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  • Tom Fowler

What Does AOE COE Mean in Workers Comp?

Workers' compensation insurance policies use abbreviations and acronyms to shorten the length of policy documents. Many of these abbreviations are colloquial, not understood by everyone, and need clarification.


AOE stands for "Any Occupational Exposure" and is a workers' compensation insurance policy clause. It indicates what activities or tasks a worker can or cannot do while working for that employer.


COE stands for "Certificate of Eligibility," which means someone has verified that a person doesn't have any pre-existing conditions that would prevent them from being eligible for workers' compensation benefits if they get injured on the job.


If worker policy has an AOE COE clause, they cannot perform any job tasks that expose them to a greater risk of injury than other jobs. This restriction applies while working for this employer. Also, if you are interested, find out what CT means in workers comp.


Is AOE COE Different From An Exclusion?

How Is AOE COE Different from an Exclusion?


Exclusions are medical conditions that prevent an individual from receiving workers' compensation benefits. If a person has an exclusion on their policy, they would not be eligible to receive any help if they got injured on the job.


AOE COE clauses restrict a person's ability to perform specific tasks on the job but do not prevent them from being eligible for benefits if they are injured.


What Is the Purpose of an AOE COE in a Workers' Comp Policy?


Employers use AOE COE clauses to reduce the costs of workers' compensation coverage. These clauses allow employers to exclude specific hazards or job tasks from coverage by placing them under an AOE COE.


AOE COE is not available to employees as a form of coverage. Employers only use them to manage risk. Employers may also request the addition of an AOE COE to an existing workers' compensation policy.


Why Do Employers Request AOE COE Clauses for Employees?


Some job tasks carry a greater risk of injury than others. A job that requires climbing a ladder is more dangerous than sitting at a desk. These injuries that occur at jobs can cause serious disabilities. Learn more about if you can work on disability in Iowa.


AOE COEs allow employers to "self-insure" those hazards by placing them under an AOE COE - the employer is responsible for paying workers' compensation benefits if an employee is injured while performing those tasks. AOE COEs are not available to employees. Employers only use them to manage risk.


What Does an AOE COE Clause Mean for Employees?


AOE COE clauses are essentially a "no trespass" sign for employees. They indicate that some or all job tasks are excluded from coverage under the employer's workers' compensation policy. AOE COE clauses usually apply to job tasks that are high hazard.


Some examples include operating heavy machinery, welding, and working on roofs. Employees can request a copy of their employer's workers' compensation policy to learn if there is an AOE COE on the policy.


Is It Possible to Have Both an AOE COE and Exclusion?


Yes, an employer can have both an AOE COE and an exclusion. The employer can decide which tasks are covered and which are not. As a result, some job tasks will cover workers' compensation benefits while others won't. If there is any confusion or issues arrive, it is always smart to contact a Des Moines work injury lawyer.


What Happens If Someone with an AOE COE Gets Injured at Work?


People with an AOE COE clause cannot receive workers' compensation benefits if injured while performing any job tasks under the AOE COE. If an employee is injured while performing a job task under the AOE COE, they are responsible for covering their medical bills and any lost wages.


If the injury occurred while performing a job task that the AOE COE doesn't cover, the employee could file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. Moreover, if the employer's negligence caused the injury, the employee might be able to file a legal claim against the employer.


AOE COE Benefit Eligibility

Does Having an AOE COE Mean Workers Will Not Be Eligible for Benefits?


Having an AOE COE does not necessarily mean that workers won't be eligible for benefits if they get injured at work. The only way to know for sure is to look at the specific language of the AOE COE clause.


If the AOE COE clause applies to all job tasks, the employee wouldn't be eligible for benefits. If the AOE COE clause applies only to specific job tasks, they would be eligible for benefits if they were injured while performing a task that the AOE COE doesn't cover.


Conclusion


Employers use AOE COE clauses to reduce the cost of workers' compensation coverage. An AOE COE restricts a person's ability to perform specific job tasks but doesn't prevent them from being eligible for benefits if injured. Having an AOE COE doesn't necessarily mean they won't qualify for benefits. Workers need to review the specific language of the AOE COE clause to know for sure if they will be eligible for benefits if they get injured at work.


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