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Expanding Colorado businesses face workers' comp challenges

May 23, 2023
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Colorado has long been fertile ground for innovative and successful businesses in diverse industries like tech, hospitality and health care. The state is especially friendly to startups because of its talent pool and low incorporation fees. These small employers are inherently nimble, and they often see trends coming before the rest of us. We’d be smart to listen.

What they’re telling us now is that their workforce has changed dramatically since the start of the pandemic. The labor pool of 2023 has unique perspectives on workspaces, job titles, benefits and the nature of work itself.  

What hasn’t changed is the appetite for growth among Colorado businesses, and some of them are seeing tantalizing opportunities to expand into other states. Many forward-looking companies have done just that, including consumer brands like Punch Bowl Social and Backpacker’s Pantry. Expansion beyond Colorado, coupled with the workforce’s changing needs, translates into people leaving the Centennial State to work elsewhere.

There’s no shortage of reasons for employees to take their talents to South Beach — or Kansas City. Housing affordability is a massive factor. Young workers are particularly vulnerable to spikes in home prices, and some are coming to terms with the fact that they may never be able to buy a home in Colorado.

There’s another big reason Coloradans may be more likely to set up shop remotely outside the state: Fewer than half of Colorado residents were born in the state, meaning a majority of the population has roots somewhere else. The remote work revolution means many of them can return home — while keeping their job — if they want to be near family.

These factors mean Colorado companies likely have a willing labor pool to draw from when expanding out of state — in addition to the talent they might find in their satellite locations.

While exciting and hopefully profitable, these out-of-state expansions and the dispersed workforce they create can result in a new set of challenges for employers, particularly when it comes to workers’ compensation.

When a company hires workers in other states or when one of its workers moves to another state to work remotely, the company must comply with those states’ workers’ compensation laws. For many employers, this can be a daunting task, because the laws and regulations governing workers’ compensation vary significantly from state to state.

Complying with the law is one thing, but keeping out-of-state workers safe is a different story. And when an employee is injured on the job in the Midwest, how do employers ensure they get the same care they would get here in Colorado?

Many states have a state-chartered fund for which the top priority is providing the best possible care to injured workers and supporting small employers across the state. In Colorado, that organization is Pinnacol Assurance. As part of our mission for more than 107 years, we ensure that all in our state have access to workers’ compensation coverage.

We believe we have a higher calling than other national insurance carriers and a larger responsibility to our community. That sense of purpose has put Pinnacol at the top when injured workers rate the best provider of workers’ compensation insurance, according to a Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation survey. We take care of your employees.

Employers feel the same. More than 80% of our customers — Colorado businesses — find value in our services and nearly 90% report they are likely to renew their coverage with us.

For those Colorado companies adapting to the 2023 job market by expanding and hiring out of state, Pinnacol offers enhanced workers’ compensation coverage to protect Colorado businesses operating around the country. This means you get a more seamless experience with Pinnacol to manage a modern workforce.

Our growth in multistate business highlights our commitment to giving you the strongest access to the best coverage, wherever your employees are. Your peers with multistate needs are doing business with us, and you should be too.

Originally featured in ColoradoBiz Magazine.

For more on how to cover your employees beyond Colorado’s borders, talk with your agent or contact us directly.

Pinnacol Assurance assumes no responsibility for management or control of customer safety activities. Please ensure your business meets the requirements of all federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances related to workplace safety.

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