Delaware Workers’ Compensation

delaware worker's compensation text overlaying image of capital building If you run a business and have employees, you’ll need to purchase Delaware workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, this type of insurance is a requirement in most states, including Delaware, with some exceptions. It helps pay your employees’ medical bills if they get injured on the job. And limits your liability for workplace accidents.

Workers’ compensation insurance costs Delaware business owners an average of around $1.47 per $100 of covered payroll. For example, a company with a total annual payroll of $100,000 will pay approximately $1,470 for workers compensation insurance annually. Or around $122 a month. These rates vary greatly depending on a number of factors.

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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. This ensures 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. This is because their duties expose them to greater risks.


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What’s Covered

Workers’ compensation can help with several things if one of your employees is injured at work or becomes ill because of workplace conditions. Such as medical bills or lost wages. The employee’s weekly average wage is what determines their workers’ compensation benefits. The type of claim determines the exact amount.

Workers’ compensation generally covers the following types of workplace medical issues:

  • Accidents and injuries – If your employee is injured in an accident at work, and they require medical care, workers’ compensation will cover their medical bills.
  • Illness – If an employee becomes ill from exposure to allergens or other hazards in your workplace, they can also receive workers’ comp benefits to help pay for treatment.
  • Repetitive injury – It’s not just injuries from one-time 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, workers’ compensation insurance covers disabilities caused by a workplace accident or illness. Your policy will usually compensate your employee in the form of weekly or lump sum payments. Disabilities are classified in different ways, and are paid accordingly, as laid out in your policy. 

If the injury prevents them from performing their regular job while they recover, they have a temporary disability. They have a permanent disability if a doctor determines that they will not fully recover from their injury. These two types of disability fall into two subcategories for benefits purposes:

  1. Temporary total disability (TTD) – These payments will be made in the event that your employee is unable to work at all while recovering.
  2. Temporary partial disability (TPD) – TPD payments are made when your employee is still able to work, but only with certain restrictions, such as lighter work 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.
  3. Permanent total disability (PTD) – If your employee is unable to work due to an accident or illness, even after they have recovered to their full medical potential, they are eligible for PTD payments.
  4. Permanent partial disability (PPD) – Employees who have permanent impairments, but are able to work with those impairments are eligible for PPD.


Delaware’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits

If an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, their dependents may qualify for death benefits.

Anyone who was financially dependent on the decedent can file for workers’ compensation death benefits in Delaware. If they were solely responsible for the dependent, the death benefit will be equal to two-thirds of their average pay. If the worker was not entirely responsible for supporting the dependent, the weekly death benefit will be less.

For example, if the employee provided 60% of their family’s income and their spouse provided the remaining 40%. The weekly death benefit would be 60% of the worker’s weekly pay prior to injury or illness. All eligible dependents share these benefits.

Survivors qualify for death benefits for a minimum of five years and a maximum of twelve years. Depending on the circumstances. Benefits may sometimes last longer if a child has a disability before the worker passes away. Or if the child is still in school (up to the age of 18) or a full-time student (up to age 23).

Benefits have a limit that changes annually in cases where the beneficiary is someone other than a surviving spouse or child.

Delaware workers’ estates are also eligible for a $7,000 funeral expense reimbursement. This is paid whether or not the deceased worker had dependents.


Delaware’s Workers’ Compensation Laws

Workers’ compensation laws in Delaware require all businesses with employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This requirement is beneficial to both your employees and your business. They will receive compensation if they are injured or become ill on the job, and your liability for workplace injuries or illnesses will be limited.

There is one exception to the law in Delaware: agricultural businesses. But these types of businesses can still provide coverage for their employees if they wish. If they do not, they may be liable for any workplace injuries.

For reference, you can look at the Delaware Workers’ Compensation Fee Schedule. Which is a guide that assists businesses and insurance companies in paying medical charges.

The fee schedule is part of Delaware’s payment system for workers’ comp. The payment system also includes regulations surrounding balance billing in workers’ comp settlements. Delaware’s workers’ compensation healthcare payment system does not allow balance billing. Meaning healthcare providers cannot bill an employee for unauthorized charges. For example, if your employee receives treatment for a work injury that costs $200. If their health insurance only pays out $80, your employee’s provider cannot charge them the $120 difference.


