Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Michigan

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Contributor, Benzinga
November 12, 2019

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Accidents can happen at any time in any business. If one of your employees gets hurt on the job, the recovery time could be long and costly to your company. If you don’t have workers’ compensation coverage, it could even prove fatal and punitive for your company.

We’ve researched the best workers’ compensation insurance in Michigan to help you carefully pick a policy to help keep your employees and business safe.

The Best Workers' Compensation Insurance in Michigan:

Michigan Workers’ Comp Insurance: An Overview

Working can be a risky business. Each year in Michigan workers get hurt and killed on the job. That means, by law, companies must have workers’ comp insurance to protect employees and the business. If you’re shopping for a workers’ compensation insurance policy, here’s what you need to know:

  • Number of fatal injuries annually: 5,190  
  • Employers cost per $100 of covered payroll: $0.81
  • National ranking (1= largest % increase from 2012–2016): 40
  • Low rate per $100 in payroll: $1.38 
  • High rate per $100 in payroll: $2.26

How Does Michigan Workers’ Compensation Law Work?

Workers’ compensation, or workman’s comp insurance, has protected most employees who experience work-related injuries or illnesses since it became a Michigan law in 1912.

Private Employers

Any private employer who has 3 or more employees at 1 time or who employs 1 or more workers for 35 or more hours per week for 13 or more weeks must have Michigan workers’ compensation insurance to cover employees who suffer injuries or are fatally wounded while on the job.

Agricultural Employers

Agricultural employers must provide workers’ comp coverage if they have 3 or more employees who work at least work 35 hours each week for more than 13 weeks per year. Domestic employees who work more than 35 hours per week for 13 weeks or longer during the preceding year are entitled to Michigan workers’ compensation benefits. 

Officers and Named Partners

Officers and named partners who are shareholders of small, closely-held corporations may exempt themselves from Michigan workers’ comp coverage. The Workers’ Disability Compensation Act covers employees of a sole proprietorship, but self-employed sole proprietors do not have to be covered by workers’ comp insurance policies.  

Unlike many other states, employers in Michigan must prove they can afford to pay for workers’ comp claims as a self-insurer.

Your company’s insurance covers employees’ disability or death as a result of a work-related injury or disease regardless of who is at fault. Benefits are paid by employers, either directly or through their insurance carriers.

When employees suffer a work-related injury, workers’ compensation replaces a portion of their wages, medical and rehabilitation benefits.

Next Steps

If an employee is injured on the job, he is required to immediately report the injury to the company. The employee’s medical benefits should be provided from the day of injury. Here’s what typically happens after that:

  • During the first 28 days of treatment, the employer has the right to choose the doctor the employee sees.
  • After the 28 days, an employee can choose the doctor but is required to inform the company and the insurance carrier. It’s best done in writing.
  • If the treatment is reasonable and necessary and if the company isn’t disputing the compensation claim, the employee doesn’t have to get authorization from the insurance company or the employer.
  • The employee must wait for a 7-day period to be eligible for wage-loss benefits.
  • If the employee’s wage loss lasts for longer than 7 consecutive days, including weekends and holidays, the benefits will start on the 8th day.
  • Employees have the right to get paid for the 1st week of their injury if their wage loss continues for 14 days or longer. The employee will be paid about 80% of wages earned after taxes each week.
  • If your company refuses to file a claim for an injured or ill employee, the employee can file a claim with the state workers’ comp agency by completing Form WC-117
  • If the company or your insurance carrier disputes a claim, the employee may need to file a WC-104A form, which is an application for mediation or hearing.

If you have questions or need help, call 888-396-5041 or email the agency at

Employer Cost for Workers’ Compensation

Class codes for various work help insurance companies determine your workers’ compensation rates based on the level of risk to employees. For example, a scrap yard laborer has a greater risk of an on-the-job injury than an early childcare teacher, so the rate for a scrap yard laborer will be higher than an early childcare teacher. 

