Employees, especially in the construction and manufacturing industries, are at significant risk of accidents and injuries. While an organization may have stringent safety measures to prevent workplace accidents and injuries, they don’t have total control over what can happen. Therefore, employers should offer workers’ compensation insurance to cover employees against injuries and damages from the workplace.
However, worker’s compensation insurance policy laws and requirements vary by state. So, you want to understand how the policy works in your state.
Here’s a guide on worker’s compensation in Minnesota. But first, let’s start with the basics.
What is a workers compensation insurance policy?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that offers wage replacements and medical benefits to injured or ill employees during their work. The benefits of this insurance policy are awarded on a no-fault basis.
Additionally, if the employee dies, the family or close relatives will receive the benefits. States have different laws and regulations governing workers’ compensation insurance policies. This also affects the claims handling and resolution processes.
Worker’s compensation in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry requires all employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance policies or become self-insured. Also known as mandatory coverage. So, even if your business has one team member, you’ll need to purchase a workers’ compensation policy. However, there are a few exceptions to this law.
The policy pays for medical care and offers disability benefits to employees injured on the job.
What does workers’ compensation cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance policy covers work-related injuries and illnesses to employees. To receive the benefits, the worker must be within the business premises (working) at the time of injury/condition.
Here’s what workers’ compensation covers;
Suppose your team member is injured at the workplace. In that case, the policy will cover all medical expenses, including necessary surgeries, emergency room visits, and medical prescriptions.
The workers’ compensation will cover lost wages if the team member needs more time to recover from the injury or illness.
Sometimes, the work-related injury or illness might require more than one treatment, depending on the severity. The insurance will cover any ongoing care costs, including physical therapy.
Workers’ compensation insurance will cover all funeral costs if your employer dies from a work-related accident or illness. In addition, the coverage will offer death benefits to the team member’s beneficiaries.
Some workplace accidents might result in short-term or long-term disabilities, affecting the employees’ life. Workers’ compensation coverage offers benefits for work-related disabilities.
What’s the deadline for filing a workers’ compensation insurance claim in Minnesota?
The Minnesota workers’ compensation laws require you to report work-related injury claims within a particular period. Ideally, the insurance company may deny your team member benefits if you file your claim past the set deadline.
In Minnesota, you have about 180 days to file a workers’ compensation claim. The time can be extended depending on various factors.
If your team member reports an injury or illness within 30 days, they are on time and shouldn’t be denied benefits. Additionally, the team member has a right to report injury or illness and claim benefits within 180 days. However, they’ll need a solid explanation for the late reporting.
Moreover, the Minnesota worker’s compensation law allows employees to report injuries and illness after 180 days if they were mentally or physically incapacitated.
What happens if the insurance company denies your claim?
Sometimes insurance companies just don’t want to honor their part of the agreement. Therefore, it’s common for some to decline your claim, even after meeting all their requirements. Some reasons might be genuine, while others don’t make sense.
For instance, the insurance company might deny your team member benefits if you make a claim later than the recommended deadline.
Additionally, the workers’ compensation won’t cover the costs and damages if the team member was drunk during the accident. Also, suppose the accident could have been avoided through safety measures. In that case, some insurance companies might try to deny the team member benefits.
Regardless, you can challenge the insurance company’s decision to deny your employees benefits. You’ll have around three years to pursue your claim with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
How to choose a workers’ compensation plan in Minnesota
Since employers must buy workers’ compensation for their employees in Minnesota, you must get one for your workers. You can purchase workers’ compensation coverage from various insurance providers in Minnesota. However, there are various crucial factors you need to consider before buying a workers’ insurance policy plan in Minnesota.
- Find a good agent/broker: finding a good insurance broker/agent is invaluable. They should be an expert agent and knowledgeable in your industry. Also, they should understand workers’ compensation laws in Minnesota.
- Coverage: workers’ compensation covers medical care, lost wages, rehabilitation, disability and death, and funeral services. You want to ensure that the policy covers all these and some valuable additions.
- Cost: there’s no standard cost for a workers’ compensation policy. However, the number of premiums payable varies based on your payroll, class code, and claims history.
- Claims management: you want an agent who will manage your claims without any challenges.
The Minnesota labor laws require all employers to purchase workers’ compensation policies for their employees. But there are a few exceptions to this regulation. This business insurance policy offers coverage and benefits for all work-related injuries and illnesses.
When choosing a workers’ compensation plan, you should consider the coverage, costs, and the claims management process. Also, you should partner with an experienced and knowledgeable broker/insurance agent who understands Minnesota employment laws.