Workers compensation insurance is an essential aspect in conducting a business, whether you have 1 employee or quite a few. In many states, it is mandatory to carry this type of insurance for your employees. However, it can be challenging to determine which insurance company to choose. For more information on the best workers comp insurance in Maryland, keep reading below.
What Is Workers Compensation Insurance?
Workers compensation insurance provides employees with payments if they get injured in the course of their employment. For example, if an employee slips and falls at work, workers compensation insurance could pay for their injuries and lost wages.
Maryland Workers Compensation Law
You’re legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if you have 1 or more employees. Before we dive into the specifics, here are some of the statistics related to workers’ compensation insurance in Maryland:
- Number of fatal injuries annually: 5,190
- Employers cost per $100 of covered payroll: $1
- National ranking (1= largest % increase from 2012-2016): -0.07%
- Low rate per $100 in payroll: $0.24
- High rate per $100 in payroll: $13.89
For workers compensation insurance in Maryland, the following is required by law:
- Employers must purchase workers compensation insurance from any Maryland licensed insurer or obtain approval from the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission to self-insure.
- Employers must obtain a worker’s permit for any employee under the age of 18.
- Notice of workers compensation insurance must be displayed in a conspicuous area for all employees to see.
- These notices should include the responsibilities of the employer and employee if an injury were to occur and the employer’s name, address, FEIN number and name of the workers compensation insurance company.
- Any injury that results in a disability for more than 3 days should be reported to the Workers Compensation Commission within 10 days of the incident and provided to the workers compensation insurer.
Like many other types of insurance, you will enroll in a workers’ insurance policy with an insurance company to cover your business and employees.
Your premium is the amount of money you pay to the company each year. Insurance premiums are typically broken down into monthly payments, although some companies offer discounts if you pay more of your premium in advance.
How Workers Compensation Insurance Works
All private employers are required to purchase and keep a workers’ compensation insurance policy active. Your workers’ compensation insurance will provide protection for both you as the employer and your employees.
- Employers: Protected against liability risk if one of your employees experiences an injury in the workplace.
- Employees: Protected if you suffer from a workplace injury. This insurance is designed to help you recover financially. It can also provide financial assistance if you are unable to return to work in the same industry or position.
Unlike some other insurance types, workers’ compensation insurance is a no-fault insurance product. Both you and your employees can use workers’ compensation insurance if an injury occurs no matter who is at fault.
You may be held completely responsible if your employee suffers from a work-related injury and you don’t have workers’ compensation. This could include lawsuits filed against you as well as fines and out-of-pocket payments for your employee’s medical treatment.
Types of Workers Compensation Insurance in Maryland
Workers compensation pays for medical expenses and missed wages due to an injury that arises during the course of employment.
An important distinction to make regarding workers compensation insurance in Maryland is that it is not enough for an employee to be injured while “on the clock.” The specific wording in the statute focuses on the time, place and circumstances surrounding the accident. Whether insurance would cover injuries under workers compensation is dependent on these factors.
In addition to wage reimbursement and medical or hospital bills, workers compensation insurance in Maryland provides benefits for the following:
- Temporary Total Disability: This type of injury results in the employee being unable to complete their job functions temporarily. In these cases, employees are entitled to 2/3 of their average weekly pay, up to the average Maryland weekly pay, as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Temporary Partial Disability: If an injury results in an employee temporarily being unable to complete their full job functions but able to work in a reduced capacity, this condition is said to be a temporary partial disability. With this type of injury, the employee can collect 50% of the difference between their average weekly pay and the average weekly pay of their reduced job function. Similar to the temporary total disability, it is subject to a maximum of 50% of the average Maryland weekly pay.
- Permanent Total Disability: As the name suggests, this type of injury results in the employee being totally disabled on a permanent basis. These more severe injuries usually include the loss of use of arms, hands, legs or feet. Like the temporary total disability, the employee is entitled to 2/3 of their average weekly pay, up to the average Maryland weekly pay. They can also receive an annual adjustment for the cost of living, providing it does not exceed 5%.
- Permanent Partial Disability: These types of injuries result in an employee who has recovered from their injury but is left partially incapacitated. Employees eligible for this benefit receive at least $50 weekly for a specified period which varies depending on the severity of the injury and which body part was affected.
Types of Workers Comp Benefits
Depending on your employee’s injury, they will be eligible for different benefits:
- Wage replacement benefits: If your employee is unable to perform his regular job duties, he will be eligible for wage replacement benefits, including working a lower-paid job while he recovers from his injury. He will be eligible to receive 66.66% of the difference between the 2 wages. If your employee is unable to work at all, he will be eligible to receive 66.66% of regular wage biweekly until he returns to work.
