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    Carpenter with workers' compensation insurance benefits cuts wood in a workshop

    A business owner’s guide to workers’ comp insurance

    Workers’ compensation insurance, commonly known as workers’ comp, is insurance that covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages for employees who become injured or ill on the job. Coverage also includes employee rehabilitation and death benefits.

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    How does workers’ compensation insurance work?

    Each state has its own unique set of workers’ compensation laws that employers must follow. These regulations help ensure that employers provide coverage for the cost of work-related injuries or occupational diseases, regardless of employee negligence.

    An employee can only receive benefits if their injury or illness relates to their job duties or employment. Workers’ comp insurance could cover injuries caused by lifting heavy equipment, slipping on a wet or oily surface, or sustaining injury due to fires or explosions.

    If an employee isn’t acting within the scope of their employment and becomes injured, such as playing football with friends on a day off, workers’ compensation insurance won’t cover them.

    Who needs workers’ compensation insurance?

    Workers’ compensation insurance is required by law in almost every state. Some worker exemptions exist, so you’ll want to check with your state to find out if coverage is mandatory for your business.

    Choosing to forgo workers’ comp coverage puts your business at high financial risk. Not only can you face a lawsuit for workplace injuries, but you’ll likely be fined for breaking the law.

    Keep in mind, workers’ comp insurance protects not only your employees but also your small business. For example, if your insurance is compliant with state law, an employee who receives benefits can’t sue you for their injuries or lost wages.

    They can, however, sue you for things that aren’t covered under the workers’ comp portion of your policy. Employer’s liability insurance is also included in your policy to pay for court costs and legal fees if you’re involved in such a lawsuit.

    Contractor with workers' comp protection sands paint on a house

    How much does workers’ compensation insurance cost?

    In 2021, the national median cost for workers’ compensation insurance through Progressive was $65 per month. The average monthly price was $111.

    A lower median cost suggests that outliers made the average premium appear higher than what most policyholders spent. Your rate will depend on specific qualities of your business including your state, payroll and claims history.

    The best way to discover which factors influence your workers' comp cost is to get a workers' compensation insurance quote.

    How to get workers’ comp insurance through the Progressive Advantage® Business Program

    We’ve partnered with select insurers who offer workers’ comp insurance in the following states:

    • Alabama
    • Alaska
    • Arizona
    • Arkansas
    • California
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • Delaware
    • Florida
    • Georgia
    • Idaho
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Iowa
    • Kansas
    • Kentucky
    • Louisiana
    • Maine
    • Maryland
    • Massachusetts
    • Michigan
    • Minnesota
    • Mississippi
    • Missouri
    • Montana
    • Nebraska
    • Nevada
    • New Hampshire
    • New Jersey
    • New Mexico
    • New York
    • North Carolina
    • Oklahoma
    • Oregon
    • Pennsylvania
    • Rhode Island
    • South Carolina
    • South Dakota
    • Tennessee
    • Texas
    • Utah
    • Vermont
    • Virginia
    • West Virginia
    • Wisconsin

    If you need coverage in Ohio, North Dakota, Washington or Wyoming, you'll need to contact your state to secure insurance. These states only allow businesses to get workers' compensation insurance through them.

    Common questions about workers’ compensation insurance

    What doesn’t workers’ compensation cover?

    Who is covered by workers’ compensation?

    Does a sole proprietor need workers’ compensation?

    Are contractors and volunteers covered under workers’ comp?

    Employee protected by workers' compensation insurance shapes wood in a workshop

    Start a quote and protect your employees with workers’ compensation insurance today

    Get a quoteOr, call 1-888-806-9598