For workers relocating overseas or interstate for six months or less, you may not need additional workers’ compensation insurance. But even when employees are working from a different country for a short time, it’s still important to look at local workers’ compensation requirements to make sure your policy complies. Arranging local workers’ compensation coverage or an extra territorial workers’ compensation policy can help to cover any gaps in cover.
Arranging treatment and payment
For an employee to be covered under a workers’ compensation policy, their claim must arise from an injury sustained out of or in the course of their employment. Treatment must be considered ‘reasonably necessary’ by workers’ compensation legislation and costs will be paid by the insurer in line with the prescribed amount for that jurisdiction.
If an employee is being treated for an injury in a different country, your insurer may not be able to pay the provider directly. may need to arrange reimbursement from the insurer and there may be a ‘gap’ between their out-of-pocket cost and costs covered by the insurer.
Travel insurance: a solution for temporary cover
Another way to insure workers based overseas for the short-term is your Business Travel or Personal Accident policy. This can be a good alternative to workers’ compensation and can also cover an employee for costs of an illness or injury even if it’s not work-related.
While providing this type of cover would not be a way to meet or replace Workers Compensation insurance obligations, it may be a way to provide cover as an alternative form of insurance for key expenses such as medical costs.
Things to consider
To help you weigh up these different options for insuring your remote workers, here are five things to consider:
- How many employees are working remotely? – is there a way to estimate the number of employees who will be working overseas and needing insurance cover?
- What are their plans? – how long are employees planning to be based overseas?
- What are the likely costs of medical care? – is there an equivalent of Medicare available locally to cover costs?
- What can your insurer cover? – will your business travel policy insurer agree to include cover for remote workers and for how long?
- Who will pay?
Looking for the best insurance solution for your remote workers? We can support you with extensive data and insights on workforce mobility and a range of workers’ compensation solutions.