If you run a business and have employees, you’ll need to purchase Maine workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, this type of insurance is a requirement in most states, including Maine, with some exceptions. It helps pay your employees’ medical bills if they sustain an injury on the job. And limits your liability for workplace accidents, is a requirement in most states, including Maine, with some exceptions.
In Maine, workers’ compensation insurance costs around $1.35 for every $100 of covered payroll. That means a business with a total annual payroll of $100,000, for example, will pay around $1,350 for workers’ compensation insurance each year, or around $112 a month. These rates can change, though, depending on a variety of factors.
The likelihood of an on-the-job injury at your workplace will help determine your workers’ compensation rates. When applying for your policy, you can classify different employees with different class codes to make sure you’re paying the right amount. For example, some office workers may have lower workers’ compensation costs than those who perform more labor-intensive tasks and are more vulnerable to injury.
If one of your employees is injured at work or becomes ill because of workplace conditions. Workers’ compensation in Kentucky can help pay for their medical bills. The weekly average wage of an employee is used to calculate workers’ compensation benefits. The type of claim determines the exact amount.
The most important thing that workers’ compensation does is offer coverage for your injured employee’s medical treatment. This would include doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, and surgical procedures. Following a return to work, an employee may need ongoing care. Such as follow-up appointments or extra surgeries; workers’ compensation will also cover these medical bills.
Additionally, if the incident causes permanent or temporary disability, the employee will receive compensation in the form of weekly or lump sum payments. If your employee suffers a temporary disability, their injury is preventing them from performing their regular job while they recover. They have a permanent disability if a doctor determines that they will not fully recover from their injury.
These two classifications fall into two subcategories:
- Temporary total disability (TTD) – These payments will be made if your employee is unable to work at all during their recovery.
- Temporary partial disability (TPD) – TPD payments will be made if your employee is still able to work, but with certain restrictions, such as requiring lighter duties or fewer hours. Even if your company does not provide work that meets these requirements, the employee may still be eligible for these payments.
- Permanent total disability (PTD) – If the accident or illness leaves your employee unable to work at all, even after recovery, they will be eligible for PTD payments.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) – If an employee has permanent impairments but is able to work with those impairments, they will be eligible for PPD.
Maine’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
If an employee passes away as a result of a work-related injury or illness, their surviving spouse and dependent children will be entitled to death benefits. Weekly payments to cover a portion of the deceased employee’s income, as well as funeral and burial costs, will be distributed to your employee’s survivors.
In Maine, the surviving spouse and dependent children are considered “wholly dependent” when determining workers’ compensation benefits. That means they are entitled to a portion of the deceased worker’s earnings.
Other family members can be considered partially dependent. Benefits will be paid to partially dependent relatives only if there are no wholly dependent surviving family members.
For the surviving spouse and children to be considered wholly dependent, they must have been:
- Living with the deceased at the time of their death
- Living apart for a just cause, or because the employee deserted the spouse.
- Dependent on the earnings of the deceased employee
To be considered wholly dependent, children must be:
- Under the age of 18
- Under 23 if they are a full-time student
- Physically or mentally unable to work, no matter their age.
Eligible survivors are entitled to weekly death benefits equal to two-thirds of the deceased employee’s average weekly earnings. This amount cannot be greater than the state’s average weekly wage.
The weekly benefit for partially dependent survivors will be determined by how much the deceased provided for each dependent.
Survivors, whether wholly or partially dependent, can receive benefits for a maximum of 500 weeks.
Dependents in Maine can also receive payment for reasonable burial costs up to $4,000. You will also be also obligated to pay $3,000 in incidental expenses to the estate of the deceased employee.
Maine’s Workers’ Compensation Laws
Most Maine employers have to by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Certain employers and employees, however, are exempt from this law, including:
- Employers in agriculture or aquaculture with seasonal or casual workers, if they have at least $25,000 in employer liability insurance and $5,000 in medical payments coverage.
- Agricultural or aquacultural businesses with six or fewer employees that have at least $100,000 in liability insurance and at least $5,000 in medical payments coverage.
- Domestic workers in a private home.
- Self-employed owners who don’t have any employees.
- Independent contractors hired on a project basis who are not full-time employees.
