If you run a business and have employees, you’ll need to purchase Vermont workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, this type of insurance is a requirement in most states, including Vermont, 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 Vermont, with some exceptions.
In Vermont, business owners can expect to pay, on average, $1.68 for every $100 of covered payroll. That means, for example, a business with a total annual payroll of $100,000 will pay approximately $1,680 per year for workers’ compensation insurance, or around $140 a month. This is only a rough estimate, since factors such as your location, the different rates for staffing types (laborers vs office workers), and your claims history can all have a significant impact on your rates.
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 one of your employees is injured at work or becomes ill because of workplace conditions. Workers’ compensation in Vermont 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.
Vermont’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
If an employee dies as a result of a work-related illness or injury in Vermont, their dependents will be entitled to death benefits. These include payments of up to $10,000 for burial and funeral expenses, as well as up to $5,000 for transporting the body to the burial site.
Weekly survivor income benefits will also be provided by workers’ compensation insurance. The amount of these benefits could range from 67% to 77% of the worker’s previous weekly pay, depending on if they had a spouse and/or one or more children. Survivor benefits are subject to the same minimum and maximum caps as other Vermont workers’ compensation benefits.
Vermont’s Workers’ Compensation Laws
According to Vermont’s workers’ compensation laws, every business with employees must have workers’ compensation insurance, with the exception of employees who meet the following criteria:
- Self-employed or partners in unincorporated businesses
- Members of limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporate officers
- Casual workers, or those who are not employed in the core functions of the business
- Someone who participates in amateur sports
- A person employed in agriculture or other farm jobs whose employer has an annual payroll of less than $10,000
- Certain elected officials and volunteers
If an independent contractor assigns one or more additional workers to your project, Vermont will require you to carry insurance coverage. If the contractor is working alone, you will not be required to provide coverage.
How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance
In Vermont, you can buy a workers’ compensation insurance policy from a private insurance carrier that is licensed by the state to offer workers’ compensation insurance.
If your business is considered high-risk, and you are unable to obtain a workers’ compensation policy through the voluntary market, you can obtain coverage through the Vermont assigned risk market. The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) manages this insurance pool, which serves as the state’s last-resort workers’ compensation carrier.
If you meet certain criteria, you may be able to self-insure your workers’ compensation claims. This means you will pay any workers’ compensation claims out-of-pocket, instead of paying a premium and submitting claims to an insurance company.
To be eligible for self-insurance, you must file an application with the Vermont Department of Labor and meet asset, profit, and cash flow requirements. Furthermore, you must post bonds and provide proof that you can meet excess liability.
If you need help finding workers’ comp insurance, EZ’s agents can help sort through all of your options, and find you the best policy for your business.
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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.
Vermont Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Are you required to have workers’ compensation insurance in Vermont?
Yes, nearly all Vermont employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance. It is a serious offense to violate Vermont’s workers’ compensation law. If you do not comply, you may face a civil penalty of $100 per day for the first seven days you did not maintain coverage, and $150 for each day after that. After you receive an order to obtain insurance, the daily fines for noncompliance increase.
Failure to comply may not only jeopardize your ability to defend yourself in future workers’ compensation-related lawsuits, but it may also result in the state shutting down your business.
How do workers’ compensation settlements work in Vermont?
Many workers’ compensation claims in Vermont result in settlements. This means that the claim’s parties – you, your injured employee, and your insurer – must agree on a lump-sum payment in exchange for the employee (or the employee’s survivors) agreeing to waive future payments.
In Vermont, there are two types of settlements:
- A non-medical, limited settlement terminates disability income benefits but allows for future medical payments.
- A total lump-sum settlement settles the entire claim in exchange for the insurer paying the employee (or the person’s survivors) a predetermined sum of money.
All workers’ compensation settlements must be approved by the Vermont Division of Workers’ Compensation. All entities must file a Compromise Agreement with the division, as well as a letter outlining the issues in dispute and how settlement funds will be distributed.
What is the statute of limitations in Vermont?
Employees in Vermont must file a workers’ compensation claim within six months of being injured. That period can be extended if they can prove that you were aware of the incident.
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 get the best coverage at the best price. Our services are completely free so check out your quotes today!
If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3538. You will speak to 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.