Many owners and managers of horticultural businesses treat their workers’ compensation policies like other types of insurance: it’s often out of sight and out of mind.
However, also like most coverage plans, workers’ compensation is an important consideration for any company and demands more attention than it may receive. Specific laws and regulations vary by state, but many state governments require coverage for wage replacement or other accommodations in the event of an employee injury that leaves them unable to work at their full ability.
Bill Brandl, director of workers’ compensation claims with Sentry Insurance, says the basic goal of workers’ compensation is to provide medical benefits and/or wage replacement as needed by state requirements.
“What that means, ultimately, is that when someone’s injured and they go to the doctor, those medical charges would be tied to a workers’ compensation claim, it would come to us and we would assess them,” Brandl says. “If someone is taken off of work by their medical provider or cannot work because of their injury, we would be responsible, in accordance with state statutes, for wage replacement.”
Workers’ compensation claims take many forms, but Brandl says back injuries caused by lifting and carrying are among the most common cases, especially in the horticulture industry.