Texas has always identified itself as a big, brash, independent state that likes to do things its own way. These are some of the things that make the state great, but being individualistic also comes with some risks. If you run a business in Texas, you need to make the right insurance choices for your business to keep you and your employees protected.
One of the biggest insurance choices you will make is whether or not you will carry workers’ compensation for your staff. Texas is one of only two states where businesses can opt out of providing this coverage to their employees. Employers in Texas may appreciate the chance to cut some costs that they can re-invest into their business, and some employees might also like not being locked into a coverage they may not want.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers compensation offers benefits to those who have been injured or gotten ill while on the job. There are several categories of benefits, and a claimant may not need them all. The most important ones include:
- Medical benefits to help pay for hospital bills and physical therapy bills. The employee may have extensive injuries that require significant medical intervention and rehabilitation time.
- Income benefits to help offset the loss of wages from not being able to work. Without the coverage, a business would essentially have to pay two people for one position were they to continue paying wages while the worker was off injured.
- Long-term and lifetime income benefits for those who will most likely never be able to return to work after sustaining the injury. They will have needs for most of the rest of their lives.
- Death benefits to the dependents and family of a worker who has died on the job.
All of these benefits are for the employee, but the coverage also benefits the employer. Here are some of the biggest risks.
Even the most healthy workplaces have disputes between management and staff from time to time. If you have an employee who is injured on the job, or gets sick from exposure to something while on the job, then they could end up with massive costs. They may have to pay for medical bills and rehabilitation, for example. Plus they will have to do so while also losing wages by not working.
They may decide that you as the employer is responsible for their injuries, and that you should be held liable. At this point they can take you to court and use you for compensation for not just the medical and physical therapy bills, but also lost wages and extra for pain and suffering. You will no doubt have to pay for your legal expenses. Plus, if you are unsuccessful at making your case, you will have to pay for those costs and damages. If your business assets are not enough to cover those costs, then you could end up having to use your personal expenses, or declare bankruptcy. This one incident with an employee could cost you your entire business.
You Could Leave Employees Destitute
As a business, you should be doing whatever you can to protect your assets. Your more important and valuable assets are your people. Without your staff, you would not be able to have any success, since they are what keep you productive, keep engaged with customers, and handle all of the day-to-day tasks that need to be done.
If an employee is injured on the job and is not able to work, they will have financial responsibilities. There are the medical bills, and the rehabilitation bills, and they will not be able to make money. They have to deal with this stress while also trying to focus on healing and getting better. Morally, as an employer it’s always important to try to treat your employees well. Leaving someone in deep financial trouble after they were injured trying to make your business successful would not be a moral choice. Luckily, you can make sure that they are protected by getting Texas workers comp insurance in minutes online.
If you opt out of having a workers’ compensation plan, then legally you must notify all of your staff that you do not have coverage. In a post Covid-19 world, many employers are struggling to find people to work for them. Not having that safety net available may make it even harder for you.
Covid-19 brought a lot of things into focus for a lot of people. For one, there’s an understanding that illness or injuries can be devastating for the economy, and for individual workers as well. More and more people want protection not just from the virus, but also from the economic effects. That means that when choosing employers, they are more likely to skip by you since they cannot be sure they will be protected. Nobody wants to go through the legal process if they can avoid it.
Your Own Peace of Mind
Owning and running a business can be incredibly stressfu l for anyone. You have deadlines to meet, clients to call, partners to network with, a team to manage, and much more on your plate. Your brain probably doesn’t have any more room for stress, but you can bet that if you don’t have workers’ compensation coverage, you will feel it. Every time someone trips on a rug or there’s a loud noise on your production floor, you will hold your breath. A split second error could turn into years of litigation and negotiation. You could have many sleepless nights wondering how your business will survive. To avoid all of that stress, you can ease your mind and keep yourself and your staff protected with workers’ compensation insurance.
As a business owner, you should always be looking to cut costs when you can. However, workers’ compensation coverage is not the best place for you to do so. Make sure that you keep your employees protected and your business protected by investing in workers’ compensation insurance even if you are not required to.