How Much Workers’ Compensation Coverage Do I Need?

Scott Camper | Feb 21, 2023 | minute read

How Much Workers’ Compensation Coverage Do I Need?Workers’ compensation insurance provides financial protection to employees who are injured or become ill due to their job. It is a legal requirement for most employers to have this coverage in place, as it helps to cover the costs of medical expenses and lost wages for affected employees.

However, many employers are unsure of how much coverage they need. This article explores the importance of having adequate workers’ compensation coverage. You will also learn what steps to take to determine the right amount for your business.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Laws

Each state has its laws and regulations regarding workers’ compensation insurance. Employers need to understand the specific requirements of their state to ensure compliance. For example, some states require coverage for all employees, while others have exemptions for certain types of workers or businesses.

The amount and type of benefits provided can also vary between states. To avoid any penalties or legal issues, employers should stay informed about the laws and regulations in their state and ensure they meet all requirements.

Employer Costs per $100 of Covered Wages

The cost of workers’ compensation insurance for employers is determined by the “Employer Costs per $100 of Covered Wages” rate. This rate expresses the amount an employer will pay for workers’ compensation coverage for every $100 of covered wages.

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States With the Lowest Average Employer Costs:

  • District of Columbia – $0.41
  • Texas – $0.46
  • Michigan – $0.61

States With the Highest Average Employer Costs:

  • Wyoming – $1.78
  • Alaska – $1.74
  • Hawaii – $1.69

The cost of workers’ compensation insurance can vary across states for several reasons:

  1. State laws and regulations – Each state has workers’ compensation insurance regulations. Some states may have more stringent requirements, which can drive up the cost of coverage.
  2. Industry and job hazards – Different industries and jobs come with different risks. For example, a construction company may have higher costs than an office-based business.
  3. State-funded vs. privately funded – Some states have state-funded workers’ compensation programs, while others rely on private insurance companies. State-funded programs may have lower costs, but they may not provide as much coverage as a privately-funded policy.
  4. Medical costs – The cost of medical care can vary significantly across states. This expense can directly impact the cost of workers’ compensation insurance.
  5. Claim frequency – The frequency of claims can also impact the cost of workers’ compensation insurance. Some states may have higher claim frequencies, which can increase the cost of coverage for employers.
  6. Loss adjustment expenses, taxes, and assessments – These factors vary across states and can affect the cost of workers’ compensation insurance.

The underwriting practices of insurance companies also vary from state to state. Some companies may have different criteria for approving policies, which can affect the coverage cost.

Determining Coverage Needs

Determining the right amount of workers’ compensation coverage for your business can be complex. It is essential to consider many factors when making this decision. Some of these factors include:

  • The number of employees – The more employees you have, the greater the risk of a workplace injury or illness. As such, the coverage should be adequate to cover the costs of all employees.
  • Industry and job hazards – Some industries are more hazardous than others. For example, a construction company will likely need more coverage than an office-based business.
  • Annual payroll – The size of the business is also an important consideration, as the cost of coverage may vary depending on the size of the company.

Once you have determined your coverage needs, reviewing them is essential. As your business grows or changes, your coverage needs may also change. Regular reviews will help ensure that you are always adequately covered.

It is also worth noting that workers’ compensation insurance costs will be influenced by a business’s claims history, the company’s nature, and the employer’s safety practices.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Coverage: How Much Do You Need?

Choosing a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Policy

Several types of workers’ compensation insurance policies are available to employers. Some of the options include:

  • State-funded – In some states, employers can purchase coverage through a state-funded program. It is often the most affordable option but may not provide as much coverage as a privately-funded policy.
  • Self-insured – Some larger companies choose to self-insure, meaning they set aside funds to cover potential claims. It can be a cost-effective option for businesses with a good claims history, but it also carries more risk.
  • Privately funded – Employers can also purchase coverage through a private insurance company. It is the most common option, allowing employers to customize their coverage to fit their specific needs.

When choosing a workers’ compensation insurance policy, compare the coverage and cost of different policies. Also, employers should consider the insurance company’s reputation and the level of customer service they provide.

It is also recommended to check the insurance company’s financial stability. It will be essential to have coverage from a financially stable insurer in case of large claims.

Final Thoughts

In addition to Business Insurance, workers’ compensation insurance is essential for most employers. It helps to protect employees from the financial burden of workplace injuries or illnesses and helps employers stay compliant with state laws.

Adequate coverage is essential, and employers should take the time to determine their specific needs, regularly review them and choose the right policy for their business.

Remember that adequate workers’ compensation coverage protects the employer from potential lawsuits. The goal is to balance coverage and cost so that the employer can provide a safe working environment and the employees can feel protected in case of injury or illness.

Contact LCK to learn more about workers’ compensation insurance.

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Leap | Carpenter | Kemps Insurance Agency Can Help

To learn more about how to remain OSHA compliant and protect your small business with commercial insurance, contact one of the experts at Leap Carpenter Kemps Insurance Agency.

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About The Author

Scott has been been managing commercial insurance risk for the past 25 years with LCK.

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