Congratulations! You’ve made the leap and become self-employed. What’s next? You’ll need to set up a safety net in the form of workers’ compensation. We’ll clue you in on some of Benzinga’s choices for best workers comp insurance so you don’t miss a beat with your business.
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Tip: compare 2-3 companies
Best Workers Comp for Self Employed:
- Best for Self Employed Newcomers: Insurance321
- Best for Quick Quotes: CoverWallet
- Best for Budget-Conscious Business Owners
- Best for a Quick Claims Process: The Hartford
- Best for When Personal and Professional Assets Intersect: Liberty Mutual
- Best Workers Comp for Self Employed:
- Workers Compensation Insurance: An Overview
- How Does Workers Compensation Law Work?
- Cost of Workers Compensation for Self-Employed
- 4 Types of Workers Comp Benefits
- Best Workers Comp Insurance for Self-Employed
- Get the Best Workers Comp Insurance for Your Business
- Frequently Asked Questions
Workers Compensation Insurance: An Overview
You know you need a safe workplace and work processes whether you’re a company of 1 or 1,000. But even with the most thoughtful planning, accidents happen.
It’s unlikely that you’ll take yourself to court when you’re injured at your job, but workers’ comp provides more than protection from lawsuits. It also covers medical expenses and replaces wages if you’re injured while working. After all, if you’re self-employed, no one else can pick up your responsibilities and keep your company’s revenue stream flowing while you recover. Plus, medical expenses can add up, so it might be wise to direct work-related medical expenses to workers’ comp insurance rather than personal health insurance.
Workers’ comp insurance might be right for you if:
- You’re concerned about the potential loss of income after an injury.
- You need a certificate of insurance to be able to work with certain clients or to subcontract work.
- You might be growing your business and need to hire employees.
Costs for workers’ compensation insurance depend largely on the riskiness of the work, income level and claims history. These factors influence workers’ comp whether you’re self-employed or employ thousands.
How Does Workers Compensation Law Work?
By law, any business with employees needs to have workers’ compensation insurance. The number of employees a business can employ before securing workers’ comp insurance varies from state to state. In some states, a business must have insurance if it employs as few as 3 employees. In other states, a business can employ up to 7 employees before securing workers’ comp insurance.
The goal of workers’ compensation is to protect businesses from liability and to help employees in the event of work-related injuries, illnesses or death. Before 1911, employees hurt or killed on the job had only 1 option for help paying medical expenses, income replacement or death benefits. That was to go to court.
Workers’ comp insurance allows both sides to win. Businesses reduce liability risk and employees receive the help they need to recover and return to work. There’s a catch, however. Workers’ comp insurance doesn’t cover accidents as a result of illegal drugs, alcohol or negligence.
It’s important if you’re injured while working that you report the injury to your insurer and seek treatment immediately.
Cost of Workers Compensation for Self-Employed
Protection comes at a price. That price depends on what you do, where you do it, how much you’re paid and how often you file a claim. More specifically, the premium you pay as a self-employed employee for workers comp insurance determined by:
- Where you live. Rates vary from state to state.
- What you do. The riskier the work, the higher the premium. Unsurprisingly, a writer has a lower risk than a carpenter.
- How much you get paid. The rate attached to your job classification is multiplied by every $100 in payroll.
- How often you use your insurance. Claims history and industry average influence your premium.
4 Types of Workers Comp Benefits
Read through the four major areas workers’ comp benefits so you know exactly how workers’ compensation can benefit you.
- Wage replacement benefits: These benefits usually amount to ⅔ of a worker’s average wage or to a state-determined maximum dollar amount. Wage replacement benefits aren’t taxed and should come close to your take-home pay. Wage replacement begins in as little as 3 days off work to 7 days off work at most. The minimum number of days of work missed before wage replacement begins is set by each state.
- Permanent partial disability benefits: This benefit pays an employee who sustains a permanent disability, yet is still able to work. Loss of a body part like a finger is one example. The amount you’re paid depends on the disability.
