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A recent article in the Denver Business Journal pointed out that small business owners, in the midst of a third consecutive year of workers’ compensation rate increases and a slow economic recovery, are seeking out effective ways to minimize their risk and control costs. As the author points out, this year’s 5.2 percent increase is largely the result of increases in lost wages and medical bills connected to injuries on the job.
Small businesses are cautioned to be wary of purchasing bargain workers’ compensation insurance coverage, especially since even one injury or work-related fatality can add additional costs to the employer’s insurance for years. Obviously, a big aspect of reducing costs for employers is to make workplace safety a priority.
Other tips for small business employers are offered in the article: get at least two different workers’ compensation quotes from an independent insurance agent and compare the terms; pick an insurance carrier familiar with the industry; join businesses associations and organizations that offer discounts on workers’ compensation insurance; and know what to do when a claim arises.
While it may be the goal of small businesses to reduce their workers’ compensation costs, injured workers have a different concern-making sure their injury doesn’t put them completely out of commission financially. Because employers don’t exactly have the same goals as employees when it comes to workers’ compensation, it is important for workers to have a strong advocate at their side when pursuing a claim. A strong advocate can help an injured worker exercise their rights and achieve the best possible outcome for their claim.
Source: Denver Business Journal, “Strategies: How businesses can manage workers’ comp costs,” Hale Johnson, April 23, 2013