How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance

In most cases, you can obtain workers’ compensation coverage from a private commercial insurance company. EZ provides a simple online application for Delaware businesses to compare quotes from top insurance carriers, as well as agents with insurance expertise who can help you choose the best carrier and policy for your business.

If you are unable to obtain coverage through the private market, the Delaware Workers Compensation Insurance Plan (DIP) can help. They provide an alternative to traditional workers’ comp, known as the “assigned risk” or “residual market”. The DIP ensures that you can meet your statutory obligations under workers’ compensation law even if you can’t get coverage in another way.

You will be eligible for DIP as long as you’ve made a good faith effort to obtain workers’ compensation coverage through the private market. That means that two Delaware-licensed insurance carriers must have declined your applications for insurance. You are ineligible if you do not accept any reasonable offer of coverage from a private carrier. 

Furthermore, you are not eligible for assignment through the DIP unless you satisfy all previous and current workers’ compensation premium obligations. Whether you have disputed them or not.

You can also choose to self-insure, which means that you will agree to pay any workers’ compensation medical and rehabilitation costs rather than submitting them to an insurance carrier. You will need to apply to be able to do this, and to meet certain requirements.

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How to Get the Most Savings

Even though the majority of workers’ compensation costs are determined by factors beyond your control, there are still ways to save. A safety program is an excellent way to avoid workplace injuries and claims. It is absolutely vital to have safety and proper working procedures in place, no matter what your industry. Employees who have been safety trained are less likely to be injured, resulting in lower workers’ compensation costs for your company.

It is also generally a good idea to regularly review your claims history. Analyzing your claims history can help you spot and fix patterns. You may discover that some elements of your business operations are commonly causing claims. In this case you should revise those operations to make them safer. By keeping an eye on potentially hazardous operations, you can save money.

One of the most efficient ways to save money is to properly classify your employees. When you apply for workers’ comp insurance, you will have to classify each employee based on their function, such as desk worker or laborer. These risk classifications have an impact on the cost of workers’ compensation, so make sure your employees are classified correctly. Not only that, but if you fail to properly classify your employees, you can face fines.

Last but not least, you can save hundreds of dollars a year by working with EZ’s licensed agents. We specialize in insurance for a wide range of small businesses and can find the best policy for your business and your budget. Start a free application online today to compare workers’ compensation insurance quotes for your small business from leading U.S. insurers.


Delaware Workers’ Compensation FAQS

  • Are you required to have workers’ compensation insurance in Delaware?

Yes, workers’ compensation laws in Delaware require all businesses with employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you do not comply with Delaware workers’ compensation laws, you may face fines three times the annual insurance premium you should have been paying.

  • How do workers’ compensation settlements work in Delaware?

A workers’ compensation settlement is an agreement between parties to resolve a workers’ compensation claim. Both the employee and the employer benefit from this. A workers’ compensation settlement is a complete and final resolution. Meaning once an employee agrees to a settlement, the matter is considered settled. And you will not be liable to compensate them any further.

Employees do not have to accept settlements. But if your employee will not require further treatment, they can agree to accept a lump sum in exchange for closing the claim. 

the Delaware Office of Workers’ Compensation must review every workers’ compensation settlement in Delaware.

  • What is the statute of limitations in Delaware?

The statute of limitations in Delaware for filing an initial workers’ compensation claim is two years in the case of injury and one year from the time the employee discovered they had contracted an illness due to workplace conditions. 

Employees must report workplace injuries within 10 days of the incident and file a workers’ compensation claim within 90 days.


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. The best part is that our services are completely free!

If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3538. You can connect 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.

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About The Author:
Cassandra Love

With over a decade of helpful content experience Cassandra has dedicated her career to making sure people have access to relevant, easy to understand, and valuable information. After realizing a huge knowledge gap Cassandra spent years researching and working with health insurance companies to create accessible guides and articles to walk anyone through every aspect of the insurance process.

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