Under Colorado’s workers’ compensation laws, every employer must maintain a current insurance policy or self-insurance to provide the required protection to workers in case of injuries sustained while on the job.
Colorado employers can acquire coverage for workers’ compensation through four ways:
- insurance companies,
- private stock or mutual company,
- self-insurance, or
- insurance pools.
Every employee should know where his employer derives the coverage for work-related injuries to ensure proper compensation. He or she must also prepare the necessary documents through the help of a Greeley workers’ compensation lawyer should the need arise. Moreover, employees should keep in mind that it is unlawful for an employer to require employees to pay a portion of their insurance. The responsibility of paying premiums for workers’ comp insurance is solely imposed on employers.
Related: Failing To Tell How an Injury Is Work Related at the First Doctor’s Visit Haunts Workers
Pinnacol Assurance is widely known as the state’s insurer of last resort for workers’ compensation benefits. Most Colorado employers prefer this company to insure the needs of workers’ comp of their employees. Around 57% of employers in Colorado or 1.5 million employees are insured with Pinnacol Assurance.
Aside from Pinnacol, there are other insurance companies providing workers’ compensation coverage, such as DC Insurers Colorado and Alpine Insurance. It does not matter who the insurance company is. What matters is that such insurer is financially stable, committed to serving Colorado, and highly dependable in times of need.
Private stock or mutual company
An employer may purchase workers’ compensation insurance companies authorized by the state to conduct insurance business. These private stock or mutual companies must have the necessary and proper authorization. The process and rules to obtain coverage in these commercial companies are the same as the requirements in an insurance company.
Employers who choose to be insured through private stock or mutual companies should notify Colorado’s Division of Workers’ Compensation. They must submit the necessary documentation including the insurer’s name and address, coverage date of the policy, and a copy of the insurance contract.
Employers may self-insure themselves through a special permit obtained from the executive director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. In self-insurance, workers’ compensation responsibilities are paid directly from the profits and assets of the employer. Not all companies can self-insure. Only those who regularly employ 300 or more employees with a minimum of $100,000,000 assets may be given a permit to self-insure their own employees.
Any employer who wants to self-insure must submit a written proposal of the same to the Department. Such proposal must have complete provisions on administration, claims, membership, and risk-management, among others.
Self-insurance can be denied or taken away anytime on the grounds including insolvency, failure to report, and failure to comply with rules and conditions.
Colorado laws allow group pooling of trade or professional associations to cover each other’s workers’ compensation obligations. This program is directed and managed by the Division of Insurance in their respective Department of Regulatory Agencies.
Whichever coverage your employer uses, a Denver workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand the nitty-gritty details of your policy.
Workers’ Compensation can come from different sources, and each may require different and complex documentation requirements for claims. Kaplan Morrell has helped thousands of injured workers since 1997 get the benefits they deserve. Contact us here or call us at 303-780-7329 for your free consultation.