In almost every U.S. state, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have a certain number of employees. If you’re a business owner in Nevada, you must carry workers’ comp insurance if you have at least one employee. Like most states, Nevada specifies a few employee types that are exempt from compulsory coverage.

In this article, we’ll go over who you need to cover, who is exempt, and possible penalties for non-compliance.


How does workers’ compensation insurance in Nevada work?


The state of Nevada requires you to carry workers’ compensation insurance as soon as you have one employee. You can purchase coverage via the private market through either a licensed insurance broker or directly through an insurance company.

Some larger employers can also qualify to become self-insurers. To become a self-insurer, a company must periodically submit proof that it has the financial capability to handle injury claims from any and all of its employees.


Who needs workers’ compensation insurance in Nevada?


Nearly every employee in Nevada must be covered by workers’ compensation insurance, with some exceptions. Employees who are exempt from mandatory coverage include:

  • Casual employees performing work not typically associated with the business
  • Theatrical or stage performers
  • Musicians employed for less than 3 consecutive days
  • Domestic and agricultural workers
  • Voluntary ski patrollers
  • Some sports officials at amateur, collegiate or scholastic sporting events
  • Real estate brokers
  • Commission-based salespeople

As a business owner or sole proprietor, you don’t have to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for yourself. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get coverage. Sustaining an injury or illness while performing your work can lead to sizable hospital bills, medical costs and a lengthy recovery period. Investing in workers’ comp for yourself could save you from a brutal financial setback.


What are the penalties for not having workers’ comp in Nevada?


If you don’t provide the required workers’ compensation coverage to your employees, you can expect to pay some steep fines. In Nevada, you’ll be charged with an administrative fee of up to $15,000. You could also be forced to shut down your business until you’re back in compliance. Any work-related injuries that occur while you don’t have workers’ comp can lead to liability, and serious injuries or deaths in the workplace could lead to criminal penalties.


What does workers’ comp cover?

Medical costs

If one of your employees is injured or becomes ill on the job, workers’ comp can cover their immediate medical expenses such as ambulance rides, emergency room visits, x-rays, surgery and prescription medications.

For example, if a kitchen employee reaches into a sink and slices their hand on a broken glass, they might require medical attention. Workers’ comp could cover the costs of their emergency room visit, stitches and pain management prescriptions.

Lost Wages

Many work-related incidents can leave employees unable to work for several weeks or months. Workers’ comp can provide some relief for employees in the form of partial wage replacement.

If an employee breaks their foot in a work-related accident, they could end up stuck at home for multiple months. While they’re out of work, workers’ comp would cover some of their lost wages.

Ongoing Care

Some work-related injuries require long-term care such as physical therapy or pain management. Often, these injuries are more the result of repetitive workplace stress rather than a single traumatic incident. Chronic back issues for construction workers and carpal tunnel syndrome for office employees are two common examples of the types of workers who must receive ongoing care due to repetitive stress. If their claim is approved, workers’ comp can cover the costs associated with their ongoing care.

Death Benefits

If the unthinkable happens and an employee passes away because of a workplace incident, workers’ comp can cover funeral costs and other death benefits for the deceased worker’s family or beneficiaries.