Workers’ Comp Insurance for Auto Repair Shops Georgia
If your auto repair shop employs more than two employees in Georgia, it will need to purchase a Workers’ Compensation insurance policy.
Self-insuring means your auto repair shop pays benefits itself instead of relying on a Workers’ Compensation carrier. This is risky, as it could put your company in a vulnerable financial situation in the event of a workplace accident. Workers’ Compensation is important for all auto repair shops, whether they need coverage or not. Insurance covers wage-loss benefits and medical benefits so that auto body shops do not have to. The automotive repair industry is a dangerous one, resulting in thousands of workplace accidents per year across the country. If you have the necessary insurance, your auto repair shop will be protected from financial responsibility for a worker’s injuries and consequences from the state.
Call our Georgia Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers at (866) 340-9120 to learn more about how NPN Brokers can help you today.
Cons of Self-Insuring Workers’ Comp for Auto Repair Shops in Georgia
Businesses can choose to self-insure for Workers’ Compensation instead of getting insurance through a private carrier in Georgia. While this takes your company off the hook for paying monthly Workers’ Compensation insurance premium, it makes it responsible for providing compensation to workers injured on the job.
Self-insuring for Workers’ Compensation is only an option for companies that can do so without financial strain in Georgia. Because workplace accidents commonly occur at auto repair shops, it does not benefit such companies to self-insure. If they do, they will be paying out of pocket for costs associated with a worker’s medical treatment following an on-the-job accident, which can be expensive. When you get coverage from our Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers, your carrier will pay out benefits instead of your company, keeping the financial impact of accidents low. You can still find flexibility and affordability in a policy provided by a private carrier, while still benefiting from the protection it affords your business.
Election of Workers’ Comp Coverage for Auto Repair Shops in Georgia
If your auto repair shop does not require Workers’ Compensation in Georgia because it employs fewer than three workers, it still can, and should, get insurance.
Auto repair shops that are not mandated to have Workers’ Compensation because of their payroll can elect to get insurance anyway. This is typically a good idea as even employers not required to have Workers’ Compensation can be responsible for compensating an injured auto repair shop worker hurt on the job if they do not have insurance.
If your auto repair shop does not have to get Workers’ Compensation according to Georgia’s statutes, doing so might seem like an unnecessary expense. While that is understandable, it is far from the truth as the cost of Workers’ Compensation premiums is often far lower than the cost of a possible workplace accident. Very small auto body shops will likely see lower premiums as well because of their small payroll numbers, despite being in a high-risk industry.
Workers’ Comp Benefits Payable to Auto Repair Shop Workers in Georgia
When workers are injured at an auto repair shop in Georgia, they are generally eligible to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits, regardless of who is to blame for their damages.
The first benefit available to injured auto body shop workers in Georgia is wage-loss benefits. Wage-loss benefits equate to about two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wages. They are paid for up to 400 weeks if a worker becomes totally incapacitated because of their injuries. Wage-loss benefits are paid according to a predetermined schedule for more specific injuries in Georgia.
In addition to wage-loss benefits, Workers’ Compensation provides medical benefits as well. This covers all necessary medical expenses related to an auto repair shop worker’s injuries. For example, suppose a vehicle was suspended in an auto repair shop and fell on a worker, causing them to sustain crushing injuries in their legs. In that case, Workers’ Compensation would pay for the worker’s surgeries, pain medication, physical therapy, and any other related medical costs. Workers’ Compensation does not compensate auto repair shop workers for pain and suffering in Georgia. If workers die due to injuries sustained in an auto body shop, their surviving dependents may be eligible for death benefits.
Frequency of Workplace Accidents at Auto Repair Shops in Georgia
Because auto repair shops pose dangers to workers in Georgia, accidents happen at a relatively high rate compared to many other professions, making having Workers’ Compensation insurance all the more important.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 9,940 non-fatal injury and illness cases involving automotive service technicians across the country in 2020, an increase from the previous year. Parts and materials were the sources of 2,470 injuries to mechanics during that same year. Furthermore, the hands and back were the most common body parts affected by accidents. This makes even more sense when you consider that auto repair shop workers are often bent over, working with their hands to complete complex engine or electrical work.
Over 2,000 technicians were struck by an object when injured, and over 1,000 were hurt because of to harmful substances or environments. Dangerous substances might include gasoline, cleaning products, or even auto paint. Falls were another top cause of accidents involving automotive repair workers in 2020.
Common injuries among workers in the automotive service industry include sprains, tears, strains, soreness, contusions, bruises, cuts, and lacerations.
Fatalities in the industry totaled 54 in 2020, a decrease from the previous year. Still, any instances of fatalities or workplace injuries are cause for concern. While all incidents involving worker injury or death should be reported to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, not all are, meaning even more auto repair shop workers might be injured annually than is reflected in the available data.
Get a Workers’ Comp Policy for Your Georgia Auto Repair Shop
For more information about the Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers, call (866) 340-9120 today.
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