What does workers’ compensation not cover?

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2020 | Workers' Compensation |

You are glad that your employer’s workers’ compensation policy covered your recent work injury, but not every injury qualifies for coverage. Employees should familiarize themselves with how workers’ comp works, so they know what to do if they sustain an injury at work.

Insurance Business explores situations that workers’ comp does not cover. If you ever find yourself in any of the following scenarios, your employer may not bear liability for your medical bills or recovery.

Rowdy behavior

Say that you engage in horseplay at work and injure yourself. Because you did not hurt yourself while carrying out your work duties, workers’ comp would not cover your injury. On the other hand, if your coworkers fool around while you work and you become “caught in the crossfire,” you would qualify for your employer’s insurance. As long as the employee was not party to the act, insurance covers the resulting harm.

Work environment

On your way to work, you may get into a car accident a block from the office. Under those circumstances, you would have to file an auto insurance claim rather than a workers’ comp claim. If you travel for work and injure yourself during a business trip, your employer’s policy covers you. You also qualify for compensation if your boss sends you on an errand and you hurt yourself while outside your regular work environment.


Intoxication and worker’s compensation have special nuances. Say that a delivery driver gets into an accident on the clock but consumed alcohol beforehand. The resulting injuries do not qualify for compensation. Alternatively, if that same drunken delivery driver crosses the street to make a drop and a distracted motorist hits him, the employer’s policy covers the injury. This is because the employee’s drunken condition was not the reason that he became injured.