Applying for Ohio coverage Part 1

The Ohio BWC has an online application for coverage, which I recommend that you print and complete in pencil before filing the application online and paying the initial $120.

Employees

Every entity that has employees in Ohio must have workers’ comp coverage.  It doesn’t matter if your employees are full time, part time, seasonal or spot labor.  Even if you only use workers from a staffing agency, you still need your own policy.

Because this is how it works:  The injured worker goes to the ER and when asked what happened, says “I got hurt working.”  The intake person says “Where do you work?”  The intake person does NOT ask “Who is your employer?”  And so the claim gets filed against your company.  If you don’t have a policy, the BWC will open an investigation and possibly assess back premiums if it decides you should have had coverage.

Elective coverage

Sole proprietors and partners in a partnership are not required to have coverage for themselves.  I recommend electing coverage because owners and partners can also have accidents and be injured.  You’ll need to be aware of the minimum and maximum yearly amounts for corporate officers, partners and sole proprietors when it’s time to report their payroll at the end of the policy year.

Safety net

If your company uses 1099 workers, having a policy protects you in case one of those workers gets hurt and a hearing officer decides that the worker is actually your employee.

Takeaways

  1. It’s less expensive to have coverage & not need it than need it and have to play catch-up.
  2. Complete the application in hard copy before entering it online and paying the $120 application fee.
  3. An independent TPA, like ActuComp, can answer your questions & estimate your premiums before you complete the application.
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