I've been in insurance for a long time, and have seen a good number of business owners and their employees sustain injuries—many very minor, some permanently life-altering, and a few unfortunately resulting in death. Most of these injuries could have been prevented, but there are circumstances that are 100% out of the control of any business owner. No matter the end result, the bottom line is that someone has suffered a work-related injury. So as a business owner and the person responsible for coverage in your shop, what's the first step?
You have two options at this point. If you HAVE a Workers Compensation policy, you:
Submit a claim against the policy you purchased and let your agency deal with the injured worker while you continue to operate your business. Business owners should never forgo turning in a claim for an injured employee. This is how very bad, very expensive issues develop. You have coverage, let the professionals deal with it.
If you've chosen NOT TO CARRY a Workers Compensation policy, you:
Somehow hope the injury is not severe, absorb all the medical bills internally, and anticipate that there's no long term rehabilitation or treatment. Temporary and permanent disability can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars range. We're currently working with an injured worker who has received more than $4,000,000 in medical care, and that cost is rising every day.
Do you currently carry Workers Compensation for your pawn shop? If you do, I commend you for understanding what's at stake and how it could affect your ongoing business. If you don't, and your reasoning is "I only have 1 or 2 employees," or "It's just family," take a minute to step back and look at the big picture. If I employed my family, and they were critically injured and I couldn't provide the medical care needed because I decided to not buy workers compensation coverage, I'm not sure that holiday dinners would ever be the same again.
In many states it's mandatory to have workers compensation coverage, with severe penalties including possible arrest if you're caught without a policy. Trust me, you do not want to be paying fees and penalties while covering for an injured employee and trying to keep your head above water.
I'm more than happy to answer any questions you may have, my contact information is in my author bio. I'm sure we all know a pawnbroker who can share with you how workers compensation insurance saved there backside. I'll discuss in a future blog how you're able to include or exclude owners/officers on your workers compensation policy. I'll close by saying this; whether you have three employees or thirty, there's NO REASON for you not to have worker's compensation coverage. IT'S A TAX DEDUCTIBLE EXPENSE.