Will my CoverEase, powered by E-COMP pay-as-you-go Workers’ Compensation policy cancel if I do not have any payroll?

No, E-COMP has taken pro-active measures to make sure this does not happen.  If you do not run payroll during a payroll period due to the effects of COVID-19 or for any other reason, we will automatically report a total payroll of $100.00 under a fictitious class code, resulting in a $5.00 debit that will be remitted to your insurance carrier as payment, thus keeping your policy in good standing.  E-COMP has added a new class code to your account so that everyone can track the payroll reported, including the $5.00 premiums paid under the fictitious code of 1111. The addition of this fictitious class code is for tracking purposes only and will not be reflected on your policy.

Does my Workers’ Compensation policy cover my employees who contract COVID-19?

Generally speaking, in order for an infectious disease-related Workers’ Compensation claim to be compensable, the infection needs to be contracted during the course of employment.  With that being said, all insurance carriers recommend that you file a claim and allow each claim to be investigated and evaluated on an individual bases. This is a new and evolving situation for everyone. Please report any and all claims concerns directly to your carrier. Each claim will be addressed based on its own facts. Employees exposed in the course of their daily work such as and EMT, doctor, and healthcare workers are more likely to have a compensable claim as the employment subjects the employee to an increased risk compared to the general public.

NOTE: Per Labor Code 5401(a) the employer must provide a claim form within one working day of knowing of the exposure or claim. Knowing is not limited to receiving notice from an employee, It can be by any source such as a medical report or from another person.

What happens to my Workers’ Compensation Coverage if I have no payroll to report?

If you have a traditional direct bill Workers Compensation policy you will need to continue to pay your installment premiums in order to keep your policy in force.

If you currently have a direct billed Workers’ Compensation policy and would like to change to a no deposit pay-as-you-go based on your actual payroll policy, please provide your business information via our GET A QUOTE located here.

If I pay my employees “a living wage” but they are not working, do I still need to pay Workers’ Compensation premium for that payroll?

All wages that are paid through payroll will be treated as remuneration and will be applicable to both taxes and workers’ compensation.

If I have business interruption insurance, will my insurance policy respond to a COVID-19 claim?

These policies are complex, and protection for losses stemming from COVID-19 are typically not included. The Coverage Insights that can be found here which highlights characteristics and types of businesses interruption insurance, examining how the policies may or may not cover the outbreak.  In general, under most business interruption insurance policies, coverage is only available if the loss in question stems from a covered peril.  In most cases, covered perils include common interruptions such as natural disasters, equipment damage or vandalism.  In other words, if the insurance policy requires a specific loss (e.g., a fire or earthquake) and the loss in question doesn’t qualify or is not stated explicitly, coverage may not be available.  For the vast majority of businesses, COVID-19 will not constitute a designated peril, and business interruption insurance will not respond to losses.

For Civil Authority coverages, and in rare cases, policies may extend Business Interruption coverage for losses that arise from civil authority orders. This essentially means that, if a business is unable to access its property due to government-mandated closures, coverage may be available. However, in most cases, a direct physical loss to an adjacent or nearby property is required in order for civil authority coverage to kick in.  For most insureds, civil authority clauses will not apply for losses stemming from COVID-19.  We’re happy to assist in reviewing your policy language in the event of a claim related to loss of income as a result of COVID-19.

In summary, we expect that small and medium-sized businesses (up to 500 employees) plus dependent industries like airliners will be depending on our government to fund all or part of our lost income resulting in a business interruption from COVID-19 related losses.

What if I’ve been ordered to shut down my business due to being in an impacted area for COVID-19?

Civil authority coverage replaces lost business income when access to an undamaged business premises is prohibited by government order. To qualify for this type of coverage, there must be direct physical loss or damage from a covered cause of loss at a nearby premises. Contagious disease does not cause physical damage to property and is not a covered cause of loss in most cases.  With the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic, carriers will be evaluating each individual claim specifically contemplating the facts as they pertain to each individual loss.  If you believe you have a Loss of Income claim, please reach out to your insurance agent.  If you have a policy with Granite, please contact your Specialist for advice.

What do I do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19?

If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, inform fellow employees of their possible exposure but maintain confidentiality as required by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). All employees who worked closely with the infected employee should self-quarantine for at least 14 days. Also deep clean the office.

Can I ask an employee returning from travel about their exposure to COVID-19?

We recommend that you follow the CDC’s guidance for businesses and employers, located here.

If an employee tells me that they have COVID-19, do I have to inform their co-workers?

If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should self-quarantine for at least 14 days and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

Can I require an employee to use sick leave during quarantine?

You cannot require that your employee use paid sick leave; that is their choice. This is a great time to ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance.