How Does Workers Compensation Insurance Work in Vermont?
If you stop and think about it, one of the main reasons why your business works as well as it does is because of the employees you’ve hired. As an employer, part of your responsibility is to make sure you’ve provided a safe environment for them to do their jobs in. Unfortunately, even the best efforts aren’t always enough in this regard. Sometimes people still get hurt on the job. That’s where workers compensation comes in. So how does it work in Vermont?
Who Needs It
The rules about workers compensation insurance for businesses in Vermont mean that most are required to have it. If you have a single employee, you have to have coverage. It doesn’t matter if your employees work part time or full time. That said, there are exceptions. Employees of sole proprietorships, partners in unincorporated businesses, casual workers, those involved in amateur sports, those with farm jobs that have a total payroll of less than $10,000 per year, some elected officials and volunteers, and members of LLCs and corporate officers who have opted out with the permission of the Vermont Department of Labor are not required to have workers compensation insurance.
What It Covers
Even if your business falls under the category of not technically being required to carry workers compensation insurance, it’s still a good idea to. Injuries can be costly, both for your employee who would presumably be missing work and racking up medical bills, and for your company, who will need to spend valuable time and money finding, hiring, and training a replacement. Workers compensation insurance generally covers things like death benefits, wage replacement benefits, permanent impairment benefits, medical benefits, and vocational rehabilitation.
Penalties for Not Having It
There’s no getting around the fact that insurance costs your business money. Still, it’s not likely to cost as much as what you’d pay if you were found to not have it if you were required to. Failing to comply with workers compensation laws in Vermont can cost your business $100 per day for the first seven days you are out of compliance, and $150 per day after that. That’s going to add up fast. If that’s not motivation enough, the state could potentially shut down your business. Clearly, it’s better to make sure you’re in compliance.
Workers compensation requirements are determined at the state level, so as a Vermont-based business, it’s important to understand how it works here. Most businesses will find that they are required to carry it. Don’t just choose any policy though. Make sure you understand what your policy covers and don’t let it lapse. You don’t want to deal with the penalties for not having it.