Workplace injuries are an unfortunate reality. In addition to the pain suffered by the individual or individuals injured, many issues arise following accidents that happen on the job. A loss of income, unexpected medical expenses and more. Employers and employees alike often have workers’ compensation questions due to the unique circumstances that apply to every specific workplace accident or injury.
Read on to learn more about workers’ compensation and some of the most common questions surrounding this coverage from both employers and employees!
What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Also known simply as workers’ compensation, workman’s comp, or “workers comp,” this business insurance provides benefits to an employee when they’re injured on the job or experience an illness due to their work environment. Employees can use these benefits to mitigate or cover the expenses associated with both health care due to their injury, or to temporarily replace lost wages from the inability to work.
Do I Need Workers’ Compensation for My Business?
One common workers’ compensation question we hear from new entrepreneurs is if they need workers’ compensation for their business. The answer is simple: yes, it’s a necessity, not an option. Every state has their own laws on the books regarding workers’ compensation laws. Laws in Michigan regarding this type of insurance are clear – if you have even one full-time employee, you must have workers’ compensation insurance.
The specifics of the law get into more details, but here are the key workers’ compensation requirements in Michigan:
- Any private business with 1+ employees that work for 35 hours for one consecutive quarter out of the year
- Any private business with 3+ employees, even if they’re part-time
- Any public employer
One minor exemption exists for agricultural businesses. Workers’ compensation insurance is only required by the state when your agricultural business employs 3+ employees at 35 or more hours for a consecutive quarter out of the year.
Am I Responsible for Injuries at Team-Building Activities?
As a business owner, you may consider popular recreational activities for team building with your staff. While activities taking place during work hours are generally cut-and-dried when it comes to workers comp coverage, off-site activities can be more of a gray area.
If attendance was optional and it’s off-site and after hours, then it’s unlikely that workers’ compensation would apply. However, when attendance is mandatory or if the activity includes planning or discussions of work-related items that benefit the business, there’s a higher chance that workers’ compensation may come into play. Like most claims, these varies on a case-by-case basis.
Workers’ Compensation Questions for Employees
Does Workers’ compensation Cover All Injuries that Happen at Work?
In Michigan, the law is fairly clear that any injury happening at your place of work is to be covered by workers’ compensation. This includes any injury that happens at your primary work location or even off-site locations you’re visiting for job-related reasons, which applies to most cases for workers who travel, like contractors. This includes long road trips you’re making for the purpose of fulling your job duties!
One specific question about workers’ compensation that is asked is whether or not injuries that happen during a lunch break are able to fit claims. In most cases, yes, particularly if you’re on-site. The one circumstance that can affect your claim is if your injury happens off-site while on lunch. Generally, these cases aren’t considered applicable for workers’ compensation coverage.
However, exceptions may apply if you were off-site for lunch for a work-related purpose, like picking up lunch for the office. As always, the individual circumstances make a big difference – so if you have questions about a specific instance, you should speak with a lawyer to get the most accurate information!
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Employees Who Have Clocked Out?
Picture this scenario: you’re working at a restaurant and just clocked out for the day. On your way out of the restaurant, you slip and fall on something in the kitchen. Are you covered?
Where you are matters the most. If you’re still on the job site, such as leaving to go to your car at the end of the day, in most circumstances, workers’ compensation still applies. The moment you leave your place of work to return home or attend any personal matters not related to your job, however, workers comp won’t apply to your injury.
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Commutes to or from Work?
Like being clocked out and off the premises, most often the answer is “no.” Traveling to work falls under a rule called the “coming and going rule” which means that travel to or from your workplace before and after work is not within the scope of workers’ compensation coverage.
Will I Need Workers’ Compensation If I Self-Employ?
A great question that’s often asked by entrepreneurs looking at insurance coverage in Michigan is whether or not they need workers’ compensation for their self-employed business. According to Michigan law, a self-employed individual is a “sole proprietor” and not an employee.
This means you are not subject to the workers’ compensation laws – as you technically have no employees. This changes the moment you hire on a new employee, based on the specifications we highlighted above regarding full-time/part-time employees.
Contact Iott Insurance for a Quote Today
Iott Insurance has been a part of southeast Michigan for over 50 years. We can help you plan your insurance needs and find you the right policies or plans to protect you.
Or you can visit one of our three offices in southeast Michigan:
Blissfield, MI – (517) 628-4574
Lambertville, MI – (734) 807-3825
Petersburg, MI – (734) 215-9884
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