Workers’ Compensation Insurance in South Coast MA & RI
Highly knowledgeable workers’ compensation insurance specialists in the South Coast of MA & RI
As business owners, ourselves, we have empathy with the many employers who have a less than positive reaction to hearing, reading, or writing the term, Workers’ Compensation. We also know that you probably associate workers’ compensation insurance with an expenditure of your time, energy, and money. However, at HIG, we strongly believe that workers’ compensation insurance is actually one of the most underappreciated insurance coverages in our industry.
For more than a century, our team has provided workers’ compensation insurance expertise to businesses like yours in the South Coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. As you can imagine, with this wealth of experience, we have gained extensive insights into the significance of our country’s workers’ compensation system and the benefit for not only the employee, but for you, the employer.
In sharing some of the knowledge we’ve accumulated through the years, including a brief history of workers’ compensation, we think you will agree that this insurance coverage serves a very important purpose for everyone in the workplace.
Even The Roman Empire Had A Workers’ Compensation Schedule
While Workers’ Compensation may seem like an idea that would be birthed in a more modern, industrialized society, the concept is actually believed to have originated in Ancient Greek, Roman, Arab, and Chinese societies. There were laws in these early cultures that mandated monetary compensation be provided to injured workers in very specific amounts based on the impaired body part. For example, a loss of a joint of the thumb was worth one-half the value of a finger while the value of an ear was based on its surface area. While gruesome to consider the circumstances in which a person would be due compensation under these laws, it does seem, for that time period, to have been an equitable and fair system for both worker and employer.
Fast forward to the late Middle Ages and Renaissance period, when societies implemented a more complex legal framework for workers’ compensation, which proscribed what injuries were compensable and, perhaps more important, which were not. According to these updated laws, employers could not be held responsible for a worker’s injury if:
- A worker was, in any way, found to be responsible for the injury, him or herself
- The worker’s injuries resulted in any part from the action or negligence of a fellow employee
- The employer had provided safety measures, considered appropriate for their particular industry as a whole, and the worker had accepted the risks associated with employment
In order to receive compensation for a work-related injury, the employee was required to pursue legal action, an expensive undertaking for both the claimant and the employer, much as it is today. Initially, it was very uncommon for a working person to win a personal injury suit, but, as time went on, victory for the working man or woman happened more and more frequently. Thus, the risk of a lawsuit started making many employers very uncomfortable.
This legal compensation system, which persisted into the early Industrial Revolution across Europe and the United States, was unfair to both worker and employer. While employees injured or made ill on the job sometimes had to take on formidable debt to pay for legal action against their employers, business owners were also highly exposed through this process and could incur financial penalties that could devastate their investment.
Today, Employees and Employers Meet In The Middle On Workers’ Compensation
As New Englanders, we don’t generally like to admit that New Yorkers have one-upped us, but that is just what they did by enacting the first applicable, mandatory workers’ compensation law in 1910. Over the following 40 years, every state, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, jumped onboard, implementing copycat compensation laws that required employers to provide medical and wage replacement benefits for injured workers. However, these laws also ensured that if an injured employee accepted these benefits, they would forfeit their right to sue their employer.
Today, this basic structure for workers’ comp is essentially the same and almost every state requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their full- and part-time employees. As the area’s go-to workers’ compensation insurance professionals for businesses like yours in the South Coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, we feel that this system is a win-win for all involved.
Now, we understand that being required to purchase workers’ compensation coverage, or any insurance for that matter, probably doesn’t feel very fair. Whether you’re a large construction company or a local, family-run pizzeria, we have no doubt that you’ve spent some time worrying about how to best manage this legal obligation and the related costs.
However, it’s important to know that today’s workers’ compensation system really is the optimal compromise. Yes, much like the term would suggest, workers’ comp insurance is designed to ensure that your workers receive financial compensation for workplace injuries and illness as well as fair and prompt medical treatment.
But, workers’ compensation law also establishes critical limits on the obligations of employers, like you and like HIG, for these workplace exposures, resulting in far more predictable and affordable costs. Rather than thinking of workers’ compensation insurance as a burden to carry, we want you to know that this coverage is protecting you from paying benefits, such as medical expenses, death benefits, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation, out of your own pocket.
In fact, in many cases, having workers’ compensation could save your company from financial ruin. This important coverage can protect you from paying hundreds of thousands of dollars – or more – in costs associated with workplace situations, such as:
- An employee slips, or trips, and falls due to slippery surfaces, poorly lit areas, exposed cords, wet or ice-covered parking lots, warped or uneven flooring, unguarded ledges and platforms, stairways, etc.
- An employee is involved in an auto accident, either on or off your company’s property, whether driving to and from an off-site job, making deliveries, using the company vehicle while conducting job-related duties, etc.
- An employee incurs a muscle or back strain due to heavy lifting, pulling, or carrying
- An employee suffers electrical shock
- An employee is exposed to chemical hazards, through asbestos, soil or water contamination, carbon monoxide poisoning, pesticides, industrial solvents, household solvents, metal poisoning, cosmetics, toxic mold, etc.
In all these cases, and many others that we have not listed here, having the proper workers’ compensation insurance will help you cover all or a portion of the costs related to the injured or ill employee’s:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability
- Death benefit to an employee’s beneficiary
Workers’ compensation law can seem overly complex if you are a business owner, especially since it varies state by state. However, HIG hopes you agree that this coverage provides critical benefits for both the employee and employer, who both get a relatively quick, equitable and predictable outcome when there is a work-related injury or illness.
Choose The Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance Specialist For You And Your Company
While workers’ compensation is state-mandated coverage, you do have control over who you want to partner with to design your workers’ comp program.
By working with local, experienced professionals, like the team at HIG, you can be confident that your workers’ compensation insurance will be compliant with state regulations and appropriate for your unique business. In addition, our team will always review any claims thoroughly and assist you in closing these cases sooner than later.
Finally, as your workers’ compensation insurance partner, one of our most important roles will be to support you in keeping your premiums as low as possible. Thus, we will regularly review your Experience Modification Factor, as calculated by the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau in your state, to ensure there are no errors and all claims data is up to date. As you probably are aware, if your experience modification factor for your business is comparably lower and less severe than other companies’ in Massachusetts or Rhode Island and in your industry, then your cost of insurance could decrease by as much as 25%! In addition, we will be glad to collaborate with your team to assess workplace risk and advise you on steps you can take to prevent employee injury and illness before they happen.
Contact HIG today for a complimentary review of your current workers’ compensation insurance solution or to get a free quote. We look forward to helping you with all your workers’ compensation insurance questions and providing you with knowledgeable, friendly and professional advice for all your business insurance needs.