Understanding Workers’ Compensation For Remote Employees

Courtesy of the coronavirus, the business world has experienced some major changes. Numerous employees began working remotely and, though attempts are being made to manage the virus, many are still continuing to choose to work from home. Businesses are finding out that just as much work can be accomplished by employees from their home – if not more. But as a result, the topic of workers’ compensation for remote employees comes up. After all, it is imperative for any business to have workers’ compensation insurance. When an employee experiences an on-the-job injury, thousands of dollars can soon turn into millions where medical expenses, lost wages, and more are concerned.

When your employees are working from home, Workers’ Compensation insurance can be a bit trickier, however, compared to days of old when employees worked at the business site. How can you, as a business owner, lower telecommuting risks? Let’s look at some information regarding out-of-office work injuries and more?

Remote Workers and Workers’ Comp

When a business has one or more employees, in almost every state, workers’ comp coverage is required. Remote workers are included. Costs related to an employee’s job-related injury or illness covered under workers’ comp include the following:

  • Disability benefits
  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills

Employer’s liability insurance is included in most policies. This can pay for the following if an employee sues you:

  • Judgments or settlements
  • Court costs
  • Lawyer fees

What’s covered by Workers’ Comp insurance? Injuries that occur in and out of the course of employment are typically covered. Even if they’re at home, your employee may have a valid claim if the injury occurs during work hours and while they are doing work-related activities.

How Does All of This Work?

Though, for employers, some drawbacks are experienced, remote work is pretty much seen as a perk by the employees themselves. Unfortunately, where your employee’s workspace is concerned, you have little control over safety when they work from home. To verify any incident, witnesses may be scarce if an employee is injured during remote working hours.

Workers’ Comp only covers injuries that happen in “the furtherance of employment” or the course and scope of employment. So, the question arises: How do you know if an injury of a remote worker qualifies?

The problem is that the regulations are anything but black and white. The circumstances, actions of your employees, and more can weigh in. Fortunately, all of that will be sorted out by your insurance provider and, if necessary, the court.

Should something happen, it must be immediately reported by your employee, documented, and submitted to your insurance company as a claim. The state’s workers’ comp board may also need to be notified.

Reducing The Risks of Telecommuting

A policy for telecommuting should be put in place. This will help you reduce risks where telecommuting is concerned. Follow these suggestions to create your policy:

  • Where the home office is concerned, some guidelines need to be established.
  • Your business insurance policies should be reviewed.
  • A home safety checklist should be created and enforced.
  • Cybersecurity processes must be formalized.

Does Your Small Business Need Commercial Insurance?

If your business needs Workers’ Comp insurance to cover on-site or remote employees, but you’re not sure where to begin, we can be of assistance in a timely manner.

K&N Brokerage offers superior knowledge and experience, excellent customer support, customization, and expedited service. Our focus is to closely cater to the needs of each and every client, while building strong relationships.

Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.