Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Oregon

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Contributor, Benzinga
January 10, 2020

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The workplace can be risky, and in Oregon, that’s no exception. Workers in the farming and trucking industries sustain the most workplace injuries in the state. Whether you employ garbage collectors, package deliverers or home health care aides, it’s essential to protect them and your company with the right workers’ compensation insurance. 

The Best Workers Comp Insurance in Oregon

Oregon Workers’ Compensation Insurance: An Overview

In recent years, people working in transportation and with machinery account for 65% of workplace injuries in Oregon, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s a brief look at workers’ compensation insurance in Oregon:

  • Number of fatal injuries annually: In 2016, 5,190 workers died resulting from fatal occupational injuries in the U.S. That year, 72 workers were killed on the job in Oregon.
  • Employers cost per $100 of covered payroll: Employer’s cost per $100 of covered payroll is $1.02. 
  • National ranking (1= largest % increase from 2012-2016): Oregon ranked 33rd in the nation for the largest percent increase from 2012-2016 in the cost of workers’ comp insurance. 
  • Low rate per $100 in payroll: In 2016, the low rate per $100 in payroll in Oregon was $0.10. 
  • High rate per $100 in payroll: In 2016, the high rate per $100 in payroll in Oregon was $24.48.

How Does Oregon Workers’ Compensation Law Work?

If you employ 1 or more workers in Oregon, you must provide workers’ compensation coverage for your employees.

Your workers’ compensation insurance must provide coverage for almost all employees and sometimes volunteers, according to the Oregon Bar Association. But there are some exceptions, including:

  • Gardeners and landscapers
  • Domestic workers
  • Maintenance and repair workers in private homes
  • Casual workers
  • Sole proprietors
  • Newspaper carriers
  • Amateur athletes
  • Drivers who own, lease or operate vehicles carrying rocks, sand, logs, or asphalt
  • Independent contractors

Not all workers in these categories are exempt, and there are other categories of employees who may be exempt. Consult with a workers’ compensation attorney or an insurance company before assuming your employees are exempt. For example, don’t assume that a written independent contractor agreement will protect you from liability if the contractor is injured on the job.

The law allows you to purchase workers’ compensation insurance from a qualified commercial insurance company. The State Accident Insurance Fund Corporation (SAIF) offers insurance to most Oregon employers. As an employer, you may provide your own coverage as a self-insured employer, but you must prove you can meet certain rigid requirements. Usually, a small business will not have enough assets to qualify as a self-insured employer. 

So, if you can’t get coverage from SAIF or an insurance company, you can get coverage through the Oregon Assigned Risk Pool, which is managed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.

Your insurance premiums will depend on factors such as:

  • The type and number of employees
  • How hazardous the work is
  • Your payroll
  • Your company’s experience in providing a safe or risky work environment

If you have workers’ compensation insurance, your employees cannot sue you or other employees for negligence. Workers are entitled only to benefits the workers’ compensation insurance provides. 

There are serious consequences if you don’t provide workers’ compensation insurance for your workers. If an employee is injured and files a claim, you could be considered a “subject and non-complying employer.” A worker will then receive benefits from the Workers’ Compensation Division, a state agency, but you must reimburse the division for all costs for claims. If that happens, your company will be subject to large penalties, including a 20% processing fee. 

Those charges will become a lien, which the state can collect as a tax. Your company’s individual officers and director could be held responsible for personal liability for the lien. Additionally, if your company is considered a non-complying employer, the injured worker is allowed to sue the company for injuries. A successful lawsuit can result in a large monetary judgment against your company.

Employer Cost for Workers’ Compensation

It costs to be the boss. So as an employer, you have to factor in the cost of having employees.

In Oregon, a part of business administrative overhead is paying for workers’ compensation insurance to protect your company from liability. 

Costs for workers’ compensation vary for employees depending on the type of jobs they do. Here’s a look at how much businesses with at least 5 employees pay per employee along with a $250 state fee:  

Class CodeClass Code DescriptionRateAnnual PayState FeeAnnual Employer Premium
5022Mason$3.81-$8.04$48,692$250$10,525.85 - $20,824.20 
8393Auto body repair$1.23-$2.60$40,331$250$3,730.35 - $6,493.05 
9402Garbage collector$2.88-$5.24$44,980$250$7,727.10 - $13,034.75
2143Winemaker$1.28-$2.70$59,011$250$5,026.70 - $9,216.50
5551Roofer$8.38-$17.69$35,675$250$16,197.85 - $32,804.55

*This table assumes the employer has 5 employees with an experience modifier of 1 and a state fee of $250*

4 Types of Workman’s Compensation Benefits

Take a look at the 4 types of workman’s comp insurance benefits employees with successful claims can receive:

  • Wage Replacement benefits: Time-loss benefits replace ⅔ of an employee’s average weekly wage who can’t work because of an injury. The benefit supplements wages for employees who are working a modified job for reduced wages. The average weekly salary is based on what an employee earned in the 52 weeks before a workplace injury happened and includes any performance-based bonuses earned and any regular overtime worked. These types of benefits are not taxable as income.
  • Permanent Partial Disability benefits: Permanent disability benefits are paid at the end of a claim and are based on the degree of an employee’s permanent impairment. The benefits can include an additional work disability payout if an employee is unable to resume full duties. The award also is not taxable as income. 
  • Vocational Rehabilitation benefits: Vocational rehabilitation is typically available for employees who can’t return to regular duties and can’t find work that pays at least 80% of wages earned before the injury. The injured employee works with a vocational counselor to develop a plan to include paying the employee time-loss benefits while he or she is retraining. 
  • Medical benefits: Medical benefits include all reasonable and necessary medical services for an employee’s work injury or disease. This includes the cost for hospitals, emergency room doctors, office visits, surgery, physical therapy, prescriptions and mileage to travel to and from visits.

Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Oregon

You can choose from hundreds of private workers’ compensation insurance providers in Oregon. But it’s important to choose from the best carriers that can offer policies that fit your company’s needs. To pick the best workers’ comp insurance providers in Oregon, we examined businesses of all sizes and industries to help you select the best rates and coverage for your business.  

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 Oregon law without overspending. 

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

3. AIG: Best for Mid-to-Large Businesses

Keeping your employees safe and preventing workplace incidents is important. That’s why AIG’s workers’ compensation insurance focuses on risk reduction. AIG has a team of experts that help your company reduce risks to prevent workplace accidents by reviewing your data and using state-of-the-art safety technology.

When an accident occurs, AIG quickly processes claims and helps the injured worker get the medical care they need as fast as possible. The carrier also offers flexible programs and finance options to help you get the right insurance policy and payment options that fit your businesses’ needs.

4. Progressive: Best for Specialized Customer Service

  • securely through Progressive Workers Comp's website
    securely through Progressive Workers Comp's website
    Best For:
    Bundling commercial policies

Through its Advantage Business Program, Progressive offers businesses the types of insurance coverage you need most often. Besides workers’ compensation insurance, the carrier also offers policies for professional liability, cyber insurance, and contractor liability that is underwritten by carriers that Progressive specially selects.

With its one-stop shopping, Progressive can offer fast and accurate quotes for workers’ comp and other business insurance projects your company may need. Besides commercial auto insurance discounted as much as 15% with your package, the carrier also offers superior customer service with agents trained to tailor products for your company’s unique needs.

5. Liberty Mutual: Best for Labor-Oriented Businesses

Liberty Mutual boasts having both knowledge and resources to help protect your business and employees. It offers a full slate of risk control services to help reduce your total costs and delivers top claims services with consistently superior outcomes.

Additionally, it provides affordable treatment for injured workers with its network of local medical providers no matter where your company is located in the state. Through the Liberty Mutual network, injured workers are assured they will receive the necessary medication for work-related injuries without out-of-pocket expenses.

6. biBERK: Best for Small Businesses

  • securely through biBERK's website
    securely through biBERK's website
    Best For:
    Staying compliant with state and federal regulations
    Read Review

Workers’ compensation can be expensive, especially for small businesses. Berkshire Hathaway’s biBERK offers small business owners cost-effective, straight-forward workers’ comp insurance by eliminating the middleman so you get insurance directly from the carrier.

That means, according to its website, you can save up to 20% on costs when compared to other carriers. Its easy online quote tools and claims process are designed to save you time and energy. With the incomparable Warren Buffet at the parent company’s helm, you can be assured that the company is experienced, financially stable and dependable.

7. Suracy: Best for Growing Small-to-Midsize Businesses

Suracy touts championing small business owners, the type of entrepreneurs who built their companies from the ground and want to protect them. So the carrier offers a comprehensive set of tools for small-to-midsize “main street” businesses. It also has experienced staff trained to give business owners the individual attention they need, especially while they’re growing.

The carrier encourages companies to take a look ahead for what their insurance needs may be so they’re always covered. Suracy, which recently changed its name from AmVenture, is committed to partnering with scaling small businesses to help foster growth and manage risk. 

Learn More About Workers’ Compensation

When an employee is injured and files a workers’ compensation claim, the state typically determines how long benefits will be paid. Benefits can be paid as long as 3 to 7 years.

But benefits can be paid for years longer than that for workers who sustain a permanent disability. Benefits also must be paid to fatally injured workers’ surviving family members.

It’s important to learn as much as you can about workers’ compensation, how to assess and reduce risks and prevent accidents in your workplace. Finding the best workers’ compensation insurance carrier is essential. Contact one of our top picks to get your questions answered and quotes without delay by specialists who can give you the immediate help you need.

Frequently Asked Questions


1) Q: What are the different parts of Medicare?


Medicare has 4 parts named Parts A, B, C, and D. Part A provides hospitalization coverage while Part B provides outpatient coverage, like doctor visits. Parts A and B make up Medicare’s core coverages. Part C is provides private-market Medicare plans, called Medicare Advantage Plans. Part C coverage often includes additional benefits. Medicare Part D provides coverage for prescription drugs. Get a Medicare Insurance Quote through the top providers here.


2) Q: Is Medicare free?


Because there are 4 parts to Medicare, there can be different cost structures. Most people won’t have to pay for Medicare Part A (hospitalization). Eligibility for premium-free Part A is based on your work history during which you paid Medicare taxes. Many people do pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B, however, which covers outpatient medical services, like doctor visits. Deductibles also apply to services covered under Medicare Parts A and B, so you’ll pay a part of the annual cost.

Medicare Parts C and D are optional coverages and have premium costs of their own. Medicare Part C refers to Medicare Advantage Plans that offer additional coverage in exchange for a monthly premium. Part D, the prescription plan, reduces the cost of medications but also requires a monthly premium. Subsidies may be available for low income households to help reduce overall Medicare costs.


3) Q: Do I need to sign up for Medicare?


If you signed up for Social Security before age 65, you were enrolled in Medicare automatically but benefits will begin at age 65. In most cases, there are penalties for not enrolling at age 65, so it pays to sign up on time. Click here to get a medicare quote in minutes from the best providers. 

If you have employer coverage, you may be able to delay Medicare coverage while your work plan is still in force. However, the size of the employer determines whether you’ll pay a penalty for not enrolling at age 65. Employees (and their spouses) of companies that offer group health insurance to 20 or more people are usually exempt from late sign-up penalties if they are covered by the employer’s plan.


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.

Most Dangerous Industries Per State

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.