Non-subscribers and self-insured employers have a few things in common. Both have, to at least some degree, chosen to work outside of state-provided worker’s compensation benefits. Both offer more particularly tailored plans to their employees. Moreover, both avoid at least some of the fees and premiums associated with participating fully in a worker’s compensation program.
That said, there are several significant ways in which these types of employers differ from one another. Because the differences are often very important to those working for a company, and particularly those injured on the job, it is important to distinguish one from the other and determine exactly what each type of employer offers his or her employees regarding compensation for on the job injury.
Self-Insured Employer Characteristics
One major thing that sets self-insured companies apart from their non-subscriber counterparts is that they still enjoy at least some legal protection from the state. Self-insured entities assume responsibility for their losses entirely, but generally also purchase additional coverage so if there is a truly great claim filed, they will have some degree of protection. Because of these cautionary steps, self-insured companies will often work with a third party to establish practices and procedures that will help them insure their workers while reducing their payments to the state.
What They Offer Injured Employees
Self-insured companies can design, to some extent, the reach their coverage will have. Most provide minimum protections against injury, and can offer additional assurance for expensive claims since they retain some faction of governmental backing. An amount of money is set aside regularly to later be allocated to any injuries that may come up, so there is generally enough available to settle most claims.
How Employees Can Gain Compensation for Injury
A claim against a self-insured company is one that involves both the company and, to a smaller extent, the state system into which it has been paying. The business will retain protection against torts and certain other types of lawsuits that can be brought by employees, but will ultimately be responsible for paying most, if not all, claims successfully brought against them.
Non-subscribers have chosen to opt entirely out of governmental insurance for their workers. One large issue non-subscribers face is the loss of legal protection they experience from choosing not to participate in worker’s compensation. That said, there are many non-subscribers who work with attorneys to establish systems tailored to their particular industry and practice, thereby eliminating extraneous costs and still providing their employees with coverage.
How They Protect Their Employees
Compensation offered by non-subscriber companies comes solely from their own resources. If an employee is injured on the job, he or she can file a lawsuit against the employer and the entire cost of the winnings. If the employee’s claim proves to be successful, it will be contributed directly by the employer. Generally speaking, those employing these plans will have a workplace safety program in place, and a program that communicates the details of the compensation plan to their employees.
Filing a Claim Against a Non-Subscriber
Claims against non-subscribers can be somewhat trying, as the company is often reluctant to pay more than it absolutely has to for damage or injury to employees on the job. There are various tactics often used to try to mitigate what they may owe in case of an injury, so it is important to go into the courthouse with all of the available information at your disposal. Proving negligence and establishing liability are key elements to successfully gaining compensation from your employer, but in every case, it helps to have legal representation.