Minnesota Workers Compensation (MN)

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Contributor, Benzinga
September 24, 2021

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Your employees are your most valuable asset. Creating and maintaining a safe work environment in the Land of 10,000 Lakes helps you attract and keep the best employees. Workers’ compensation insurance plays a vital role in employee safety, so having the right Minnesota workers compensation is vital. Here’s exactly what you’ll need to know to find the best workers comp insurance policy in MN. 

What is Workers’ Comp Insurance?

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides benefits to employees working for an employer. These include medical, disability income and death/survivor benefits if the employee sustains injuries on the job. This type of coverage is not only a protection for workers, it protects the employer from being financially liable for these things. Workers' comp may be required by law depending on where you live, too.

Best Minnesota Workers Compensation Insurance

The best workers’ comp insurance in Minnesota for your needs will vary depending on how many employees you have and what industry you are employed in.

A few factors to consider when choosing a workers’ comp policy include: 

  • The carrier’s experience with your sector of employment
  • The carrier’s claims-paying record over time
  • The size of the company
  • Discounts available
  • Age and gender
  • Premium rates

It can be confusing and challenging to find the best workers’ comp insurance in Minnesota. In the following sections, Benzinga will help narrow things down for you. 

Key Points: Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Why is workers’ compensation so important? Let’s take a look at the numbers to help inform this stance:

  • Number of fatal injuries annually: 5,190 workers were fatally injured in the U.S. in 2016
  • Employers cost per $100 of covered payroll: $1.06 in Minnesota as of 2016
  • National ranking (1= largest % increase from 2012-2016): Minnesota ranked 13th
  • Low rate per $100 in payroll: $0.10 for clerical workers
  • High rate per $100 in payroll: $20.49 for labor workers

Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law

Workers’ comp is mandatory coverage that employers in Minnesota must provide for their employees. Employees who are injured on the job will receive monetary assistance to compensate them while they are recovering from their injuries. Workers’ comp also pays for medical bills associated with on-the-job injuries as well as death and survivor benefits. Workers’ comp varies from state to state. 

Minnesota, like most states, offers coverage through private insurers licensed to do business in the state.

Workers’ compensation insurance protects your business by helping employees who experience work-related illness or injury. Workers’ compensation also helps cover your employees’ medical costs and lost wages. 

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that employees don’t need to prove your business was negligent and you don’t need to prove your employees were negligent in their work. Work-related injuries or illnesses can include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Traumatic injuries
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Many other injuries or illnesses may qualify. The employee’s work must have been “a substantial contributing factor” to the illness or injury to qualify for workers’ compensation coverage. 

How to Buy Workers’ Comp Insurance in Minnesota

In Minnesota, there are 3 ways to buy workers’ comp insurance:

1. Through a private insurance carrier, either directly online, via phone or through an agent licensed to do business in Minnesota. Consider getting a quote from Progressive, biBerk, CoverWallet, Tivly or Liberty Mutual.

2. From the assigned risk plan, also known as the “assigned risk pool.” Employers that can obtain coverage in the voluntary private market can find coverage in the assigned risk pool by contacting an agent licensed in Minnesota or by contacting Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Insurers Association.

3. Eligible individuals and groups can self-insure in Minnesota. Eligibility requirements are listed on the Minnesota Commerce Department’s website.

Who Needs Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Minnesota requires businesses with 1 or more employees to have workers’ compensation insurance or be self-insured. Minnesota offers a few limited exceptions to some household employees, family employees and independent contractors. In most cases, if you employ anybody, even part-time, you need to have workers’ compensation insurance. 

You must prove to the Department of Commerce that you have the financial ability to self-insure. It often makes sense for companies to purchase a workers’ compensation policy. 

What Happens if You Don't Have Workers Comp Coverage?

You’re liable for your employees’ medical costs if you don’t have workers’ compensation. You can also be sued and receive a civil penalty and courts can find you guilty of a gross misdemeanor. 

The Department of Labor and Industry can charge you up to $1,000 per employee each week that you don’t carry workers’ compensation insurance. That penalty applies even if no one has reported an injury. 

Let’s say an employee is injured on the job and you don’t have workers’ compensation. Minnesota’s Special Compensation Fund may pay benefits. If it does, your business must reimburse the Special Compensation Fund for the benefits it pays plus a 65% penalty. 