- Permanent partial disability benefits: Your employee will be eligible for permanent partial disability if he suffers from a permanent impairment due to a work-related injury. The benefits your employee will receive will be based on age, wage and disability percentage. In most cases, permanent partial disability benefits are paid to the employee in a lump sum settlement.
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits: If your employee’s injury affects him in a way that he is unable to perform in the occupation of your business, he may qualify for this benefit. This means he can receive 66.66% of his wage biweekly while he receives training for a different occupation that better suits his needs.
- Medical Benefits: Employees who are injured on the job are eligible to receive coverage for all of the medical costs related to their injury. These medical benefits will be paid out by your workers’ comp insurance provider.
How to Handle a Workers Comp Claim
There are forms you and your employee need to fill out to comply with workers’ compensation insurance:
- Notice of injury or occupational disease incident report details the incident that occurred. Complete this form within 7 days after the injury or ailment occurs. After your employee fills it out, you’ll need to keep the form for 3 years.
- Employee’s claim for compensation/report of initial treatment requires you to visit a doctor before you’re able to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Your employee will fill out this form with the doctor who treats him for his work-related injury. The employee must file this claim with you and your insurance company within 3 business days of treatment. The doctor who treated your employee may be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 if he or she doesn’t fill out and submit the form during this time period.
- Employer’s report of industrial injury or occupational disease: You’ll have the opportunity to provide your own statement about the on-the-job injury that your employee experienced and the employee’s wage history. Be sure to include the employee’s date of hire and wage history accurately to help the insurance company determine the benefits that your employee is eligible for. Complete and submit this form to your workers’ comp provider within 6 business days of receiving the report of initial treatment from your employee’s medical provider.
- Employer’s wage verification form: Submit this detailed supplemental form to the insurance provider to help your insurance provider determine the compensation level from the employee. Be prepared to submit this form when your insurance provider requests it. There are some circumstances where your insurance provider will require this form within a specific period of time. If your employee will be out of work for 5 days in a 20-day period due to his or her injury, you will need to file this form within 6 business days after you receive the report of initial treatment.
Best Workers Comp Insurance in Maryland
Compare providers to find the best coverage for yourself and your employees. Here are some of the top workers’ compensation providers in Maryland to help you get started.
1. The Hartford: Best Overall
With more than 200 years of experience, The Hartford is selected among the nation’s top workers’ comp insurance carriers. The insurer is considered the best choice for worker’s compensation policies because of its preferred medical provider network with more than 1 million providers who treat workplace injuries.
It also offers more than 65,000 pharmacies in the U.S. to fill prescriptions usually with no out-of-pocket expense for injured workers, and a network of nurse care managers to help coordinate the injured workers’ care with doctors and therapists.
The Hartford offers companies pay-as-you-go billing solutions based on actual payroll, which can help manage cash flow and reduce audit surprises.
Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars for claim handling, The Hartford is the best insurer to handle your workers compensation claims. Its adjusters are efficient and friendly as well as knowledgeable about its products. The Hartford also has nurse case managers on staff to help coordinate treatment for injured workers.
2. Simply Business: Best for Tailored Coverage
Simply Business offers a comprehensive suite of business insurance that specializes in making it easy to insure your business.
Whether you’re looking for construction workers' insurance or insurance for your startup, Simply Business helps you find the right coverage at the right price.
Tell Simply Business a little bit about your business and you'll get almost-instantaneous affordable quotes from top insurance providers. You can look into workers’ comp insurance that will cover everyone on your team, and you can get covered in accordance with Maryland law without overspending.
Building your business is hard enough. Let Simply Business make it easier. Get a quote from Simply Business today.
3. Best for Online Services: biBERK Workers Compensation Insurance
securely through biBERK's website
Staying compliant with state and federal regulations
biBERK is a Berkshire Hathaway company rated A++ by AM Best. You can receive a workers compensation quote in minutes with just a few questions regarding industry and employee information.
Speak with a dedicated biBERK agent if you have questions or concerns, but almost everything can be completed online, including claim filing.
4. Best for Customizing Coverage: Progressive
securely through Progressive Workers Comp's website
Bundling commercial policies
With an A + (Superior) rating with AM Best, Progressive is a strong choice when it comes to customizing policies for all your small business needs. Its Progressive Advantage® Business Program allows customers to bundle their workers compensation insurance in Maryland with other policies, such as commercial auto, general liability and business interruption. It even offers discounts for multiple policies.