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits: A worker cannot return to his previous responsibilities as a result of injury but these benefits can help you find a new job. The benefits include services like counseling, job development, job retraining and job placement.
- Medical benefits: Medical benefits pay “necessary and reasonable” medical care due to a work injury.
Best Workers Comp Insurance for Self-Employed
The success of your business rests, in part, on your ability to work. Think about whether your personal health insurance can handle expenses from a work-related injury. Workers’ compensation helps you if you’re injured and need medical attention or if you’re unable to work.
Hiscox, Progressive, biBERK, Travelers and The Hartford are some of the best workers’ compensation insurance in the U.S. Some insurance companies are reticent about providing workers’ comp to the self-employed. Here are some of the best companies that provide workers’ compensation insurance to the self-employed.
1. Insurance321: Best for Self-Employed Newcomers
Insurance321 makes shopping for workers’ compensation insurance easy. Rather than providing insurance directly to you, it acts as an insurance matchmaker.
Fill out a short application, chat briefly with a business specialist and the next thing you know, you’re matched with a policy that fits your needs, provides proper coverage and is priced right.
Its marketplace specialists offer personal, unbiased support to help connect you with the best policy for you without the time-consuming hassle of researching all of the options yourself.
2. CoverWallet: Best for Quick Quotes
CoverWallet is a straight-talking, no-nonsense solution for workers’ compensation insurance. Its easy-to-understand website takes you through the world of workers’ comp so you can decide whether it’s right for you. You can get quotes quickly at no cost online or over the phone.
Not quite sure what you need? CoverWallet also offers an advice feature to chat with a representative about your business and figure out your needs. You can easily download and share a certificate of insurance, a convenient feature if you often work with clients who require proof.
3. ADPIA: Best for Budget-Conscious Business Owners
ADPIA offers solutions that fit your business and your budget. ADPIA’s network of state and national carriers means you’ll be able to find the right policy.
Many of its carrier partners have programs that can help you save money on premiums. ADPIA offers options to improve your cash flow that spread out your premium payments.
4. The Hartford: Best for a Quick Claims Process
The Hartford, one of the largest commercial insurance providers in the nation, is still able to think small. It understands the unique needs of sole proprietors.
Kind of a one-stop-shop, it’s able to quickly supply proof of insurance. The Hartford’s programs support companies, promote safety and help get you back to work as soon as it makes sense. The Hartford also touts a quick claims process with minimum hassle.
5. Liberty Mutual: Best for When Personal and Professional Assets Intersect
Already a major player in the personal insurance arena, Liberty Mutual its sights set on the small business insurance market. Many people who are self-employed make their assets do double-duty. For example, your office is part of your home and your car takes you to job sites and the grocery store.
Liberty Mutual understands the realities of self-employment. Workers’ comp bridges the gap between what your auto policy covers and what you might need if you’re in a vehicle accident while on the clock.
Get the Best Workers Comp Insurance for Your Business
Being your own boss certainly comes with many advantages. But don’t overlook the not-so-fun side of management. Be wise and cover your best assets — you and your company. Make the right moves to protect yourself later. Accidents happen. You wouldn’t set sail without a life preserver, so don’t venture out solo without proper protection. The best workers’ comp insurance is the one that fits your needs and budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: How long can an employee stay on workers’ compensation?
The length of time that an employee can remain on workers’ compensation is set by the state. Usually, the range is from 3 to 7 years. In addition to that, there is generally not a limit for permanent disability benefits unless you live in a state that terminates the benefits at age 65. For employers seeking the cheapest workers’ compensation insurance, check out these top providers.
2) Q: Who pays for workers’ compensation benefits?
3) Q: Do I have to get workers’ compensation insurance?
This depends on which state you have employees. The following states require workers; compensation under specific requirements: AK, CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IL, IA, KS, KY, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, SC, SD, UT, WA. To get the best workers’ compensation premium, enter your zip code here.