What are your employer’s responsibilities according to Missouri workers’ compensation laws?
In the state of Missouri, employers are required to carry something called workers’ compensation insurance. It is insurance that is taken out to pay for any work-related injury suffered by an employee in the workplace. The employer has the option, however, of providing workers’ compensation for their employees through either insurance carriers or through being self-insured, but the insurance itself is mandatory if they employ more than five employees.
Missouri Workers’ Compensation
When employers purchase insurance from an insurance carrier, they do so just like they would auto insurance or liability insurance. Most companies will have an insurance company write a policy that is individualized for the company’s needs. Other companies that have a hard time finding insurance because they either have minimal premiums, like anything under ten thousand dollars, are lumped into a risk pool. The Missouri Department of Insurance and the Financial Institutions and Professional Registration are agencies that can help those employers that have a hard time finding or affording workers’ compensation coverage for their employees.
If a company opts out of having an insurance carrier to manage their workers’ compensation insurance, they may take out their own insurance, but it has to be approved by the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Self-insured employers are handled through the Insurance Unit, which functions as the capacity of a regulator, auditor and chief underwriter for insurance policies meant to cover employees. There are two different types of insurance policies that a self-employed company may opt to take out, either a group trust or an individual. It depends on the assets of the company and how financially stable they are to cover the costs of insuring their employees.
Insurance in the Construction Industry
Companies that have fewer than five employees are not required to take out workers’ compensation insurance unless they are within the construction industry. If you work in construction, then you must purchase insurance for your employees regardless if you have less than five or not. If an employer does not carry the insurance or opts out, then they can be sued in civil court should an employee be injured on the job. The partners and sole proprietors are not covered unless they choose to take out an insurance policy. The family members of sole proprietors and partners have limited liability unless they specifically opted them out.
The exceptions to workers’ compensation laws in Missouri are the railroad, maritime and postal workers who are covered under federal laws and do not fall under the workers’ compensation laws in Missouri. If you are an employer and do not carry workers compensation insurance for your employees, you could be held liable in civil court for any injuries incurred by your employees.
Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you have been injured on the job and are having difficulty getting the workers compensation benefits you need and deserve, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann now. Cal us at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form to request a free consultation.
Do not let the insurance carrier or your employer deny you of your rightful benefits.