status, ensure you are compliant with state and federal codes, and because we represent several options for Workers’ Compensation Insurance we can find you the right coverage at the best price.

Workers’ Comp is generally less expensive than most business owners expect. With one visit to our Westerly, RI office, we can help employers take care of their employees, their business and themselves for a fraction of what they’d expect to pay. Through our exclusive partnership with SMP Consulting Group we are also able to review the past two years of Workers’ Comp coverage for some employers, correct errors in their policy and often recoup costs for them up to $10,000.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance can be a complicated, costly endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be. Working with the expert, independent agents at Lathrop Insurance can keep it simple, ensure you never have to worry about it again and possibly recoup lost funds for your business due to mistakes in your previous policy. See what Lathrop Insurance can do to keep you safe and your employees covered with one meeting. Stop by and visit us on Beech St. in Westerly, RI and see what a better insurance looks like for your business.

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