Do You Qualify for Workers Comp Exemption?


Workers compensation insurance coverage is among the many most vital kinds of enterprise insurance coverage. It is a requirement for many companies and workers throughout the nation. Certain companies and employees, nevertheless, qualify for employees comp exemption, both by selection or by regulation.

This article will deal with who can qualify for a employees comp exemption. Beginning with an summary of employees compensation insurance coverage, we are going to focus on the kinds of companies and employees who can apply for exemptions, and learn how to go about submitting an utility.

The article may even cowl the advantages and dangers concerned, to offer companies and workers a full overview of the choices accessible to them with regards to employees comp exemptions.

What is Workers Compensation Insurance? 

Workers compensation insurance coverage is a kind of enterprise insurance coverage that’s required by regulation for companies with workers. This applies to all states besides Texas, which doesn’t require employers to have employees compensation protection.

The necessities for employees comp differ from state to state, nevertheless, and it’s due to this fact vital for each companies and workers to take a state-by-state have a look at these necessities. For companies particularly, there are additionally many different components to think about with regards to employees compensation prices.

Workers compensation insurance coverage covers a variety of advantages, together with the price of medical bills, momentary and everlasting incapacity, job displacement, authorized charges attributable to work-related harm or sickness, and in worst instances, funeral prices and loss of life advantages.

In this manner, employees comp advantages workers and their households in addition to companies who’re shielded from paying doubtlessly higher medical and authorized bills by way of lawsuits.

For companies, complete insurance coverage protection will embody not solely employees comp, however employers’ legal responsibility insurance coverage as nicely. The two insurance policies present completely different coverages, however they’re complementary. Unlike employees comp, employers’ legal responsibility insurance coverage assumes legal responsibility on the a part of employers with regards to work-related accidents or lawsuits from workers.

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Although most employees compensation claims are normally accepted, there could also be instances when workers refuse a proposal made by the insurance coverage service on behalf of the employer. An worker might rent a lawyer and search a bigger settlement. In these instances, a employees compensation settlement could also be required.

Workers compensation insurance coverage is commonly a type of security internet for companies and their workers. But what about those that don’t qualify for employees comp? Or those that don’t need to enroll in that type of protection? That’s the place employees compensation exemptions are available.

What is a Workers Comp Exemption?

A employees comp exemption signifies that a enterprise or worker will not be legally required to get employees compensation insurance coverage protection. Companies that apply for such exemptions don’t have to supply employees comp insurance coverage to sure workers, akin to unbiased contractors. For workers, exemptions imply that they’re left with out insurance coverage protection when confronted with work-related accidents or diseases.

Businesses can exclude sure kinds of workers absolutely from protection, or exclude some workers in sure conditions. Workers comp exemptions can apply to particular person workers or teams, or to the enterprise as a complete. Since the value of employees compensation insurance coverage relies partly on payroll, employees comp exemptions can scale back the general value of insurance coverage protection for companies.

The sorts of exemptions accessible to companies and workers are completely different for every state, since every state has completely different employees comp insurance coverage legal guidelines. The commonest kinds of exemptions should do with the variety of workers {that a} enterprise has, since most states require insurance coverage protection for companies with a number of workers.

Workers Compensation Exemptions State by State

Workers compensation insurance coverage is set and controlled by state governments. As a consequence, which companies and workers qualify for employees comp exemptions is completely different from state to state.

The first step in studying about whether or not your small business or workers qualify for an exemption is to try the state-by-state variations and assessment the accessible choices in your state.

While nearly all of states (and the District of Columbia) require companies with a minimum of one worker to have employees compensation insurance coverage, different states have a better worker threshold:

  • 3 or extra workers: Arkansas, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina, Virginia
  • 4 or extra workers: Florida, South Carolina
  • 5 or extra workers: Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee 

In addition to headcount necessities, it’s additionally vital to know the kinds of workers which are exempt state-by-state and any variations primarily based on completely different industries.

Any enterprise or employee excited by requesting an exemption ought to seek the advice of their state’s insurance coverage or employees compensation board, akin to these for California, Florida, New York, and Texas. Embroker supplies a useful resource hyperlink for every state right here.

Businesses and Employees that Qualify for Workers Compensation Exemptions

Person placing open sign on their local business due to workers comp exemption

Despite the variations between states, there are specific kinds of companies and workers which are usually exempt from employees compensation insurance coverage.

Types of Employees:

  • Employees with few work hours or small earnings per 12 months
  • Employees who solely work a sure variety of days per 12 months (akin to in agriculture)
  • Casual workers with irregular work days/hours
  • Volunteers and unpaid interns 
  • Independent contractors

Businesses & Business Owners:

  • Sole proprietors
  • Business homeowners
  • Executives & managing members
  • Partners
  • Members & prospects of restricted legal responsibility firms (LLCs)
  • Corporate officers who personal firm inventory above a sure share

Employment Categories & Industries:

Depending on the state, employees and companies in varied industries will be exempt from employees compensation insurance coverage. These embody:

  • Federal authorities employees (for the reason that federal authorities has its personal employees compensation program)
  • Farming & agricultural employees 
  • Domestic & family employees (together with cleaners, cooks, and gardeners)
  • Family & personal family members (employees employed by their very own family members)
  • Railway employees (lined by the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, or FELA)
  • Maritime employees (lined by the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, or LHWCA)
  • Workers in specialised classes, together with actual property brokers, clergy members, and taxi drivers 

Navigating the completely different legal guidelines and rules on employees compensation insurance coverage and exemptions is usually a daunting job. When doubtful, it’s all the time advisable to seek the advice of with an skilled you’ll be able to belief, akin to an skilled agent or dealer.

