Massachusetts: State launches Web-based tool to verify comp coverage for businesses
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said that while the Massachusetts Online Proof of Coverage Application is not designed to detect fraud, it may assist the state's Department of Industrial Accidents in its investigations in determining whether fraud exists.
Suzanne M. Bump, secretary of the EOLWD, said that while the majority of Massachusetts businesses carry a policy, those who are not in compliance shift the burden onto the rest of the law-abiding business in the state. As a result, more than $53 million has been paid out of the Workers' Compensation Trust Fund over the past 10 years to pay for injury claims of workers who were employed by businesses that were not in compliance, she said. Bump noted that 36 other states have similar applications available to the public online.
Officials said application will:
- Permit homeowners to ensure that hired contractors have workers' comp insurance.
- Allow general contractors to ensure that all subcontractors are properly insured.
- Assist medical providers with coverage questions when treating an injured worker.
- Aid state and municipal officials with ensuring workers' comp compliance with licensing, permitting, and awarding public contracts.
- Help protect employers from agent and broker fraud allowing them to verify their own coverage.
"In order for Massachusetts to sustain a healthy and vibrant business climate, there must be an economic atmosphere where similar industries can compete on a level playing field," said George Noel, director of labor at the EOLWD. "This application increases our ability at the state level of maintain those conditions."
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October 5, 2009
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