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Arborists face many hazards while out in the field so it goes without saying that employee safety should be the highest priority for your arborist business. Your employees can encounter many dangers, with electricity being high on the list. Aside from power lines, even a street lamp circuit or phone line can contain enough voltage to kill. Arborists also risk being struck by a tree or tree limb or suffering from a fall. Having a workers compensation policy will ensure any injured employees are protected — they will receive proper medical treatment and have their wages covered while recuperating.
If you have even just one employee working for your business, you are required to have a workers compensation policy. Not only are employees covered, but there will be protection in place for the employer as well since employee benefits are provided automatically without the need to file a lawsuit.
An employee who becomes injured or ill due to work may have to take time off for medical treatment or to go through rehabilitation. This portion of the policy will cover the employee’s medical costs and any lost income while they are unable to work. In the event of a permanent disability, benefits would also be provided under this policy.
From time to time, your employees may be required to travel to another state for business. Under this policy, coverage will be in place in the event they are involved in an accident while away on business. It should be noted that most policies do not offer this coverage.
If your negligence is the cause of injury to an employee, this portion of the workers compensation policy would cover you and your business. This coverage is important if the injured employee decides to take legal action against you, seeking additional compensation over and above their existing workers compensation benefits.
If your business operates in North Dakota, Ohio, Washington or Wyoming—the remaining monopolistic states—this policy will cover any lawsuits filed against your business in one of these states. Monopolistic states do not allow private insurance so they maintain control over workers compensation benefits, which go through their state funds.
Employees are responsible for thousands of claims brought against their employers every year. This portion of the policy covers legal expenses to defend yourself and your business against such claims. Additionally, many fraudulent claims are filed, but you still must be responsible for your defense and related costs. Regardless of a claim’s merit, your legal costs are covered.
An employee could decide to sue a third party for extra compensation if they believe the third party to be the cause of their workplace accident. For example, if one of your employees is electrocuted while on the job, he may sue the property owners for providing false information about electrical hazards. The property owner may then sue your company saying that adequate information was indeed provided to your business. You would definitely want this insurance in place to cover your legal defense costs.