Insurers determine whether your company has a higher or lower risk than average and adjust your rate accordingly. Here are some examples of how the class codes determine your company’s premiums:

Class CodeClass Code DescriptionRateAnnual PayState FeeAnnual Employer Premium
0035Planting/harvesting - cannabis growers$1.22–$2.00$50,890$250$4,354.29 –$6,339
0042Landscaping service$2.88–$4.69$32,184$250$5,884.50 –$8,797
3821Auto recycling - salvage yard$4.96–$8.11$29,915$250$8,669– $13,380.53
8869Child care center - daycare teacher$0.28–$0.50$22,484$250$1,564.78– $1,812
8832Medical office - chiropractor$0.14–$0.25$152,945$250$2,320.62 –$3,162

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

4 Types of Workers’ Comp Benefits 

  • Wage replacement benefits: If your employee workers’ compensation benefits are approved, 80% of the weekly wages will be paid. 
  • Permanent partial disability benefits: If a work-related injury or illness leaves an employee disabled, they may be considered temporarily disabled, temporarily totally disabled, temporarily partially disabled, permanently totally disabled or permanently partially disabled. These determinations decide when an employee can return to work and whether it is in full capacity. If not, workers’ comp will pay benefits for life.
  • Vocational rehabilitation benefits: Workers’ comp can help pay for an employee’s ongoing care, such as ongoing physical therapy or vocational rehabilitation. This can include learning new skills so an employee can return to work in a different role. The benefits can help cover new training and certifications. An injured or ill employee also may go through a transferable skills analysis to help find other roles and learn new skills to work with a disability. Most vocational rehab benefits last for 2 years.
  • Medical benefits: Your employee workers’ compensation claim helps pay for medical benefits, including doctor appointments, hospital and emergency room visits, medical prescriptions, therapy and rehabilitation and any needed equipment for recovery. If an employee needs ongoing medical care, medical benefits may not cover alternative treatments such as acupuncture, naturopathic treatment or homeopathic medicine. 

Best Workers’ Comp Insurance in Michigan

If you want to protect your business from financial and legal risk while ensuring your employees’ safety, you need workers’ comp insurance. We understand that you want a safe workplace that’s covered by the right policy at the right price. Here are our picks for the best workers’ comp insurance in Michigan:

1. Farmers: Best for Specialized Services

While Farmers falls in the middle of the rankings heap of the nation’s workers’ compensation insurance carriers, it stands out with its specialized services for companies. From OSHA compliance to safety education, Farmers helps companies reduce risk and improve safety practices to boost business profits.

With its RealTime Billing, the carrier links policy premiums directly with the company’s payroll to automatically adjust to reflect changes, offering a pay-as-you-go system.

Farmers also offers injury management strategies to help companies remain in compliance with state administrative laws and works with companies with employees based in different states.

2. Simply Business

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 Michigan law without overspending.

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

3. Travelers: Best for Experience

With more than 500,000 clients and more than 100 years of experience, Travelers is the nation’s top leader in writing workers’ comp insurance. Travelers offers a wide range of products delivered through local agents.

The carrier is committed to helping companies reduce claim costs and improve claim outcomes. Travelers also helps employers with making work environments safe for employees, getting injured workers the care they need so they can get back to work.

Travelers touts a nationwide network with underwriting, claims, risk control and premium audit teams in every major state.

4. Zurich: Best for Multinational Businesses

Zurich, a Swiss-based international insurance carrier, is popular for construction, healthcare and manufacturing businesses. But it’s built a reputation for offering industry-leading management services for small businesses.

With more than a century of experience, it also gives companies with multinational offices global capabilities so it can help with employees no matter where they are working in the world.

Zurich promises to give companies and its employees fast, responsive claim service managed by workers’ comp specialists who understand jurisdictional issues.

5. 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.

6. Progressive: Best Programs

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

Progressive offers one-stop shopping for workers’ compensation insurance through their Progressive Advantage Business Program. This program offers small businesses an array of insurance solutions underwritten by specially chosen carriers.

Getting a quote is easy online through our partner or live on the phone with a trained expert. The specially trained experts help ensure tailored insurance coverage to match your needs.

7. biBERK: Best Savings

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

Berkshire Hathaway’s biBERK provides small business owners a straight-forward, cost-effective workers’ compensation insurance. biBERK takes the middleman out of the fray so you get insurance straight from the source. According to its website, you’ll likely save up to 20% on costs. Plus, you’ll save time from the get-go with its easy online quote tool and claims process.

Finally, as the inimitable Warren Buffett leads Berkshire Hathaway, you can rest easy knowing that biBERK inherits the experience, stability and dependability from its parent. 

Save Money on Workers’ Compensation Premiums

Just like choosing your auto or health insurance carrier, it’s important to shop around for the best workers’ comp insurance policy. Michigan has rates that are below the national average but the market is competitive. So it would be a good idea to speak to several companies about the premiums your company pays and see what they are willing to help you save money.

To remain competitive and snag your business, some insurance carriers won’t hesitate to offer lower monthly premiums to keep your business. But you’ll never know until you try.

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.

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.