There is a lot to consider when hiring a tree contractor to work at your home or on your property. The first step is making sure the company is properly insured to protect you and your property.
Tree work with an uninsured or under-insured company or individual can be a very costly error should something go wrong.
What is Workers Compensation?
Workers’ compensation, also known as workers comp, is a benefit system designed to help workers who have become injured or sick while on a job site. It covers injuries occurring on the premises of the company and while working on job sites. When a claim is eligible under worker’s compensation, the employer (or its insurance carrier) is required to pay the injured employee’s related medical expenses and may cover lost wages.
What does Workers Comp pay for?
- Payment for medical treatment and expenses. This includes initial emergency care, followup treatment with doctors, physical rehabilitation visits, and transportation expenses.
- Payment for time off work for recovery. Typically, this is a weekly benefit of approximately 66% of a worker’s average weekly earnings and doesn’t last more than two years.
- Payment for any permanent impairment. Many work-related injuries result in a permanent physical impairment that affects the worker’s ability to do certain jobs. Even a minor injury can qualify for a small permanent disability payment.
- Vocational rehabilitation services. If the worker needs to change jobs or fields, most states pay for some job retraining or re-education.
- Payment of benefits in the event of death. A deceased workers’ dependents are entitled to burial expenses and a lump-sum payment in most states.
Why is Workers Compensation important?
Tree care companies operating without workers comp run the risk of being sued by an injured employee for lost wages and medical care. If you hire a tree care company without workers compensation, you are also at risk of being sued by an injured worker if they are injured on your property. Property owners and homeowners can be found and held accountable for injuries that occur on their property.
Always make sure your contractor is properly insured and carries the right insurance. Before you allow anyone to begin work on your property, make sure that you ask about Workers Compensation coverage and other insurance, such as liability to cover property damage, to make sure you are protected.