Filing a Minnesota Workers’ Comp Claim

Employees should alert you as soon as they know about a work-related injury. If it’s an emergency, your employees should seek treatment first and then inform you as soon as possible. From there, the following steps must be taken:

  • Minnesota requires you, the employer, to fill out a First Report of Injury form.
  • You have 10 days from the day you’re informed to complete the form and turn it in to your workers’ compensation company.
  • If the injury or illness lasts for more than 3 calendar days, you must also turn in the form to the Department of Labor and Industry.
  • The employee involved and the employee’s union should also get copies of the form, if applicable. 
  • You or your insurance company can request your employee to undergo an evaluation from a healthcare professional.
  • The examination must be within 15 miles of their residence and your insurance company must reimburse the employee for travel expenses. 

Employees have the right to appeal decisions that your insurer makes. The Department of Labor and Industry offers mediation to help resolve issues between your employee and your insurer. Choose an insurer that takes claims seriously. Employees have the right to timely payments and can appeal to the Department of Labor and Industry if payments are consistently late. 

Employer Cost for Workers Compensation

Workers’ compensation insurance is good for your business and your employees. How much does it cost? Let’s take a look at some sample rates. The table below assumes you have 5 employees and the experience modifier is 0.

Class CodeClass Code DescriptionRateAnnual PayState FeeAnnual Employer Premium
8017Retail Store$0.91$34,184$250$2,805.35
8380Auto Shop$2.03$40,415$250$5,352.10
8835Home Health Care$1.19$23,629$250$2,655.95

Enter your ZIP code and provide basic information to our trusted partners to get a personalized quote

The 4 Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation insurance provides 4 types of benefits:

  1. Wage replacement benefits are offered to employees who can’t work — or can’t work as much — due to a work-related health issue. Benefits are typically about ⅔ of pretax weekly wages. Employees should receive their 1st benefit payment within 14 days of the date they notified you, the employer. After that, they should be paid on their usual payment schedule. 
  2. Permanent partial disability benefits compensate employees who have a permanent disability from a work-related injury. It’s provided to employees who may not be able to continue in the same type of work or who can’t work as much as they could before the disability. 
  3. Vocational rehabilitation benefits: These benefits are for employees who might need help finding new employment after an injury. Many employees can be accommodated in their current workplace, but there may be situations where training for a new vocation could be a better fit. Vocational rehabilitation benefits cover training for new work. 
  4. Medical benefits for employees may include psychological care, chiropractic care, surgeries and hospital care. Employees are entitled to “reasonable and necessary” medical treatment for work-related injuries — and workers’ compensation covers it. 

How to Compare Workers’ Comp Insurance in Minnesota

There are 4 things to consider when getting a quote for workers’ comp:

1. Compare premiums: Actual premiums by carriers can vary widely, so it is important to shop around for the best premium. Although premiums are generally calculated as a percentage of payroll, the percentages are not always equal. Some carriers offer coverage for unusual occupations and exposures that others do not; they also may be able to tailor coverages to specific risks or exposures.

2. Compare coverages: Most workers’ comp policies contain a mix of mandatory and optional coverages, such as lost time benefits and medical payments. When choosing the best policy for your business, make sure you carry enough coverage to meet your company’s needs; do so by tailoring the type and amount of coverage to the specific risks or exposures of your business.

3. Compare ratings: An insurer’s financial stability plays a role in the quality of its coverage. Carriers with poor ratings do not necessarily offer low-quality policies, but if they are undercapitalized, claims and other expenses may not be paid when due. Avoid that by choosing a company ranked A+ by AM Best, the industry leader in ranking insurance companies.

4. Look at market share: You should consider the size of a carrier’s book of business, particularly in your state. It may be better positioned to handle difficult or unusual claims because its resources are greater; it can spread the cost among more customers and increase the likelihood that your claims will be paid promptly.

Workers Comp Insurance Provider Reviews in MN

Which workers’ comp insurance is the best for your Minnesota business? Here are our top 5 choices. 

1. The Hartford: Best Overall

With more than 200 years of experience, The Hartford is selected among the nation’s top workers’ comp insurance carriers. The insurer is considered the best choice for worker’s compensation policies because of its preferred medical provider network with more than 1 million providers who treat workplace injuries.

It also offers more than 65,000 pharmacies in the U.S. to fill prescriptions usually with no out-of-pocket expense for injured workers, and a network of nurse care managers to help coordinate the injured workers’ care with doctors and therapists.

