As an employer, you may be doing business in states other than where your company is domiciled. If you have employees that work, live, or are temporarily traveling to or through other states, you have potential exposure. It is important to notify your agent promptly of these exposures.
Generally, a workers’ compensation policy can extend to other states where you either begin or have existing operations, as long as those states are properly identified on your policy’s Information Page. If an injury occurs, and the employee chooses to file the claim in the other state, the Insurer will pay the claim according to that other state’s legal requirements.
Many of our surrounding states have stringent laws regarding employees working in their states. In New York, it is mandatory to have New York listed if you have any New York exposure – even if it is incidental. In fact, sources confirm that New York has started to levy fines against employers if there is an exposure in New York but the state is not listed. Thus, keep up with and comply with the various state regulations!
Recent changes to Ohio’s workers’ compensation law, which became effective Sept. 11, 2008, may impact Pennsylvania employers doing business in Ohio. Effective July 19, 2015, the regulation was amended to remove mention of reciprocity. This broadened the Sept. 17, 2014 law: Non-resident employers are no longer required to secure a workers compensation policy with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) for non-resident employees doing temporary work in Ohio. Temporary is defined as a period up to 90 days.
A handful of states, including Ohio, do not allow private insurance companies to add Ohio to the list of states where the policy will respond. Instead, Ohio requires all insurance to be provided under their state-sponsored program. In the industry’s jargon, Ohio is called a “monopolistic state.” Consequently, your Pennsylvania policy does not respond to a claim filed in Ohio, and you must secure a separate Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) policy.
In addition to these out-of-state exposures, your business may be subject to the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. This act, administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, provides medical benefits, compensation for lost wages, and rehabilitation services to longshoremen, harbor workers, and other maritime workers injured during the course of employment or who suffer from diseases caused or worsened by conditions of employment. This coverage must be specifically endorsed onto the policy or a separate policy may be required.
Please note that this information is not and should not be considered legal advice, but is simply meant to provide general background information on the topic, and illustrate different ways to approach coverage for your exposures. It is not meant to determine which state will have jurisdiction over a claim, but describes different ways you can comply with other states’ coverage requirements. The above scenarios are the most common situations we run into, and we would encourage you to discuss any other options with an attorney familiar with the issue to see if other solutions may be suitable based on your individual circumstances.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. We appreciate the opportunity to service your insurance needs.