Weighing the Benefits of Worker’s Comp
What began as the Federal Employers Liability Act in 1908 to protect railroad workers in the event of injury inspired the realization of state-based Worker’s Compensation laws throughout the nation. Designed to serve as a safeguard for businesses and their employees alike, Worker’s Compensation Insurance can act as a safety net from potential financial ruin in the event of a debilitating accident or illness. A question the Problem Solvers at https://www.apainsuranceservices.com/ often receive from our clients is: “Do I need Worker’s Compensation Insurance for my photography business?” The answer is not always cut and dry, but here are just a handful of factors to consider…
What are the Worker’s Comp Laws in your State?: Because Worker’s Compensation laws are state-based, we look to the state where your photography business is based or where you tend to do your largest volume of work to determine whether it’s a good fit for you. For instance, if you are a photographer or videographer in California and New York, you are required to carry Workers’ Compensation and/or Disability insurance if any person is working under your direction and/or supervision. This law applies if you are working in either of those states – regardless of whether or not you, or those collaborating with you, are state residents. Failure to comply with these laws is a criminal offense and subject to stiff penalties, upwards of $1,500. In the State of Georgia, you are required to carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance if you have three or more employees – regardless of whether they are full-time, part-time, or seasonal.
But all my “Employees” are 1099 Contractors. Do I still need Worker’s Comp Insurance?: Anyone who is working under your supervision and could potentially suffer an injury should be covered by Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Not only could you be found liable for the immediate cost of their illness or injury, but you are also responsible for the costs over the lifetime of the injury. Consider rotator cuff syndrome, tendinitis, slipped disks, and carpal tunnel from hauling around heavy equipment – all could represent YEARS of medical expenses. They could also trip over a cord in your studio and suffer a twisted ankle or broken bone. It’s wise to protect both them and you in the event of an unforeseen accident or illness.
If I Opt for Worker’s Compensation Insurance, what is Covered?: It’s important to note that most personal health/medical insurance policies DO NOT cover work-related injuries. Typical covered expenses under a Worker’s Compensation Insurance plan include medical expenses, healthcare costs, disability income benefits – like lost wages – and death benefits. Often representing the largest element of your company’s insurance expense, it’s well worth the cost. Coverage protects your business from a potential lawsuit that could take a major – possibly catastrophic – toll on your bottom line.
To discuss the insurance needs of your photography business – including Worker’s Compensation Insurance – call APA Insurance Services today at (877) 269-9021. We also invite you to visit our office at 11175 Cicero Drive, Suite 575 in Alpharetta. Our hours are Monday through Friday 8:30am-5:00pm. In addition, you can send us a message online and one of our Photography Insurance Problem Solvers will be in touch with you soon!