What Does Workers Compensation Insurance Cover?

Workers compensation insurance has a dual role. It protects your business as well as all of its employees.

States require businesses to purchase the insurance, so business owners in the pool and spa industry need to know what, specifically, it covers.

Workers Comp Protects Your Business

If an employee is injured at work, your business has no obligation to pay a worker who is absent and accepting weekly compensation payments. The employee who accepts workers comp payments relinquishes the right to sue your company and cannot claim damages for pain and suffering.

Workers Comp Protects Your Employees

The basic benefit is disability pay, up to a state-specified cap. This can sustain your sidelined staffer with weekly, tax-free income, generally about 2/3 of the average worker’s normal pay. Workers comp also covers:

  • Medical diagnostics and treatments for injuries or sicknesses an employee sustains on the job site, business-related events, or work-related travel.
  • Provisional benefits during the time a claim is disputed.
  • Hospital stays.
  • Survivors’ benefits if a person dies in a work-related incident.
  • Repetitive movement injuries.
  • Retraining and rehabilitation where appropriate.
  • Lump-sum payments in appropriate permanent disability cases.

What If the Worker Is at Fault?

Workers compensation insurance covers accidents caused by carelessness, regardless of who’s at fault. That said, states can have employees tested for drugs or alcohol use and can refuse to pay benefits if the accident happened while an employee was impaired.

There is no coverage for self-inflicted injuries, for employees hurt after starting a fight, or accidents that happened while a staff member flouted a company policy or a law.

Do All Small Businesses Need This Coverage?

Even if you own a small business and your state exempts employers with only a few employees, workers compensation insurance has value. Independent contractors are sometimes considered staff, especially if paid hourly, in the eyes of the state Workers’ Compensation Board or the courts.

Independent pool service owners get CPA discounts on workers comp insurance coverage, plus a variety of other insurance plans.