If you are not exempt, you must have workers’ compensation insurance. Without it, your employees can sue you if they suffer a work-related injury or illness. You and your business may also face fines and criminal charges.
How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If you’re looking for workers’ compensation coverage in Maine, you should first look into a policy from a private commercial insurance company. EZ provides a simple online application for Maine businesses to compare quotes from top insurance carriers, as well as licensed agents with insurance expertise who can help you choose the best carrier and policy for your business.
If you do not qualify for a workers’ comp policy from a private insurer, you can purchase one from the Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company, the state’s assigned risk residual market. This is the last resort for employers in the state who are unable to find standard coverage due to a large number of previous workers’ compensation claims.
If you meet certain criteria, you can self-insure your workers’ compensation claims. This means you will pay your own workers’ compensation medical and rehabilitation costs, rather than paying a premium and submitting claims to a commercial workers’ compensation insurer. Because self-insured employers are liable for all workers’ compensation costs, the state advises only large employers to consider self-insurance.
To apply for self-insurance status, businesses must submit an application to the Maine Bureau of Insurance’s Self-Insurance Division. They must be financially sound and able to guarantee future workers’ compensation claims and administrative expenses in order to qualify.
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How to Get the Most Savings
The majority of the cost of workers’ compensation comes from factors beyond your control. However, there are still ways to save. Implementing a safety program is a great way to reduce workplace injuries and claims, which will lower your premiums. So regardless of your industry, it is important to have safety and standard operating procedures in place. Employees who have safety training are less vulnerable to injuries, lowering your workers’ compensation costs.
It is also a good idea to regularly review your claims history. Evaluating your claims history on a regular basis can help you identify and correct patterns. You might discover that certain aspects of your business operations are frequently causing claims. This allows you to adjust the operation to make it safer. You can save money by keeping an eye on potentially dangerous operations.
Correctly classifying your employees is one of the most effective ways to save money. When you apply for your workers’ compensation policy, you will classify each of your employees depending on their job’s risk. And this risk classification influences the cost of your workers’ compensation. For example, you might pay less to insure an office worker than you would a manual laborer. It’s also important to correctly classify your employees because you may receive a fine if you fail to do so.
Begin a free online application today to compare workers’ compensation insurance quotes for your small business from leading U.S. insurers. EZ’s agents specialize in insurance for a wide range of small businesses. Working with our agents can save you hundreds of dollars a year on coverage.
Maine Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Are you required to have workers’ compensation insurance in Maine?
Yes, Maine workers’ comp laws require most employers to carry coverage. If you operate a business in Maine without having workers’ compensation insurance, you may face penalties. You may also be required to pay for workers’ compensation medical and death benefits yourself. The lack of insurance does not absolve you of this responsibility.
In addition, failing to carry workers’ compensation may result in you:
- Charges with a Class D crime
- Fines of up to $10,000 in civil penalties, or 108% of the premium you would have normally paid for workers’ compensation insurance (whichever is larger)
- Losing your corporate charter and/or business license
Finally, if an employee sues you for failing to maintain workers’ compensation, your commercial liability insurance policy will not cover your defense.
How do workers’ compensation settlements work in Maine?
A workers’ compensation settlement is an agreement between the employee, the employer, and the insurer to end a workers’ compensation claim.
A Maine workers’ compensation settlement involves an injured or sick employee giving up the right to future workers’ compensation benefits. In exchange, the individual receives a lump-sum payment.
All settlements are subject to the approval of a Maine Workers’ Compensation Board administrative law judge.
What is the statute of limitations in Maine?
In Maine, the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims is two years from the time an employer has to file a First Report of Injury for an employee missing one or more days of work. If there is no need for a first report, the statute of limitations is the date of the injury.
Why Use EZ
We do everything in our power to make shopping for workers’ compensation insurance as easy and stress-free as possible, and we give each of our customers our undivided attention. As soon as you fill out our form, you will receive instant, free quotes from your dedicated agent, who will give you personalized service and will work to understand your needs. We want to ensure that you make the best decision possible, and that you get the best coverage at the best price. Our services are completely free so check your local quotes today!
If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3538. You will connect with a local insurance agent who can answer all of your questions, and help you find the workers’ compensation policy that works best for your business.