Business Owners, Independent Contractors, and Self-Employed Individuals

A enterprise proprietor who doesn’t have any workers is a sole proprietor. That signifies that extra doubtless than not, they won’t be required by state regulation to purchase employees compensation insurance coverage.

Sole proprietors, in addition to companions and LLC members in companies with out workers, can apply for employees comp exemptions that apply to their possession standing.

Applying for an exemption can expose enterprise homeowners to sure dangers, nevertheless. Any work-related accidents or diseases, for instance, can result in medical payments far costlier than the price of insurance coverage would have been.

Business homeowners may be answerable for any harm sustained by momentary or contract employees they make use of, who will want employees comp insurance coverage. As nicely, prospects may request proof of the enterprise proprietor’s insurance coverage protection in order that they won’t be held liable in case of any accidents or diseases.

Purchasing employees compensation insurance coverage is a good suggestion for unbiased contractors and self-employed people even when they aren’t required by state regulation to get any protection. Expensive medical payments will not be the one monetary results of any work-related accidents and diseases. For contractors and self-employed employees, such downtime additionally means misplaced revenue from misplaced wages in the course of the restoration interval.

For companies who work with unbiased contractors, there’s a clear incentive to demand that these contractors take out employees comp insurance coverage. Any accidents that contractors may maintain whereas working with a enterprise might trigger them to file a lawsuit towards the enterprise, no matter whether or not the contractors are exempt from obligatory insurance coverage protection.

How to Apply for a Workers Compensation Exemption 

The course of for making use of for a employees comp exemption is completely different relying on the state. Some states routinely categorize non-employees as exempt.

Typically, enterprise homeowners have to finish a type with their states’ regulatory company after which pay a processing payment to qualify for a employees comp exemption.

A screening course of (completely different in every state) is initiated for companies that apply for exemptions. The enterprise proprietor ought to fill out and submit a type titled “Notice of Election to be Exempt from Workers Compensation” on the nearest employees compensation workplace.

The type normally requires filling out the next data:

  • Employee data
  • Description of firm/enterprise sort
  • Proof of up-to-date enterprise licenses
  • Proof of enterprise possession
  • If relevant, contact data (concerning the firm’s employees compensation insurance coverage service)
  • Application payment

Once the appliance is submitted, the state will both approve or deny the exemption. If the appliance is accredited, the enterprise shall be despatched a certificates of election as proof of exemption. The employer will then not be required to cowl the exempt people.

Should You File for a Workers Compensation Exemption?

Now that you know the way to use for an exemption, the query is: do you have to?

Small enterprise homeowners, sole proprietors, and unbiased contractors might discover the thought of not having to pay the premiums that include taking out employees compensation protection interesting. The monetary results of any work-related harm or sickness, nevertheless, could possibly be devastating. In reality, it’s doubtless that the prices from medical payments and misplaced wages would exceed the price of the insurance coverage premiums.

Applying for a employees comp exemption can prevent some cash within the quick time period, but it surely might find yourself costing you way more in the long term when you’re compelled to pay for any medical bills out of pocket.

For companies that make use of exempt employees, it is smart to supply these employees protection as nicely as a result of any accidents they could maintain at work might lead to lawsuits in the event that they really feel that the enterprise is chargeable for their accidents and will due to this fact be held liable.

For unbiased contractors, having a employees comp coverage in place might make them eligible for extra contracts with employers that require protection. That consists of many authorities and huge private-sector company contracts, since these organizations will need to reduce any dangers in coping with contractors.

What If You Don’t File for an Exemption?

Anyone who decides to not file for a employees comp exemption is confronted with two choices. They can search for an insurance coverage supplier who can supply them employees compensation insurance coverage protection. Or, in the event that they fail to try this, they danger incurring non-compliance penalties from their state authorities.

Since each state aside from Texas mandates employees compensation protection, failure to buy that protection can result in vital fines and sanctions. Although the penalties differ from state to state, non-compliance is taken very significantly throughout states. In addition to hefty fines, most states additionally impose civil or prison penalties.

In California, for instance, non-compliance is taken into account a prison offense. In addition, many states have the facility to close down a enterprise till workers are supplied the mandated insurance coverage safety.

Overview: Who Qualifies for a Workers Compensation Exemption?

Person with broken arm and paper held up for workers comp exemption

The backside line is that almost all companies and workers are required to have employees compensation insurance coverage. For those that qualify for a employees comp exemption, it nonetheless is smart to get insurance coverage in case of accidents or diseases that might find yourself being costlier than any insurance coverage premiums.

Whether you resolve to file for a employees comp exemption or not, step one is to be nicely knowledgeable about your selections. Consulting with skilled insurers and brokers who can advise you concerning the ins and outs of employees compensation insurance coverage and exemption will enable you make the choice that’s best for you and your small business.


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