This is a confusing topic with substantial additional expense to a company’s bottom line. It is
further complicated by the IRS, courts and state statutes. Many staging companies are moving
furniture or opt to use 3rd party movers. Having folks on the road increases the exposure, as
injuries in auto accidents to employees are considered workers compensation claims.
We receive calls from owners of staging companies with questions and comments on this topic.
Comments range from “It’s just me and I don’t use anyone else to help”, “I use friends, family
or casual laborers to help from time to time and they won’t sue me”, “I use a moving company and
they are just owners so they don’t need workers comp coverage. They can’t sue as they are not my
Don’t assume you or your homeowner won’t be held liable. The last thing you want is to deal with is an uncovered serious injury to yourself or someone else and a potential lawsuit.
Here are the most frequently asked questions from our stagers and our responses:
1. “Will my health insurance cover my injuries?”
Many times, an individual or group health insurance plan will not cover work-related injuries. Check with your health insurance carrier to confirm that they do offer 24/7 coverage. There is a big misconception among owners, that they have coverage for themselves for work related injuries.
2. “I just won’t mention that this is a work related injury.” “When I get to the emergency room, I’ll just say it happened at home.”
In most states that is considered insurance fraud.
3. “I use a moving company, I asked for proof of workers comp insurance, but they are just owners and/or have the state exemption.”
That may be the case, but if someone is seriously injured, they can look to the staging company owner or homeowner to pay the claim based on negligence.
4. “My moving company provided proof of insurance, but their owner is excluded. He moves furniture too. What happens if he gets injured?”
If his health insurance does not cover the claim and he can prove negligence, he could sue you or the homeowner.
What to do to protect your business?
Moving furniture increases the probability of on the job injury. It is never a good idea to work as an uncovered owner, or with a company exempting and/or excluding the owner or themselves from workers comp. Although this is an additional cost, it fails in comparison to a lawsuit for a large amount of medical bills and legal expenses. Confirm you and/or your mover has the proper insurance in place.