Introduction to California Workers Comp

If you're new to the world of Worker's Comp or just need a little review as you come up on your California company's renewal, this is the right place to start with plenty of more detailed articles available through our Learning Center.  Granted, you probably want to check Worker's Comp off your list and go back to more pressing issues but it's one of those business expenses we can bring down which is an equally pressing matter especially in today's business climate.  Let's us help you address both cost and ease of shopping but first, what is Worker's Comp in California?

To begin with, it's the law.  For companies with even one California employee on payroll, you must provider Workers Comp insurance.  This makes it very different from many other business insurances such as group health.   The baseline penalty for not having Workers Comp in California is a misdemeanor and only get's worse from there with the potential for other fines and work stoppage.  This says nothing about the true risk that Workers Comp insurance is designed to protect against which can severely impact even larger companies' balance sheets.  What exactly does the insurance protect a California business from? 

California Workers Comp is considered liability insurance which means it protects the insured from financial risks associated with injuries and disabilities that occur while performing the normal duties of a given job.  Let's give a example to help clarify this protection.  Let's say you have a warehouse and an employee is injured while using one of the many pieces of machinery in your office space.  There's the initial medical expenses associated with the employee's acute situation (stabilizing health and getting him/her back to the best available physical status).  This might only be the beginning of the financial risk even though medical bills (especially without health insurance) can quickly run 10's of 1000's of dollars for more serious issues.  The rehabilitation for the employee may take months if not longer.  There's the question of salary and benefits during this time and what if the person will be unable to work their original job or any job for that matter due to more serious disability resulting from the worksite injury?  Now, we may be talking 100's of thousands of dollars depending on the situation and your company's implicit or explicit culpability.  What if you don't have a warehouse but just run a professional office where the biggest risk might be hot coffee spilled on a keyboard?  

Careful.  In today's California workplace world, a serious disability claim is only a step stool, banker's box, or slick walkway away.  Ask any benefits employee or business owner about their worker's comp stories and you'll soon realize just how prevalent and occasionally, opportunistic the Worker's Comp claims in California can be.  This is where the Workers Comp insurance comes into play and we can help you find the best quote and plan for your company's situation.

In California, we have a split marketplace with private Workers Comp carriers and a public entity, State Fund, which generally operates as a carrier of last resort (due to pricing) for new California companies or existing companies with more risky worksites (such as roofers) or poor claims history.  We'll be able to look at your Quick California Worker's Comp form and determine which way to go.  Think of this as a general introduction but we'll be adding many more specific articles to our Learning Center to cover all aspects of the marketplace no matter how small.

Related Pages:

A look at the carrier landscape for Workers Comp
Workers comp for start up companies
Getting the best rates for workers comp

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