A widely-recognized insurance company, Progressive offers a number of insurance products. As a business owner in Maryland, you are eligible to receive Progressive workers’ comp insurance through a partner company. Progressive offers a number of resources to help you better understand workers’ compensation and why you need it. It also offers the ability to receive a quote for your workers’ comp policy online.
5. Best for Customer Service: CoverWallet
For the online quote process, it is no surprise that CoverWallet is rated highly for customer service. At the onset, you are greeted by a “personal advisor” to personalize your experience.
Call, chat or email if you need help at any point in the process. It even has a coverage calculator for types of policies you may need, given your industry, location and total revenue.
6. Best for Quotes: Tivly
get started through Tivly’s website
Matching you to the provider that fits your needs
Tivly uses the information you provide about your business to match you with the best insurance company for your workers compensation needs.
It works with prominent insurers such as The Hartford, Progressive and Liberty Mutual, to name a few. You can complete a quote online, but if you prefer, you can give its agents a call for quotes over the phone.
7. Travelers: Best for Employer Benefits
Travelers is a popular workers’ compensation insurance provider that offers a number of benefits. You’ll receive access to local claims professionals who can offer you more personalized service tailored to your business.
Travelers can also provide an investigative team to look into each claim and also offers safety resources to help you and your employees stay safe on the job.
8. Berkshire Hathaway: Best for Multi-Policy Benefits
Berkshire Hathaway operates its business insurance policies under the GUARD brand. GUARD offers business insurance that focuses on small business commercial policies.
You can purchase workers’ compensation coverage as a stand-alone insurance product or as part of a multi-policy package. This company offers competitive pricing, an easy process for quick quotes and a number of payment options. It also prides itself on providing a fast and fair claims process to help your employee recover and return to work quickly and efficiently.
9. Suracy: Best for Flexible Business Solutions
If your business is experiencing a change in its workforce, you may be concerned about finding a workers’ comp policy that can accommodate these changes. Suracy specializes in working with small businesses that experience these fluctuations as their business grows or downsizes.
It’s also a good option for franchises, as its pricing can be built on a franchises’ business model and size to benefit the franchise owners. When you make a claim, Suracy provides the option to speak with a claims representative directly through a live video chat.
How to Compare Workers Compensation Insurance in Maryland
While price is undoubtedly a factor when comparing workers compensation insurance in Maryland, don’t be quick to discount a company’s customer service or claims handling either. Research customer reviews to determine whether a company will be easy to work with. Workers compensation is an auditable policy, which means that you will be communicating with the insurer regularly. Hence, it is vital to have a good relationship with whichever company you choose.
Reviewing a company’s financial rating is also a smart idea to ensure its solvency. AM Best, Demotech, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s are a few rating agencies used to measure the financial strength of insurance companies.
How to Buy Workers Compensation Insurance in Maryland
Whether you are bundling your workers compensation insurance with other business insurance or just looking for a stand-alone policy, the process is relatively similar. Gather a rough estimate of your total payroll, including full- and part-time employees, as you will need to provide this information to obtain a quote. Start with a website like Tivly to get quotes from multiple companies at once or quote directly with a company like biBERK or The Hartford. Once you narrow down a company that meets your needs, you are all set to make a purchase.
If you have trouble finding coverage through the voluntary market, workers compensation insurance in Maryland is offered through the assigned risk pool via the Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company.
Finding the Best Workers Compensation in Maryland
Workers compensation is vital and often mandatory for many businesses. Since the laws can vary by state, it is important to review state statutes to determine exactly what is required. For workers compensation insurance in Maryland specifically, the best place to start is the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission. This site outlines everything you need to know to comply with state regulations and ensure you are protecting your employees from the cost of potential work-related injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
The length of time that an employee can remain on workers’ compensation is set by the state. Usually, the range is from 3 to 7 years. In addition to that, there is generally not a limit for permanent disability benefits unless you live in a state that terminates the benefits at age 65. For employers seeking the cheapest workers’ compensation insurance, check out these top providers.
The employer is responsible for purchasing workers’ compensation insurance to cover the benefits of employees. The must pay a monthly premium based on class code and payroll. To get a custom workers’ compensation quote, click here.
This depends on which state you have employees. The following states require workers; compensation under specific requirements: AK, CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IL, IA, KS, KY, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, SC, SD, UT, WA. To get the best workers’ compensation premium, enter your zip code here.