Determining the difference between occupational accident insurance versus workers’ compensation can be very confusing. Both types of policies were designed to protect a business in the event that an employee is injured or killed on the job. But one is a state-run program and one is a supplemental policy. Which is better at protecting employers from the risk of being sued?
Maryland Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation insurance is required in all states except for Texas. Employers with one or more employees in Maryland are required to buy workers’ compensation insurance.
In our state, the type of insurance called workers’ compensation is governed by the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission. The coverage compensates employees for wages lost and provides a medical benefit if the employee is injured on the job. These policies also are “no fault,” meaning employers are protected if an employee sues them.
In Maryland, the law requires that workers’ compensation cover an “accidental personal injury arising out of and in the course of employment.” For coverage to apply, the employee must have an established relationship with a business (not an independent contractor), and they must have injuries sustained on the job – from doing their job. Just being at work and getting injured may not be enough for the policy to apply.
Every state in the nation has similar workers’ compensation divisions, but each state also sets their own rules on the types and amounts of benefits offered. As a result, premium rates also vary. Too, the rules governing when an employee should/can file a claim are different state-by-state. If you do not have this type of insurance, you are open to heavy fines and penalties from the state.
Now let’s look at Occupational Accident Insurance. How is it different from workers compensation?
What Does Occupational Accident Insurance Cover?
Occupational accident is a type of business-related supplemental insurance for lost wages, medical expenses, death benefits and even defense fees in the event you are sued. One thing to check before buying a policy is whether it covers legal expenses. These policies typically pay out under a subscribed limit of weeks with a cap on reimbursement.
Like workers’ comp or any insurance policy, if you are injured you must file a claim. It can be difficult to prove the injury occurred on the job, so it’s important to document everything that occurred, whether you are the employer or employee.
Occupational accident insurance policies can be effective for independent contractors that work on-site. In fact, it’s considered an attractive benefit for freelance workers. If that worker is injured on-site, they may have the ability to continue to receive cash payments, even if they can’t work. In an era when recruitment is often challenging, this may be a benefit you want to make available for freelancers.
But since each policy is different, you will have to determine the limits of liability and coverage that you would like to offer. Policies can offer accidental death, a survivor’s benefit, disability, and more. To find out more about occupational accident insurance in Maryland, click here.
If you have any questions, or have been injured on the job, contact us today. We’re here to help.