Most states, including California, take employees’ safety very seriously. As a result, they have enacted laws requiring every employer to carry a workman’s comp insurance to cater for expenses arising from work-related injuries or deaths.
However, according to California workman’s comp laws, not everyone is required to carry one, as this article explains. So who needs workman’s comp insurance in California? Let’s dive in to know more.
What Is Workman’s Comp Insurance
A workman’s comp insurance is a coverage employers take to protect their employees from work-related injuries. Although the benefits provided differs from state to state, the California department of insurance requires employees to enjoy the following benefits:
- Medical care. Injured employees are entitled to medical treatment such as hospitalization, physician services, dental care, physical restoration, or other necessary care.
- Temporary disability. Workers unable to return to work within a few days of their injuries are entitled to disability benefits that replace at least two-thirds of lost wages.
- Permanent disability. If workplace injuries result in permanent disability, the employee is eligible for permanent disability benefits. The amount received depends on the extent of the damage or disfigurement, among other factors.
- Death benefits. Surviving dependents are entitled to death benefits for a certain period when an employee dies due to injuries sustained at the workplace.
Who Requires Workman’s Comp Insurance?
Not everyone in California is required to have workman’s comp insurance, but these groups of people are mandated by law to carry one:
Every employer in the state is mandated by law to have California workman’s comp insurance, even if they have one employee. These laws cover part-time and full-time employees. Immigration status does not affect the right to workers’ compensation benefits; as green card holders, undocumented workers are also eligible.
However, there are some restrictions for undocumented workers. Employees who get sick or injured are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Most employers purchase coverage from the private market or a state fund.
Although California workman’s comp laws exempt independent contractors from carrying a workman’s comp insurance, some companies require you to have one if they use you as a contractor. They avoid the risk of paying uninsured contractors out of their pocket or getting sued if they are injured in the workplace. The law permits them to request a certificate of insurance from contractors before agreeing with them.
Sole proprietors or small business owners working alone are not required to have workers’ compensation insurance in California. However, carrying one makes sense, especially if your work involves high-risk activities.
In most cases, personal health insurance companies do not cover injuries sustained in the workplace, and those who compensate do not cover lost wages. Therefore, having your workers’ comp policy protects you from costly work-related injuries.
California Workman’s Comp: Who is required to Carry a Workman’s Comp Insurance
Employers with more than one employee must carry California workman’s comp insurance. Also, contractors may be forced to have one before contracting with a business seeking to protect itself from paying out of its pocket in case of work-related injuries. A sole proprietor or small business owner whose company puts them at significant risk may also carry the insurance coverage.