Providing wage replacement and medical benefits to injured workers, workers’ compensation is also known as the “compensation bargain.” The benefit to the employer largely rests on the fact that workers may not sue their employer for negligence if a proper insurance policy has been purchased by the employer.
In Washington State, households (the employer) with less than two full time domestic servants (such as nannies, maids, gardeners and maintenance workers) are not required to carry workers compensation insurance.
While a relief for some households, others may wonder:
Should I elect to purchase workers’ compensation insurance?
If a household employee gets injured on the job, you may be personally liable for medical costs and lost wages. Protecting your assets is a concern to many employers, so what are your options?
- Option 1) Purchase workers’ compensation insurance from the Washington Department of Labor and Industries. The 2019 estimated cost for new household employers is $1.0904 per hr worked.
- Option 2) Purchase workers’ compensation insurance policy from a private company.
If paying $1.0904/hr sounds high, you’re right. It’s likely this high because this risk class includes more injurious professions such as caretakers that “help with ambulating.” A quick look at L&I confirms the fact that this rate is similar to those of other physically demanding professions:
Try shopping around for workers’ comp policies. You’ll likely find a better rate.
- Option 3: Go without workers’ comp. Most families feel uncomfortable with the risk but you’ll probably save a lot of money with this route.