Workers' Compensation Insurance for Consultants
As a consultant, you depend on your staff to keep your business running smoothly while you focus your talents on helping your clients. Whether you own a one-person operation with only an assistant or you have a fully staffed consulting firm, your employees make it possible for you to share your expertise and expand your reach.
No matter the size of your consulting business or the relatively low risk of work injuries, your staff could still sustain job-related ailments. Accidents happen, even if you take every precaution to create a safe work environment. Without adequate coverage, your business could be held responsible for the related medical expenses or legal fees if the situation escalates into a lawsuit.
Most states require that businesses carry Workers' Compensation Insurance for their W2 employees, though each state has its own specifications. This coverage kicks in when an employee is injured at work or suffers a work-related ailment, covering the cost of medical expenses, foregone wages, and court costs if they sue your business. Keep reading to learn more about how Workers' Compensation Insurance protects your business and its employees.
Protecting Consulting Employees
Workers' Compensation Insurance: Protecting Consulting Employees
Even in the relative safety of an office setting, your employees may still be at risk for injuries. For example, if your staff works at a computer most of the day, they are susceptible to repetitive motion injuries (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome) and eyestrain. Should your consulting business need employees to lift or move heavy office equipment or file boxes, they could injure their backs.
Workers' Compensation Insurance accounts for the risks outside of your control, which is why many consultants incorporate this coverage into their risk management plan. If your employees suffer a work-related injury or illness, Workers' Compensation can cover immediate medical attention (e.g. an ambulance ride and visit to the ER), as well as other costs associated with the injury, such as the income your employee would have earned while they were in recovery.
Through the Employer's Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) portion of your policy, your business will also be protected financially if your employee claims their injury or illness was due to your business's negligence or failure to provide a safe work environment. This coverage can compensate your business for attorney's fees, court-mandated settlements or judgments, witness fees, bond premiums, and more, depending on your policy limits.
Where your business is located will affect the conditions of your Workers' Compensation policy, but as a general rule, most states currently require any business with employees to carry this insurance. Our Consultant Specialist insurance agents will be happy to help you find a policy that adheres to your state's law.
How Consulting Businesses Benefit
How Consulting Businesses Benefit from Workers' Compensation Insurance
Workers' Compensation coverage offers financial security for your business and keeps your employees protected, too. Often referred to as Workman's Comp or Workers' Liability Insurance, this policy helps your consulting business when it's held responsible for an employee's injury or illness. That means your policy will kick in for the medical bills, lost wages, and potential court costs that you would have to pay out of pocket if you weren't protected by this coverage. Because medical costs and legal fees are typically exorbitant and more than a small startup can comfortably spare, Workers' Comp can keep your business from closing its doors if a costly incident occurs.
If an employee takes their case against your business to court, the Employer's Practices Liability Insurance included in your Workers' Comp policy will kick in to cover the legal costs. Even if your business is not found liable for the allegations, this portion of your policy still covers the expensive attorney's fees and court costs from appearing in court.
When you are ready to secure a Workers' Compensation policy for your consulting business, you can get a quote from insureon's A-rated carriers in minutes! Depending on your needs, we may be able to take you from quote to bind in 24 hours.
Key Details About Workers' Compensation for Consultants
While shopping for Workers' Compensation Insurance, there's no shortage of options. But the savvy consultant knows that not all policies offer the same protection, which is why it's important to know which coverages you want from your policy before you buy. Here are a few considerations to bear in mind as you continue your search for an adequate Workmans' Comp plan.
Know Your State's Laws for Workers' Compensation.
If your marketing consulting, human resources management consulting, or IT project management and consulting business has W2 employees, there's a good chance your state requires that you carry Workers' Comp Insurance. The laws vary depending on where your business is located, so you'll want to make sure your policy complies with your state's mandates. Some states require companies of all sizes have coverage, while other mandates are triggered by a minimum number of employees. Other states operate a state-administered fund of Workers' Compensation Insurance.
Because the details can vary drastically, you may want to speak to an insurance agent before you purchase a policy. The agents at insureon can walk you through your state's laws about Workers' Comp and help find a policy that satisfies them.
You May Be Able to Include or Exclude Yourself from Your Workers' Comp Policy.
If you run a one-person consulting business, you may not be required to carry Workers' Compensation at all, depending on your state. But as the owner of your business, you may consider a policy for yourself since your clients might require it. That's because your client's Workers' Comp policy may be able to add you automatically if you don't have proof of your own coverage.
For consulting business owners with employees, some states may allow you to exclude yourself from Workers' Comp coverage. Though excluding yourself from coverage could save you some money, you may run up against the issue outlined above: your client contracts may require that you carry it. Plus, if you suffer a work-related injury or illness, including yourself in your Workers' Comp policy means your medical expenses and the lost income during recovery can be covered.
Risk Management Tips for Consultants
Risk Management Tips for Consultants
In addition to adequate Workers' Compensation coverage, you'll also want to take necessary precautions to create a safe work environment for yourself and your employees. Here are a few safety precautions you may take to strengthen your risk management efforts:
- Hold regular training sessions with your staff about proper lifting techniques for heavy boxes of files or cumbersome items to limit the potential for back injuries or strain.
- Invest in ergonomic office furniture and equipment to prevent the onset of repetitive motion injuries, eyestrain, and lower back complications.
- Keep an organized office to reduce the potential for slips, spills, and trips over stray computer or media cords.
Ready to find a Workers' Compensation policy that meets the needs of your business? Contact an insureon agent today!