Do consultants need workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is important, even if you work in a calm office environment. Regardless of the low risk of injuries for consulting businesses, all it takes is one accident to put your financials at risk. Not having coverage can be devastating and can even result in having to shut down operations due to financial capital (and time) expended on a lawsuit.
Whether you’re a one man (or woman) show with an assistant, or a large consulting firm, you count on the people who work for you to keep the ball rolling. And they count on you to keep them safe.
What if I have no employees?
If you’re the only one holding down the fort in your consulting business, you might not be legally required to get workers’ compensation at all. But keep this in mind: Even if you don’t have salaried employees, you’re responsible for anyone who works for you. That includes other contractors.
Even if you have no employees, it’s still a good idea to consider a workers’ comp policy for yourself.
Most health insurance plans will not cover medical expenses for work-related injuries or illnesses. That includes car accidents en route to a client meeting or repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. Workers’ comp also pays for lost wages, which is critical in the event that you get injured.
Clients may require you to buy a workers’ compensation policy for yourself.
Clients may require you to have workers’ comp in the contract or ask for a Certificate of Insurance (COI) before they hire you. Bigger clients will often require it so they won’t be held liable should you get hurt on the job.
What’s covered under a workers’ compensation policy?
When you have workers’ comp, your employees (you can also include yourself in the policy) will have insurance coverage if they get hurt or sick on the job.
Benefits may include:
- Medical costs due to sickness or injury
- Services needed to help recover and return to work
- Reimbursement for lost wages
- Protection from employee lawsuits
Common consultant workers’ compensation claims
- Repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Back injuries from lifting heavy file boxes
- An injury from a car accident while performing work duties (like running errands or making a deposit)
How can I minimize risk at my office?
Consultants don’t typically work with heavy machinery, but there are several safety precautions a consulting firm can take.
You could spend a little extra on ergonomic furniture to help prevent eye strain, repetitive motion injuries, and other physical strains. Keeping your office neat to reduce the possibility of trips over file boxes or computer cords is crucial.
We also recommend you train your staff on proper box-lifting techniques to cut down on back injuries and establish rules about phone use while driving to minimize risk.
How much does workers’ comp cost for consultants?
The less risk you are exposed to, the less expensive your workers’ compensation policy will be. Get a customized estimate and find out how much workers’ compensation would cost for your business.