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Workers’ Compensation Coverage: What It Is, Why Your Self-Storage Business Needs It

By Melanie Wichelman Comments

The basic concept behind workers’ compensation is to provide coverage for injuries or illnesses that result from a workplace accident. No fault or negligence needs to be proven. The employer pays for the insurance, and the business is covered for work-related accidents.

This product shouldn’t be overlooked by a self-storage owner if the business has any employees. Mishaps occur, even in the safest and cleanest environments. While you can’t always prevent them, you can be prepared and protected.

There are multiple benefits to workers’ comp insurance. For facility owners, it protects against lawsuits; for employees, it provides medical care and compensation for lost income. The coverage is designed to ensure that those injured or disabled while on the job receive proper recompense, negating the need for lawsuits, regardless of who’s at fault. Additionally, there’s dependent coverage for injured workers or even those who die because of a work-related accident or illness.

Mandatory Coverage

Though workers’ comp is required in nearly every state, the laws and requirements vary. Businesses that meet certain criteria must provide coverage for their employees or they could face fines and other serious consequences.

Many owners go to great lengths to protect their facilities with specialty coverages—property, general liability, flood, earthquake and many others—designed specifically for self-storage. Each coverage and policy is essential in its own way. This is no different for workers’ comp. For example, general-liability coverage has exclusions relating to the injury of an employee. If your jurisdiction requires worker’s comp, these exclusions apply, whether or not you have a policy. Therefore, this very important coverage must be considered a mandatory part of your insurance portfolio.

Who’s Covered?

When considering your workers’ comp needs, the real question lies in determining who qualifies as an employee and needs to be covered. By definition, an employee is someone hired to perform services under the direction and control of another person or company, known as “the employer.” An employer is any person or entity who gives direction to and exercises control over a worker. This means if you hire an independent contractor, he could be considered an employee for purposes of coverage under your policy, even if he’s not technically on your payroll. This is why it’s important to work with an insurance agent who specializes in self-storage and can work with the insurance company on your behalf.

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