If you’re a business owner, having workers’ compensation insurance in place is crucial for protecting your company. Workers’ compensation, however, shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all. Many businesses can benefit from having short-term workers’ comp as opposed to paying for more than they need.
No matter what you need for your business, it’s important to work with the right provider. If you’re ready to make the shift to short-term workers’ comp, keep these things in mind when choosing the right provider for you and your business.
What is short-term workers’ compensation insurance?
While many large companies have long-term contracts with workers’ compensation insurance providers, not all businesses need such extensive plans. For small businesses with fewer employees or companies that typically work on a project-by-project basis, it can make more sense to utilize short-term workers’ comp.
Professional employer organizations, PEOs, can be a great option for small businesses. They typically offer pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation, and in many cases also offer human resource and payroll services.
1. Determine what your company needs
First and foremost, consider what type of work you offer. Do you hire seasonal employees, contracted workers, or do you have full- and part-time employees? Then spend some time considering what services your company actually needs. Are you solely looking for worker’s compensation, or do you need HR services as well? What about payroll management?
Administrative tasks can be time consuming. Assigning that work to current employees can be costly, as they’ll need to press pause on their current projects to get those tasks done on time each month. For small businesses that have less manpower than larger companies, partnering with a PEO that offers support in those areas can be incredibly beneficial.
2. Consider providers that you feel you can trust
When partnering with a PEO or short-term workers’ compensation insurance provider, it’s crucial to feel good about who it is you’re working with. This will be a working relationship, so ensuring that you mesh well is important when it comes to things running smoothly.
Communication and trust are key factors in a strong relationship, and the same goes for your insurance provider. Have you been able to get in touch with them when you’ve needed to? Are there open lines of communication and transparency when you do speak with them? Your provider should aim to build trust, so be sure you feel comfortable with them before committing.
3. Ask for references
When you’ve found a handful of potential providers, ask them for client references! Do they have testimonials that speak to the services they offer? Check out some reviews online as well. Getting a sense of what it’s like to work with them before taking the leap is crucial.
4. Get a clear understanding of the programs they offer and how they might fit your needs
After determining exactly what it is that you and your company need, be sure to get a clear understanding of what the provider offers. Do their programs and services fit with what you’re looking for? If your industry is considered high-risk, will you still be ensured coverage?
Partnering with a PEO can offer tons of flexibility and you’ll likely have a program that’s tailored to your company’s specific needs. When working with a PEO, it may not matter whether your workers are employees or independent contractors. Be sure to get clear on who will be covered before making a decision.
If you’re a small business owner who primarily hires for individual projects, a pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation insurance program could be a great option. Pay-as-you-go programs mean you won’t be paying for more than you need—you’ll have the coverage you want for the amount of time you need it.
5. Do your research!
One of the best things you can do when choosing the right provider for short-term workers’ compensation is to do as much research as possible. Look into what you need, what’s required in your state, and which companies offer you the support you’re looking for. Get familiar with your options, and spend time communicating with potential providers to help ensure you choose the right provider for you and your business