The COVID-19 virus has changed a lot about how business is done. Hopefully, your small business has started down the road to recovery. If you were required to shut down part or all of your operations, you may even be in the process of reopening your small business. Part of that process is likely adjusting your various costs of doing business. Here are five important questions you should ask your workers’ comp provider about changes you may need to make to your coverage during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an undeniable impact on the economy. Many small business owners, in particular, have made significant changes to the products and services they provide and the ways in which they provide them. Restaurants have reduced service to takeout only, brick-and-mortar shops have shifted to online sales, and essential businesses everywhere have made big adjustments to how workers and customers are able to interact.
Of course, the pandemic has also had huge implications on how small businesses generate and deploy their financial resources. Though government and private loans can help maintain some operations, many business owners have had to identify which expenses are critical and which can be reduced. One significant expense of running a company can be the cost of small business insurance.
Workers’ compensation insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance is coverage most small businesses are legally required to carry if they have employees. If you own a small business, you likely need to continue your workers’ comp coverage—but there are several ways you may be able to reduce or postpone your payments.
If you own a small business and have workers’ compensation, here are five questions you should ask your workers’ comp insurance provider.
1. Do you provide billing leniency?
If your workers’ comp provider is willing and able, they may allow you to postpone some or all of your payments. In fact, certain states like Calfornia have required that insurance companies provide billing leniency during part of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Will you accept a good-faith deposit?
If you’re unable to make your full payment, ask your worker’s comp provider if they will accept a good-faith deposit. A good-faith deposit is essentially a “down payment” that allows you to continue your coverage without making the full premium payments for an agreed-upon amount of time.
3. What happens if I have a lapse in coverage?
Small businesses that have a lapse in workers’ compensation coverage will likely find it difficult to regain future coverage at a similar cost. Some insurance providers will not cover a business that has had a lapse in coverage—so maintaining consistent coverage is critical.
4. What if I now have fewer employees on payroll?
If you had to lay off some or all of your employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be able to lower your workers’ comp premiums. The number of workers you employ is a significant factor in the cost of your workers’ compensation insurance. If you’ve had a change in employee payroll, let your provider know.
5. What are other ways you’re helping customers?
At Pie, our priority is serving small business owners. The COVID-19 pandemic has only clarified and strengthened that mission. If you own a small business, ask your workers’ comp provider, “What are other ways you’re helping customers and how else can you help me right now?” The answer might just surprise you—and, hopefully, make a huge difference in the road to recovery for your business.
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