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Should employees care about workers' compensation insurance?

The idea of workers' compensation seems simple, but the realities can become fairly complex. One thing workers in New Hampshire should understand is that workers' compensation insurance is not something they have to purchase; the onus is on employers to carry the right level of insurance. However, that doesn't mean workers shouldn't care about the insurance at all.

The Small Business Administration defines workers' compensation insurance as a policy that covers expenses for a worker who has suffered illness or injury as a result of participating in job-related duties. Most states do require employers to carry some sort of workers' compensation, but employees should understand the rules in their state to know whether the coverage can be expected.

Workers' compensation insurance may cover expenses such as lost wages if an employee can't work due to illness or injury and medical bills incurred as a result of work-related issues. While employees do not have to prove that anyone was negligent or at fault, as in a traditional personal injury case, they may have to work to prove that the injury was sustained in the course of job-related duties.

Though workers don't pay for the insurance themselves, it's a good idea to ensure the company you work for carries workers' compensation. Without the insurance, a worker may be left on the hook for such expenses or may have to seek outside legal options for coverage. Even when a company does carry workers' compensation insurance, the employee may need to seek legal assistance if the employer denies that an injury or illness was caused by job-related duties.

Source: Small Business Association, "What is Workers' Compensation Insurance?" Jan. 04, 2015

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