As a business-owner, you may have heard the term “Mutua” but surprisingly, even though every business-owner pays for this service, many are completely unaware that they do so or what the Mutua does for them.
So, what exactly is a Mutua? The best translation I could come up with is similar to a Mutual Insurance Society for Work-Related Accidents and Illnesses which are private non-profit associations made up of business-owners that are authorized by and collaborate with the Ministry of Employment and Social Security. Their commission is to process any compensation that arises as a result of sick leave due to illness or work-related accidents on behalf of registered business-owners but even though they are not considered insurance companies, their methodology is similar.
Since 2007, all autónomos are obligated to contract the services of the Mutua of their choosing from the moment they register at Social Security and this is the funny part, whether they were aware of this or not, they have been paying for this service the whole time! The registry document issued by Social Security will include the name of the Mutua that handles these matters on their behalf (at the end of the article you will find a list of existing Mutuas to help identify the one you are registered with).
Now that I’ve said that, if you are a business-owner, you’re probably wondering when and how you’ve been paying for this service all this time aren’t you? It’s simple, the charge is included in your monthly Social Security contribution that is debited from your bank account, but what exactly are you paying for? Well, as mentioned, Mutuas process any compensation due for sick leave and work-related accidents. As you know, your monthly Social contribution is made up of different concepts to include General Contingencies, Professional Contingencies and Closure of the Business Activity. Let’s quickly define them so you know what I’m talking about:
- General Contingencies: This concept is of obligatory inclusion in your contributions and refers to non work-related accidents or illnesses. Only those who are covered by another means are excluded from paying this concept.
- Professional Contingencies: This is a more comprehensive cover than General Contingencies which is voluntary in most cases and offers additional services such as:
(a) Sick leave for professional related accidents and illnesses. This is for business activities that carry a higher risk level and in some cases it’s obligatory.
(b) Complete cover: Cover for emergency room, hospitalization, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation… related expenses
(c) Cover for the right to claim in the event of decease or long- term or irreversible damage
(d) Cover during pregnancy and maternity leave
(e) Cover for parents of minors with serious illnesses
- Closure of the Business Activity: From 1st November 2011, self- employed persons may request cover in the event their business closes down as per Law 32/2010, 5th August. This only applies if it can be proven that the business failed on all fronts and that the cause was out of the sole-trader’s hands. Be advised Social Security to date has rejected around 85% of such applications!
A business-owner may be entitled to compensation in the event of general illness of a serious nature (and I’m not referring to the common cold or man-flu!) in the region of 18,65€/day from the 4th to 20th day of incapacity and 23,31€/day from the 21st day of incapacity.*
In the event of a work-related accident, the business-owner should contact the Mutua directly, however, this can also be done after receiving medical attention at hospital. The Mutua will follow their progress and process any required paperwork at Social Security so the business-owner may receive compensation whilst they are unable to work. In these cases, compensation may be in the region of 23,31€/day from the 2nd day of incapacity.*
You will note that compensation begins sooner and is higher for those who pay Social for Professional Contingencies, however, problems may arise if the Mutua determines the illness or accident is not professional by nature and classifies it as general, but the business-owner may appeal this determination.
If a business-owner is granted compensation for the closure of their business activity, he/she may be entitled to compensation of approximately 652,89 euros per month and depending on the amount of time they have been registered, they may receive compensation between two and twelve months.*
As you can see, business-owners pay for an array of services within their monthly Social contribution, but many have not taken advantage of them due to a lack of knowledge on the matter which will hopefully change after reading this article 😊
Existing Mutuas in 2018
Activa Mutua 2008, Asepeyo, Cesma, Egarsat, Fraternidad, Fremap, Ibermutuamur, Mac, Maz, Mc Mutual, Mutua Balear, Mutua Gallega, Mutua Intercomarcal, Mutua Navarra, Mutua Montañesa, Mutua Universal, Mutualia, Solimat, Umivale, Unión de Mutuas
* Disclaimer: The amounts and payment periods shown are general and may vary depending on a number of factors and personal circumstances.