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What is workers’ compensation insurance and what is its purpose?

A workers’ compensation insurance policy provides covered employees with medical and wage replacement (indemnity) benefits that arise from workplace injuries. Only workplace injuries that arise from the normal course of business are compensable.

Generally, all businesses in California that have employees must purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy from a private insurance company or the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

Some large businesses are self-insured and do not purchase insurance policies from an insurance company.

What is covered by a policy?

A workers’ compensation insurance policy covers the costs of medical treatment including physician visits, prescription medications, surgeries, etc. In addition, workers’ compensation insurance provides lost time or indemnity benefits. The amount of indemnity benefits is based upon a workers’ weekly wage and the benefit amounts are determined by California laws.

Who must have a workers’ compensation insurance policy?

Generally, all California businesses that have employees must purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy or be legally self-insured.

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