What is workers’ compensation insurance?
Workers’ compensation (or simply “workers’ comp”) is a form of insurance created to protect employers and their employees in the event of workplace injuries or illnesses. When an employee is injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance pays for medical expenses and lost income to help them get the care they need so they can return to work safe, healthy and as soon as possible. In turn, employers get the benefit of known, up-front costs for coverage and defense for suits filed against you for benefits payable by this insurance.
Before the introduction of workers’ comp in the U.S. in 1911, handling injuries or illnesses on the job was a complicated process for everyone involved. Workers who were injured or became ill at work were left with no other option than to sue their employer — a long, expensive process that wasn’t always effective in helping the worker get the treatment they needed or the wages they lost — and employers faced paying large awards to the injured worker and attorney fees to defend the lawsuit. This would sometimes result in the employer closing the business, putting them in financial ruin and eliminating the jobs of other employees.
How does the insurance work?
Today in Idaho, and in most states, employers are required by state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, be self-insured, or face penalties. Employers pay insurance premiums to workers’ comp providers like SIF, which are used to pay for medical expenses and loss of income if a worker gets injured or becomes ill on the job.
If you are injured on the job, your employer will submit a First Report of Injury (FROI) to SIF for review. If the claim is approved, we guide you every step of the way to help you get the care you need to get back to work as soon as possible. In the event of total disability or death, we work on your behalf to ensure you, or your family, receive all of the benefits you are entitled to under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
By carrying workers’ comp insurance, your business is protected from medical and time-loss-related costs and lawsuits resulting from an employee’s work-related injury or illness. As part of your policy, we also provide loss control training to you and your employees, showing you how to prevent workplace injuries or illnesses.
How Can I Save Money?
Safety is key. Fewer, less severe accidents keep your employees at work and keep workers’ compensation costs down. Our loss control consultants will work closely with your business to help identify potential safety hazards in your workplace, and will help you create safety programs specific to your business. We also offer a variety of resources with more safety information for your industry.
Another easy way to save an additional 5% off of your premium is through our drug-free workplace program. Idaho Code Chapter 17, section 72-1716 provides that insurance companies may grant premium reductions on workers compensation insurance policies to employers having a qualifying alcohol and drug-free workplace program. For a program to qualify, it must meet the requirement of Idaho Code sections 72-1701 through 72-1715. SIF also requires the program meet our underwriting guidelines. Talk with your insurance agent or underwriter to see if your program is eligible for the 5% discount.