If you run a business and have employees, you’ll need to purchase Nebraska workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, this type of insurance is a requirement in most states, including Nebraska, 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 Nebraska, with some exceptions.
In Nebraska, workers’ compensation insurance generally costs around $1.18 per $100 of covered payroll. That means, for example, if your company’s total annual payroll is $100,000, you’d pay $1,180 for workers’ compensation insurance, or around $98 a month. These rates can differ, though, depending on a variety of factors.
One of the biggest factors in determining your rates for workers’ compensation insurance is your employees’ risk, or the likelihood of a workplace injury occurring at your business. To assist insurers in determining risk exposure, and to get the best rates for your business, you can use a variety of workers’ compensation class codes. This is important because it costs more to insure certain employees. For example, office employees may have lower workers’ compensation costs than those who work outside of your office and face more risks.
If an employee sustains an injury on the job or becomes ill due to workplace conditions, workers’ compensation in Nebraska will help them with their medical bills. The average weekly wage of the employee determines the workers’ compensation benefits. The amount depends on the type of claim.
In general, workers’ compensation in Nebraska covers:
- Accidents and injuries – If your employee needs medical attention, workers’ compensation will cover any medical expenses from a workplace injury.
- Illness – If an employee becomes sick from exposure to allergens or other hazardous materials at work, they can also receive workers’ comp benefits to help pay for treatment.
- Repetitive injury – It’s not just accidents that are covered: treatment for repetitive injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, are also covered by workers’ compensation.
- Ongoing care – If your employee still has medical needs as a direct result of their accident or illness, even after they return to work, they can get benefits for ongoing care. This includes additional doctor’s appointments or additional surgeries.
In addition, if their accident or illness results in permanent or temporary disability, your employee will receive weekly or lump sum payments. If they have a temporary disability, their injury prevents your employee from performing their job. But they can return to work as normal once they recover. If a doctor diagnoses them with an injury from which they will not fully recover, they have a permanent disability.
These categories fall into the following classifications:
- Temporary total disability (TTD) – These payments will be made if your employee is not able to work at all while recuperating.
- Temporary partial disability (TPD) – TPD payments will be made if your employee can still work, but only with certain limitations, such as needing to perform lighter duties or work fewer hours. If your company does not provide work that meets these requirements, the employee may still be eligible for these payments.
- Permanent total disability (PTD) – Employees who are unable to work due to an accident or illness, even after they have recovered as much as they are likely to, will be eligible for PTD payments.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) – Employees who have permanent difficulties but can work with them will be eligible for PPD.
Nebraska’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
If one of your employees dies as a result of a workplace injury or illness, their dependents will qualify for workers’ compensation death benefits.
In Nebraska, the following people are typically financially dependent on the employee:
- A surviving spouse
- Children younger than 18 who live at home with the employee’s spouse
- Children younger than 22 who are enrolled in an accredited higher education program
- Adult children who are mentally or physically unable to support themselves, or who depended on the deceased worker for financial support in the past
The employee’s surviving spouse is entitled to two-thirds of the worker’s previous pay until the spouse remarries.
Nebraska’s Workers’ Compensation Laws
Workers’ compensation laws in Nebraska require that every business with at least one employee carry workers’ compensation insurance. But there are some exceptions to Nebraska workers’ compensation laws, including:
- Railroad companies
- Domestic workers who are employed in private residences
- Businesses employing agricultural workers
Self-employed, partners, and LLC members are exempt from purchasing workers’ compensation insurance.
Executive officers of corporations in the state who own 25% or more of their company’s common stock are not considered employees and thus are not covered by workers’ comp.
Also exempt are executive officers of nonprofit organizations in the state who earn $1,000 or less from their work for the nonprofit.
Any of the above, however, can purchase coverage if desired. This would be a wise decision, because health insurance companies will not always fully cover work-related injuries, and they will not cover lost wages at all. Executive officers who wish to purchase workers’ compensation coverage must notify their insurance company as well as the entity’s corporate secretary.
How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Most businesses in Nebraska buy private workers’ compensation insurance from an insurance company in the state. EZ’s agents can help you compare insurers and policies to find the best coverage for you.
If your company’s high-risk status (for example, if you have a history of making a lot of workers’ comp claims) makes it impossible to obtain workers’ compensation insurance through the voluntary market, you can obtain coverage from the Nebraska assigned risk pool. This serves as the state’s last-resort workers’ compensation carrier.
The final option for obtaining workers’ compensation insurance is to self-insure your claims. This means that your business will pay for workers’ compensation claims out-of-pocket as they arise, rather than paying a premium and submitting claims to an insurance company.
To become self-insured, you must first file an application with the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court. Once approved, a self-insurer must file a surety bond and proof of excess insurance with the Workers’ Compensation Court.
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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.
Nebraska Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Are you required to have workers’ compensation insurance in Nebraska?
Any business with employees in your state has to carry workers’ comp insurance unless otherwise exempt. Nebraska takes workers’ compensation very seriously. If you violate the law, you could face one or more of the following penalties:
- Each violation is punishable by a civil fine of up to $1,000. Each day of noncompliance after that will be treated as a separate violation.
- A year in prison.
- The loss of your company’s ability to conduct business in the state.
In addition, an employee can sue you in district court for damages, in which case you will lose your common law defense.
How do workers’ compensation settlements work in Nebraska?
Many workers’ compensation claims in Nebraska result in settlements. This means that the parties in the case – the employee, the business, and the insurer – reach an agreement on a lump-sum payment amount. In exchange, the employee (or the employee’s survivors) must agree to not seek future benefit payments.
Employees who want to accept a lump-sum payment in lieu of future benefits must file an application with the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court.
What is the statute of limitations in Nebraska?
In Nebraska, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of your employee’s injury, or two years from the time the last payment was made if compensation was paid. This means that your employee must file a lawsuit two years after their date of injury, or two years after the last date of payment on their claim. Their lawsuit does not have to close by that date; it only needs to be filed in Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court. Your employee will be unable to file a claim if this deadline has passed.
Why Use EZ
If you’re looking for workers’ compensation insurance, come to EZ. We pride ourselves on doing everything we can to give you an easy and stress-free shopping experience. We give our customers our full attention and offer fully personalized service and fast results. As soon as you fill out our form, you will receive free quotes from one of our agents, who will understand your needs right from the start. We want to ensure that you make the best decision and get the best coverage for the best price. Our services are completely free so check out your personalized 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.