Workers Compensation Insurance

One of the most common types of accident that can happen to employees is injury in the workplace. Although the majority of personal injuries aren't serious, they can still result in compensation claims. If an employer doesn't have workers compensation insurance in place, he or she could be faced with a large claim bill. This policy will pay compensation to employees who are injured in the workplace. There is also a private policy that employees can take out known as accident sickness unemployment insurance. If the employee is absent from work or loses their job as a result of sickness or accident, the policy will cover certain payments on their behalf.

The accident sickness insurance isn't the same as workers compensation insurance which is taken out by employers and is solely for paying compensation claims. In this article, you can, as an employee, find out about your rights and how to make a claim in the event of an accident in the workplace. Here we've answered some of the typical questions that people may have about this type of policy.

Do you make a claim against your employer or their insurance company?

The compensation claim you make must always be against your employer and not their insurer. The insurance company will examine your accident and once they are satisfied that your employer was at fault for your injuries, they will pay your compensation.

The insurance company will not take your claim seriously unless you've assigned a specialist lawyer to take care of your claim in court. Remember that you can only get the correct amount of compensation once you have appointed a solicitor to represent your case.

Does a workers compensation insurance policy contain special conditions?

As an employer, you should come up with an agreement with your insurer about the circumstances in which they'll pay compensation. For instance, the policy should cover the specific situations that directly relate to your business. An insurer can refuse to pay compensation if they feel that the employer has not provided adequate protection for their employees against accident or injury.

What happens if workers compensation insurance isn't in place?

According to the Health & Safety at Work Act, every employer is liable to have insurance in place for at least £5 million. Employers can face fines of up to £2500 for not displaying their insurance certificate, or if they refuse to show the certificate to inspectors upon request.

What is the claim procedure?

In the event that you've experienced an accident in the workplace, you should first make a written note of the incident as well as any evidence that you may have. You must retain all evidence such as:

Once you have gathered the necessary documents that related to your accident, you can start the claim by sending 2 copies of a pre-action letter with full details of your accident. You must include the location, date, and the reason you hold your employer responsible. Your employer must then respond to this pre-action letter within three weeks and disclose their insurer's details.

Within 3 months of the acknowledgement, the insurer must respond to the claim letter by either accepting liability or refusing the claim. In the event that your claim is declined, you have the right to assign a legal representative to handle your case. If you choose to go down this route, you must show all the necessary documentation to your solicitor.

If you decide to make a compensation claim, are there any advantages to your workplace' safety?

You'll be pleased to know that there are significant advantages when it comes to health and safety of employees. Your employer will have no choice but to remove the dangers that caused your injuries. They are also obliged to record the accident in the Health and Safety book.

By making a claim, you are actually helping out your employer and work colleagues. After all, once the danger that caused your injuries is removed, the risk of another employee being injured in the same way will be eliminated. No matter how small your injury is, remember that a colleague's injury could be much worse.

How much insurance cover is required by employers?

Every company, no matter how large or small, must be insured for at least £5 million. However, the possible risks and liabilities should still be assessed. Most insurers insist that a workers compensation insurance policy is for at least £10 million to cover terrorism, prosecution costs, legal fees, and many other expenses. Most policies will also extend to provide indemnities in respect of criminal proceedings that are brought against the employer under the Health and Safety at Work Act. If the business is part of an organisation, a workers compensation insurance policy can be taken out for the entire group of companies.

Should employers keep copies of out-of-date insurance certificates?

Since 2008 there has been no legal requirement for business owners to keep copies of their expired certificates. However, it's best to keep a complete record of these liability insurance documents in case a former employee decides to make a claim for the period they were exposed to an illness or injury at work. If employers fail to show the necessary insurance details, they risk having to meet the entire costs of the claims themselves.

Is it necessary to have workers compensation insurance for all the people who work for an organisation?

Employers are required by law to have workers compensation insurance for people in their employment. However, it depends on the type of contract the employee has signed with the employer. Any contract, regardless of whether it's temporary or permanent still stands valid and enforceable. There is no fast rule that governs who counts as an employee, but as an employer, you should always seek legal advice.