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.
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 your small business too. 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.
How much does workers’ compensation insurance cost?
In 2017, the national average monthly cost for workers’ compensation insurance through the Progressive Advantage® Business Program was $192. Remember, this is only an average. Your rate will depend on specific qualities of your business including your state, payroll and claims history.
Discover how these and other factors influence your workers’ compensation cost. You may also start a quote online, or contact us directly to speak with an in-house agent who can help you find coverage.
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:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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.
In addition to injuries that occur outside of work, injuries that occur intentionally, while commuting to and from work, or due to intoxication or substance abuse wouldn’t be covered by workers’ compensation.
It varies based on where your business operates. For example, certain types of employees, such as seasonal workers, may not be covered by workers’ compensation in some states. Contact us at 1-888-806-9598 and we’ll help you answer any state-specific questions you have about your coverage.
Not usually. While workers compensation laws vary from state-to-state, most states don’t require sole proprietors to carry workers’ comp.
Depending on the state, contractors and volunteers can be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they’re injured or become ill on the job. Our in-house agency can help answer any state-specific workers’ compensation question you have. Give us a call at 1-888-806-9598.