The Hartford offers companies pay-as-you-go billing solutions based on actual payroll, which can help manage cash flow and reduce audit surprises.

2. Simply Business: Best for Tailored Coverage

Simply Business offers a comprehensive suite of business insurance that specializes in making it easy to insure your business. 

Whether you’re looking for construction workers' insurance or insurance for your startup, Simply Business helps you find the right coverage at the right price. 

Tell Simply Business a little bit about your business and you'll get almost-instantaneous affordable quotes from top insurance providers. You can look into workers’ comp insurance that will cover everyone on your team, and you can get covered in accordance with Minnesota law without overspending. 

Building your business is hard enough. Let Simply Business make it easier. Get a quote from Simply Business today.

3. Farmers: Best for Multi-State Organizations

Your Minnesota business may extend well beyond the state’s borders — Farmers navigates claims across multiple states. Its adjusters ensure that every employee receives the same benefits and assistance.

Farmers works closely with your business to help you reduce risk, create a safer environment for your employees and reduce claims. Farmers also works with experts to identify and prevent workers’ compensation fraud. 

4. Travelers: Best for Small Businesses

Travelers Insurance is the #1 writer of workers’ compensation insurance because it works with small businesses.

Travelers offers an extensive medical network and quick service.

It may be a national company but you’ll have local claims professionals to work with. Travelers also conducts risk assessments to help you improve workplace safety. 

5. Hiscox: Best for Quick Quotes

  • securely through Hiscox's website
    securely through Hiscox's website
    Best For:
    Small businesses with both part and full-time employees
    Read Review

Hiscox offers an excellent online experience and it begins with the quote process. You can get a quote online in just minutes.

Hiscox works with a variety of industries, including construction, engineering and real estate and businesses of all sizes.

You can also get general liability or other business policies. You’ll also find stellar reviews from Hiscox’s customers.

6. Zurich: Best for Risk Assessment

Zurich approaches workers’ compensation from a risk management perspective.

This means that instead of focusing exclusively on the claims process, Zurich’s risk engineering team evaluates your worksite for risks.

After its assessment, Zurich provides training and resources to help lower your workplace’s risk. Zurich also offers round-the-clock claims support. 

7. Chubb: Best for Claims Processing

  • securely through Chubb Business Insurance's website
    securely through Chubb Business Insurance's website
    Best For:
    Commercial E&O Coverage

Chubb ensures that your employees get a smooth claims process. Chubb makes reporting claims easy with an online reporting system. Its goal is to respond to every claim within 48 hours and it also works to deliver payments promptly.

The first payment to your employees should show up within 14 days after notification. 

Choose the Right Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company

Which insurance company is the best for your business? Our tool helps you get quick quotes —  but you may also want to consider these factors:

  • Industry expertise: The risks in manufacturing are different from those faced by a home health aide. Does the potential insurance company have experience in your industry?
  • Claims service: What is the claims process like for you? What’s it like for your employees? How fast are claims processed?
  • Risk management: Some insurance companies offer risk assessment services as a part of your policy. Is this important to you? If it is, what services does your potential insurance company offer?
  • Local expertise: What experience does your insurer have in your local area? Is there someone you can talk to in person if you need to?

Your insurance solution also needs to fit into your budget. Stay within the law and bolster your relationship with your employees — get the best workers’ comp insurance for you. 

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?


The employer is responsible for purchasing workers’ compensation insurance to cover the benefits of employees. The must pay a monthly premium based on class code and payroll. To get a custom workers’ compensation quote, click here.


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.


Benzinga crafted a specific methodology to rank workers comp insurance. We prioritized carriers based on coverage options, specialized industries, customer service experience and how quickly and easily you're able to get insured including online tool usage. We also included workers comp insurance quote aggregators in lists to make it easy and efficient to compare policy quotes and options. To see a comprehensive breakdown of our methodology, please visit see our Workers' Compensation Insurance Methodology page.

The construction industry reports the most injuries and workers' compensation claims in 38 out of 50 states.

Second place goes to the forestry industry, followed by the transportation industry. By law, businesses with more than 1 employee must carry workers' compensation insurance. Workers' compensation insurance protects both your business and employees and creates a safety net for wage replacements and medical benefits.

Use our calculator to determine how much workers' compensation will cost you and your business.