No one wants to get injured on the job. When an injury occurs outside the state in which an employee permanently resides, the ensuing claims process can be fraught with pitfalls, potential delays, uncertainty and angst, adding more duress to an already stressful and unwelcome situation.
For years, employees of Ohio businesses who worked out of state faced these very problems when they filed workers’ compensation (WC) claims in another state. Likewise, businesses of employees who filed such claims could also be subject to penalties by the other state.
Now, a new option is available to eligible Ohio businesses for their employees who work in other states. The new WC insurance offering is designed to simplify the process, ensuring that employees of Ohio businesses who work out of state are protected without the need to manage policies in multiple states with different laws.
Under this new option, employers can apply for WC coverage through policies issued by the BWC. Policies under this program are being provided by the United States Insurance Services (USIS) and Zurich Insurance.
In a statement, BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer said, "By contracting with insurers licensed in other states, BWC is able to ensure employers have proper coverage wherever they're operating. Addressing this longstanding concern of many Ohio employers is one of many steps we've taken at BWC over the last five years to ensure workers' comp is not a barrier to business expansion, inside and outside of the state."
Generally speaking, BWC provides coverage for employees of Ohio businesses who temporarily work outside of Ohio. Still, problems can arise – and as history bears out, they have – when an injured worker files a claim in another state. As stated earlier, treatment can be delayed, and businesses can be subject to penalties by the other state.
This new option to obtain private insurance was established by legislation enacted last year by Ohio lawmakers in response to complaints that employees injured in other states were finding difficulty when they attempted to file claims in other states. This law now grants the BWC the authority to contract with an insurer to provide this coverage. Accordingly, USIS and Zurich were selected.
To be eligible for the coverage option, employers must conduct the majority of their business in Ohio. Employers who are interested in the option and seek to pursue it should apply directly to the BWC. The BWC will then work to determine that business’ eligibility, as well as the premium cost for the coverage. Once approved, the BWC will issue a Zurich policy to cover out-of-state exposures, and Zurich will respond to claims filed out of state.
To learn more and apply for this optional coverage, visit bwc.ohio.gov.
The attorneys at Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A. will continue to actively monitor worker’s compensation legislation that affects Ohio consumers and businesses. In the event you are hurt at work, or terminated after reporting a workers' compensation injury, you need to seek immediate legal advice. Contact the Ohio workers comp lawyers at NRS Injury Law by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form, or call (855) GOT-HURT and speak with one of our trained staff members.