In Delaware, most employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance, but it can be a little tricky to keep track of all the details. That is why we’ve developed this helpful guide that breaks down the specifics, including what these types of policies cover and how to stay compliant with state laws.
How does workers’ compensation protect Delaware employers and employees?
Workers’ compensation insurance provides financial protection to employers in the event of work-related injuries or illnesses experienced by their employees. Generally, this type of insurance covers medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs for employees who are injured or become ill while on the job and need time off to care for their health. Furthermore, employers can feel confident knowing that coverage generally shields them from lawsuits filed by employees due to work-related illnesses or injuries.
Delaware’s workers’ comp requirements
Employers with one (1) or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which is a “no-fault” insurance used to protect workers that get injured (or sick) while performing a job.
There can be some exceptions, according to delaware.gov. For example, farm workers are exempt from Delaware’s workers’ compensation statute, but these employers may choose to provide coverage. If a worker is classified as an independent contractor rather than an employee, they will not be covered.
Most of the time, Delaware business owners do not have to be included in their company’s workers’ compensation insurance plan, unless you’re a sole proprietor, or you’re part of a partnership that owns or manages your firm. That said, it depends on the owner’s on-the-job risks, and whether the cost of acquiring insurance is worth the protection received.
How do Delaware employers purchase workers’ comp coverage?
Business owners can purchase workers’ compensation insurance from private insurance carriers. If you are unable to qualify this way, coverage can be purchased from the Delaware Workers’ Compensation Insurance Plan (DIP). All employers are eligible for DIP insurance as long as you’ve made a good faith effort to find insurance elsewhere first. State law stipulates that two Delaware licensed insurance companies must have first declined to provide insurance for your company, in order for DIP to provide workers’ compensation coverage for your employees.
If an employee experiences a workplace injury or illness, employers are required to maintain a record of the incident, according to the Delaware Department of Labor. Additionally, employers are required to file a First Report of Occupational Injury or Disease within 10 days in writing to the Office of Workers’ Compensation as well as their insurance carrier. It is important to communicate any incidents, as failure to report a first injury could result in fines ranging from $100 to $250.
What are the penalties for employers that fail to offer workers’ compensation insurance?
In Delaware, under Title 19 workers’ compensation regulations, if a business fails to provide workers’ compensation insurance for employees, they may be fined three times the amount equal to the insurance premium that should have been paid for one year. Additionally, if an employee gets hurt while at work and you don’t have a policy, there’s a possibility you could be liable for all of that employee’s associated medical costs and lost wages.
More resources for Delaware employers
Workers’ comp helps with compliance
Having a workers’ compensation policy helps your business stay compliant, but it is also the type of coverage that can be a difference-maker for you and your team. By having a policy, staffers can rest easy knowing that if work-related illnesses or injuries happen on the job, they’ll have coverage. On the flip side, employers can also feel confident that they’ll steer clear of any legal issues stemming from workplace sickness or accidents.