Tanner Wilkinson talking with Nate Johnson from Risk Managers, LLC

Q: What’s a recap of what you talked about last month, the difference between 1099 workers and W2 employees? 

A: To make it simple, if you as an employer treat the workers as an employee, telling them when to be there, how to do it, and what tools to use, they are employees. It would be best if you treated them as such in regard to insurance. 1099 workers can be told what needs to be done, and they can do it whenever and get it done.

Q: Since we’re talking about employees, let’s talk about workers comp.

A: What workers comp is insurance to help and protect you as an employer when workers get hurt or sick on a job. It is important because if an employee gets injured and can’t work, you are open for a major lawsuit because it’s kinda on your watch. And those things can be anything from a cut hand to something extreme like death. So, it’s really not that expensive for the risk.

Q: What do workers comp cover?

A: The work comp will cover all of the medical and 66% of the team member’s wages. The reduced amount is to encourage the employee to return to work as soon as possible. If I were sitting at home getting 100% of my wages, I would probably prolong that injury as long as I could. Whereas if I’m getting a reduced wage, I would want to go back to work as soon as I am healthy and able in regard to that.

Q: What are the most common claims in regard to workers comp?

A: So, some of the things I’ve seen are some hand cuts, sawdust in the eyes working around woodworking equipment. Even wearing safety glasses, I’ve been working in woodshops, and you get the sawdust blowing up under your glasses once in a while.

I was working in a shop 25 years ago, and I was moving a piece of plywood, not realizing there was a big 16-foot piece of stair tread behind it. That slid down the wall and caught me on the side of the head. I got a good gash on the side of my face, and it threw me for a loop, likely a concussion.

Things like that are pretty common, but to be honest, the biggest and most common are actually auto accidents, driving to a job site. We just see more accidents and more injuries due to auto.

Q: What are the most important things to understand about worker’s compensation insurance if you are an employer?

A: If you are the employer, the worker’s comp insurance has two things to be aware of.

The premium is based on payroll and the job description. If I’m sitting at a desk, it’s a lot less expensive than if I’m a roofer. So, you want to separate all those payrolls out so you can get the best discount. Now, if your secretary decides to jump on a roof and cut her finger or smash her finger, then the carrier will classify her payroll as a roofer. So, if you are going to classify an employee as a clerical, a roofer, or a janitorial, you want to keep that employee within that scope of work.

The other thing you need to know is that you will always get an audit at the end of the year. The carrier wants to make sure that you reported everyone correctly. Now we can see the premium go down, and you get money back from the year before, and we’ve seen it go up. The payroll audit will always come, and you need to do it. If you don’t, the insurance company will either non-renew the policy or kick you a 50% surcharge of the premium as a noncompliance fee. So, if you were paying $1,000 last year, you’ll get a $500 bill, and they’ll bump next year’s price up to $1,500. That is their way of encouraging you to do the audit. They know your payroll doesn’t usually jump 50%, so it’s their way of encouraging you to do the audit so that we can get everything rated appropriately.

Q: What is the best way to get ahold of you?

A: riskman1.com, you can go to our website. You can also call us or visit us at our Ephraim or Salt Lake location.

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