Workers Comp Insurance
Workers compensation insurance is nation’s oldest social insurance program. California and most States adopted this program during the second decade of the 20th century. Workers compensation is a mandatory requirement by law in California and subject to great fines if employers fail to provide workers compensation insurance for their employees and even employer has only one employee still he or she is required to carry workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation insurance provides six basic benefits: medical care, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits, and vocational rehabilitation and death benefits. In order to get workers compensation insurance at the time of injury, the injury must be sustained on the job. There are a number of ways to purchase workers’ compensation insurance in California. Policies can be purchased through an agent or a broker from any of the privately licensed insurers that are authorized to write policies in California. A list of authorized insurers is available on the California Department of Insurance Web site (www.insurance.ca.gov). If a company can’t find an insurer willing to cover them, the State Compensation Insurance Fund (www.scif.com) is required to provide coverage. Some trade groups negotiate special rates for members. A local chamber of commerce may also be a source of good advice. Companies can also choose to be self-insured. Historically, only large companies could do this because of legal requirements; however, in recent years group self-insurance, in which several small employers pool their workers’ compensation liabilities, has become available. Learn more from the California Department of Industrial Relations (www.dir.ca.gov/SIP/sip.html).