If you’re a business owner, it’s easy to assume that accidents won’t happen at your workplace. But the statistics paint a different picture. In 2020-2021 Safe Work Australia reported a total of 130,195 serious claims and a median compensation of $15,072 paid per claim.
Employers are required by law to take steps to ensure their workplaces are safe, and one aspect of this includes having workers’ compensation insurance for all their employees.
What is workers’ compensation insurance?
Workers Compensation Insurance is compulsory for all employers in Australia.
Each state or territory has its own workers’ compensation scheme, run by independent regulators, with rules differing slightly between each jurisdiction. In Western Australia, the WorkCover WA is the government agency responsible for regulating and administrating the workers’ compensation scheme.
In the event of an unexpected work-related accident or injury, workers’ compensation can protect your business by covering your worker’s medical expenses, treatment and rehabilitation costs as well as well as covering their wages if they are deemed unfit to work.
What if I don’t take out a workers’ compensation policy for my business?
According to WorkCover WA, “If you don’t have workers’ compensation insurance, your company will be liable for the cost of the statutory benefits under the legislation if one of your workers has a work-related injury or industrial disease. This could cost in excess of $600,000, plus legal costs involved in court action, and you may also be liable for the cost of any action taken at common law.”
What can workers’ compensation cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance can cover the following costs:
- Employee wages if they are unfit or unable to work
- Medical and hospital expenses, medications and rehabilitation costs for the injured employee
- A lump sum payment for permanent impairment on the basis set by the particular state or territory scheme
What extensions can be included?
Specific contracts may require you to have extensions to your workers’ compensation policy such as Principals Indemnity or Industrial Disease Common Law. If you are considering signing a contract check this thoroughly as additional premiums are required and not all insurers will offer the extensions.
What isn’t covered?
There are exclusions. There is also often a deductible or excess and limits on cover in some jurisdictions (not in Western Australia), so be sure to check these with your insurance broker or provider.
Understanding workers compensation legislation can be overwhelming and making sure you get the right level of cover for your business can be a little daunting.
At Centrewest, our team of experienced workers’ compensation insurance brokers can step you through the process and ensure you get the right policy for your business. Centrewest are partnered with a specialist workers’ compensation consultancy which enables us to offer managed solutions to your complex workers compensation policies and claims.
Here are some of the added benefits of having Centrewest manage your workers’ compensation insurance needs:
- We can strategically manage your claims
- We can assess and provide early intervention and injury management
- We can review and negotiate workers’ compensation portfolios
- We conduct individual workers compensation program reviews
If you’d like to find out more, please contact our team of experienced insurance brokers today.