Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirements by State
Workers’ compensation insurance
gives your employees benefits to help them recover from work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage is also known as workers’ comp insurance and workman’s comp insurance.
There are differences with workers’ compensation laws by state. The requirements and penalties for not having coverage can vary depending on where you live. For example, some states may not require agricultural employees to have coverage.1 That’s why it’s important to know your state’s workers’ compensation insurance laws so you can make sure you’re compliant.
Generally, if you don’t obtain workers’ compensation insurance in a state that requires it, you’ll have to pay a fine. The amount depends on:
- The number of employees working for you. In most cases, the fewer employees you have, the smaller the amount you have to pay.
- The reasoning behind your lack of coverage. If you intentionally lie about the amount of employees you have, then you may have to pay a higher fine.
- How long you’ve been without coverage. Courts and your state’s workers’ compensation board can look at how long you’ve gone without insurance. In some states, there is an amount you pay for each day without coverage.
State by State Workers’ Compensation Laws
Workers’ Compensation Benefits by State
Regardless of where your small business is, you’ll need to consider workers’ compensation benefits by state as you look for the coverage you need. In fact, businesses in most states are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Your workers’ comp insurance coverage can help cover:
- Medical care and expenses to help your employee recover from a work-related injury or illness.
- Accidents or injuries an employee sustains while on the job.
- Illnesses caused from a worker’s job.
- Ongoing care costs, such as physical therapy or surgeries that help treat an employee’s injury or illness.
- Lost wages if your employee has to miss work while they recover.
- Funeral costs if a worker loses their life in a workplace accident.
What State Workers’ Comp Laws Do Not Cover
State workers’ comp laws won’t cover workers’ compensation claims related to:
- Injuries resulting from illegal drug use or intoxication on the job
- Non-work-related injuries and illnesses
- Self-inflicted injuries
State workers’ compensation insurance also doesn’t apply to employees working for the federal government. That’s because they’re covered by federal statute: the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). These employees include:2
- Civilians working in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government
- State and local law enforcement officers acting in a federal capacity
- Peace Corps volunteers
- Students in Reserve Officer Training Corps programs
- Federal jurors
- Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Civil Air Patrol
Getting The Hartford’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance
When it comes to workers’ compensation insurance in the United States, it can be hard to make sure you're getting the required coverage. At The Hartford, we make it easy for you to get the insurance you need. As an insurance carrier that's offered workers' compensation insurance for over 100 years, our specialists can help you understand your state laws. To learn more, get a workers’ comp quote
This article provides general information, and should not be construed as specific legal, HR, financial, insurance, tax or accounting advice. As with all matters of a legal or human resources nature, you should consult with your own legal counsel and human resources professionals. The Hartford shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, special, consequential, incidental, punitive or exemplary damages in connection with the use by you or anyone of the information provided herein.