Knowing Your Company's Insurance Policy Could Save Your Life

An employer’s insurance policy is one of the most important parts of the workplace environment. Knowing and understanding the issues related to your employer's insurance policy may save your life, your career and your finances. Overall company insurance is as much a part of your job and your life as your salary.

This is a complex subject, so it’s best to define the frame of reference. Company insurance includes:

  • The insurance of employees for worker's compensation purposes
  • Health insurance (where applicable)
  • Insurance of the workplace premises.

Any one of these forms of company insurance can affect your entire life. All of them affect your working life, directly and indirectly. The need for employees is to understand how these forms of insurance affect their rights and entitlements.

Worker's Compensation Insurance

By law employers are supposed to contribute to worker's compensation insurance. However, some employers, for whatever reason, don’t cover this essential form of company insurance. The result of this situation in the U.S. is that a state insurance scheme covers your entitlements.

If you’re injured on the job, the results can be quite serious, particularly in the case of a lack of direct cover by the employer. You need to know what the company’s insurance policy is, so you can prepare for situations like this. Being left in ignorance and possibly with significant bills to pay after an injury isn’t a great option.

Please note: Worker's compensation issues can be very serious indeed. You should be sure of your rights. Make a point of checking out your state's laws regarding worker's compensation. Your co-workers may know the story about any recent claims, and you can take your cue from the employer’s standards of coverage.

Health Insurance

Health insurance as part of an employment package is usually a welcome form of cover, and it's valuable. In most cases your coverage will be specified and documented by the insurer. However, you do need to understand exactly what coverage you’re receiving.

It’s not a good idea to assume that your company insurance package will cover all situations under all circumstances. In all probability, your insurance package will be “standard cover with extras,” but that’s not a definitive statement of coverage. You may, for example, require dental, optical or other forms of cover. You need to know your insurance policy before the need arises.

There’s another advantage to doing to some research in this area. If, during salary negotiations, you want an alternative to a direct salary increase, health insurance extras and beefing up of coverage is a good option for a package proposal.

General, Public Liability and Premises Insurance

These types of insurance don’t directly cover employees but do cover the business. They can affect you if the employer has to claim on them, or if the business isn’t covered for a situation.

Businesses have gone broke through under-insurance or lack of insurance. Any heavy costs which aren’t covered inevitably affect the payroll and perhaps layoffs. These situations are relatively rare, but they’re common enough in small to medium businesses to rate consideration.