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Workers Compensation Insurance
Workers compensation insurance provides coverage for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages for employees who are injured or become ill at work. It’s required by most states and can be the most expensive line of insurance for most employers. But don’t be frightened! We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of workers compensation in Mississippi.
Who Needs Workers Compensation in Mississippi?
Trick question – every business does. Many business owners feel that their employees are independent contractors because they get 1099’s instead of W-2s. This does NOT matter. What matters is whether they do this type of work for anyone else (like a contractor with their own insurance, vehicle, and tools) and the issue of “control” where the employer tells them how and when to do their job.
Workers Compensation Insurance Requirements
Mississippi requires workers compensation insurance if you have five or more employees. Other states like California, require workers comp even if you have only one employee. All states agree that even if you aren’t required to carry workers compensation insurance, you are required to pay for medical and disability expenses incurred by any “employees” who are injured while working for you. If there is disagreement on the issue, a determination is made by the Department of Labor after the injury has occurred.
What is an e-Mod factor?
An e-Mod factor is a rating number calculated based on your workers compensation premiums and workers comp claims payments. It is designed to show what risk level your company is based on similar companies in your industry and location. A lot of data is gathered and used to calculate this factor. Still, the two specific factors that a business owner or executive can manage and affect are the workers compensation premium and the workers comp claims payments.
Costs of Workers Comp Claims
An effective risk management program goes beyond simply purchasing an insurance policy and paying an annual premium. You can take steps to improve your employees’ safety and control costs.
According to the National Safety Council, the average cost of workers compensation claims is $40,051. That’s a ton! In addition to the medical costs, wage replacement, and indirect costs associated with a claim, there is also the negative impact that a claim can have on a company’s experience modification (or e-mod) which can significantly increase workers comp insurance rates for the next three years.
Reducing Insurance Costs with an Effective Safety Culture
Developing an effective workplace safety culture can help reduce workplace injuries and reduce direct and indirect workers compensation costs. You should continually evaluate every aspect of your workplace to ensure the safest environment possible. Here are key things you can do to improve your safety culture:
Establish a written safety program. Your safety program should include training on preventing workplace accidents and injuries and incentives for maintaining an accident-free environment. Getting commitment from management and employees is key.
Be selective in your hiring process. Choose new hires who share the same work safety culture values. Provide accurate job descriptions to job applicants, obtain previous work references, and conduct criminal background checks. Also, conduct a pre-start post-offer drug test and get a motor vehicle report (MVR) for new hires.
Reduce human error. Ensure employees know the correct methods and procedures to accomplish their work responsibilities. Require employees to demonstrate skill proficiency before performing tasks on their own.
Prevent accident recurrences. Investigate and document every injury and near-miss. Identifying why and how the accident occurred and making proper corrections can help prevent future incidents.
Emergency Preparedness. Prepare emergency announcements and test emergency response systems to familiarize employees.
Create a policy on distracted driving. Motor vehicle accidents account for a large percentage of work-related fatalities. Texting while driving makes an employee 23 times more likely to have an accident. A federal ban prohibiting drivers of commercial vehicles from texting has also been recently enacted. Create a written policy for distracted driving and texting while driving, and have all employees sign off on it.
Establish and enforce disciplinary measures for safety violations. There should be some corrective action for employees who don’t abide by safety requirements.
Train your supervisors in-house. They may have previously been trained as supervisors in general. Still, they need to also be trained in your work environment.
Where do I start?
Business insurance in Mississippi can be a complex process of finding the insurance policy that best fits your needs. We’re here to help you identify your potential risks and liabilities and then work with you to tailor a policy that will protect your business. Let’s get started protecting what’s yours.
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We've been protecting Mississippi businesses for decades. Our agent specialists have tons of experience across all industries, and our agency is backed by Leavitt Group's national family of agencies and experts.
Whether you're considering starting a new business or an established company, we can help answer your questions and provide insurance quotes from multiple companies.
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