Workers’ Compensation Insurance

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What is workers’ comp insurance?

Workers’ compensation insurance — also called “workers’ comp” — is a type of business insurance that is designed to protect business owners in case an employee is injured or becomes ill on the job. It can also cover you if you work solo. Think of it as a band-aid that can help both the employer and employee cover the costs of:

  • Medical expenses
  • Death benefits
  • Lost wages
  • Permanent or temporary disability
  • Rehabilitation and retraining

How does workers’ comp work?

A handful of states (called “monopolistic states”) require employers to buy workers’ comp from a state fund, but for the most part, small business owners can buy a policy from private insurance companies. They can buy either directly through the company or through an insurance agent or broker.

With Thimble, you can easily click “Get a Quote” here or on the app and answer a few basic questions about your business such as your ZIP code, job type, payroll, and the number of employees at your company or on the job. You’ll get a quote in minutes. We want you to take employee safety as seriously as the quality of your work.

What does workers’ comp cover?

Hopefully, a work-related injury or illness only causes a temporary setback, but as a business owner, you must prepare for every possibility. Workers’ compensation could help cover expenses related to situations such as:

Employee Accident or Injury

Say that your employee slips and falls on the floor while cleaning your storefront. Workers’ comp can cover the cost of her medical expenses, as well as recoup lost wages while she recovers.

Employee Illness

Your employee falls ill as a result of paint exposure in a poorly ventilated room; workers’ comp could cover the cost of his treatment and lost wages.

Employee Disability

Imagine that your highly skilled employee has an accident while operating complex machinery. If he’s unable to work because of his resulting injury, workers’ comp can cover his wages and even the cost of retraining for a new job.

Repetitive Stress Injury

You’re a self-employed photographer who develops a chronic wrist injury. If you have opted to purchase workers’ compensation for yourself prior to getting hurt, the cost of your medical care could be covered.

Who needs workers’ comp insurance?

While some industries and employee types may be exempt from workers’ comp requirements, it’s a wise investment for pretty much anyone running a business, including:

  • Small business owners with full or part-time employees
  • Independent contractors
  • Sole proprietors

Why is workers’ comp important?

Many states legally require businesses with employees to have workers’ comp insurance, so if you are uninsured and an employee sues you for their medical costs, you could be responsible for paying out-of-pocket for their medical costs. In 2019, the average cost for a workers’ comp claim was $42,000.1 And, depending on the state, you could face fines and other penalties. You’ve carefully recruited the top talent for your team; don’t let a workers’ comp claim take you out of business.

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Why choose Thimble for your workers’ comp insurance?

While a work-related injury or illness may be painful, getting coverage doesn’t have to be. Thimble cuts down the hassle of buying workers’ compensation insurance so that you and your employees can focus on the job at hand.

What other types of business insurance do I need?

Workers’ compensation insurance protects your business against the financial consequences of claims arising from employee injury or illness, but depending on the nature of your business, you’ll likely want to consider a number of other coverages, so you’re ready for whatever the workday throws your way.

General liability insurance

Protects a business against the financial impact of claims of non-employee bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury that come from third parties.

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Professional liability insurance

Meant for any businesses providing expert advice or services, it can provide a legal defense, investigation, and settlement costs stemming from client or customer claims alleging your advice or failure to provide professional services properly resulted in their financial loss.

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Commercial property insurance

Covers a business from the costs of accidental loss or damage to its owned property (such as a building and the contents inside it). Commercial property insurance can also cover the costs of business interruption due to a physical loss.

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Business Owners Policy (BOP)

Meant for small-to-medium-sized businesses, this type of coverage combines general liability insurance with commercial property insurance.

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Business Equipment Protection

Covers the tools and equipment you use for work, which really comes in handy for equipment that travels with you to jobs. With Thimble, you can add Business Equipment Protection to your Business Owners Insurance policy.

Learn more

Workers’ Comp FAQs

Is workers’ compensation required by law?

Usually. Workers’ comp is required in most states (except Texas) if you have at least one employee. It will kick in if an employee suffers a work-related injury or a work-related illness or disease. In fact, many states have made it illegal not to get workers’ comp coverage with your first hire.

Do independent contractors need to get workers’ comp?

Many states exempt independent contractors from workers’ comp requirements if they are self-employed and have no other employees. This means you’re on your own to pay for medical expenses if you get hurt or sick due to work. However, some clients may require contractors to buy workers’ comp insurance to limit their liability. Furthermore, if you hire employees or subcontractors, you may be required to purchase workers’ compensation for them.

I’m self-employed; do I need workers’ comp?

Self-employed individuals are also sometimes exempt from workers’ comp coverage (laws vary by state). Still, it’s wise to consider buying a workers’ compensation policy for yourself — even if you have health insurance — so you aren’t left footing the medical bill and missing out on wages if an accident occurs.

What does workers’ comp insurance not cover?

Workers’ compensation insurance does not cover injuries caused to non-employee third parties. It also won’t cover injuries that occur to you outside of work (such as during a commute), injuries caused by intoxication or other substance abuse, or during non-work-related activities during business hours, such as recreational events.

When do I need to buy additional employers’ liability coverage?

It depends on where you live. Workers’ comp usually includes employers’ liability, which provides a legal defense if your employee claims that your negligence caused their work-related injury or illness. However, if you buy workers’ comp from a monopolistic fund, you would purchase employers’ liability coverage separately.

How do you calculate workers’ comp costs?

This gets complicated, but workers’ comp calculations usually take these factors into account:

  • Class codes — How states classify the type of work
  • Rates for the class code — Determines your premium depending on the risk level of your job
  • Payroll — How much you pay each employee per year
  • Claims history modifier — How your state workers’ comp bureau compares your claims history to what’s expected from a business like yours

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