Believing the myth can cost your business in fines going back years.
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I‘m frequently asked: "when do you need to have workers' compensation?" My answer tends to surprise people. Many business owners are under the impression that you need to have a certain number of employees before workers' compensation is required. That's just not the case.
My answer is this:
If you have even one employee, you need workers' compensation.
It’s the law in the State of Illinois. There are penalties if you are caught in violation of this law. In fact, fines can go back to the day you hired your first employee and did not have workers' compensation. According to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission:
"An employer that knowingly and willfully fails to obtain insurance may be fined up to $500 for every day of noncompliance, with a minimum fine of $10,000. Corporate officers can be held personally liable if the company fails to pay the penalty.”
Workers' Compensation Helps Business Owners
Workers' compensation was created to protect employees who get sick or are injured on the job while they are performing regular work duties. But it also protects you as a business owner. Employees generally cannot sue an employer for a work-related injury or illness when the employer carries workers' compensation insurance. Check with the state you are doing business in to ensure you are following the law.
Exceptions to the Rule
There are instances were you do not need to carry workers compensation.
Visit the state of Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission website to ensure you are up to date with the latest laws and regulations.
Get Your Workers' Compensation Questions Answered
You are an expert in your industry and your company. You do not have to be an expert in workers' compensation, too. If you have questions, we are more than happy to help. If you do not carry workers' compensation insurance, we can set you up today. Contact us.
If it's a serious accident or if anyone is hurt in anyway, call 911 before you do anything else.
After calling 911, or in the event of a minor traffic incident, follow these steps:
If you're teaching a new driver in your family about what to do in the event of an accident, be sure to write these steps down and put them in the glove compartment along with your insurance agent's phone number. It's hard for a young driver to remember these steps when they're feeling scared about having been in an accident.
Be sure to add "call mom and dad!" to a new driver's accident check list.
I remember the day my oldest daughter got her driver's license. She was so excited, but I had an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. As an insurance agent, I not only know all the safety statistics for teenage drivers, I also know some stories first hand.
Drivers 16 to 19 years of age have more crashes than any other age group.
I was worried. I sat my daughter down and gave her the following tips:
1. Don’t look at any technology when you are driving!!
It doesn't matter if you've already heard this a million times. The statistics show that looking at phones and other technology is a leading cause of accidents. It’s also against the law in Illinois.
2. Be aware of what’s going on around you.
Not on your phone. Not with your music. A high percentage of accidents involving young drivers are caused by being unaware of potential hazards and situations.
Unfortunately, my daughter was involved in a car accident caused by another driver ignoring a yield sign. While my daughter did not cause the accident, she may have been able to prevent the accident by simply being aware of the drivers around her.
3. Slow down.
Driving too fast for road conditions is another key factor in accidents with young drivers. It’s even more difficult to control a car when driving in hazardous conditions if the driver is driving too fast.
I told my daughter that driving a car can be fun and exciting, but it’s also a responsibility. Take precautions so you don’t become a statistic.
Even with the best of drivers, accidents can happen. Be sure your teenaged driver knows what to do in the event of an accident. Refer to our blog post What To Do When An Accident Happens for more information.
If you have any questions about insuring your new driver, contact us today. I'm happy to talk you through your insurance options, including ensuring that you receive all possible rate discounts like those available for good grades.