Workers Compensation: What You Need To Know

Post written by Scott Pearson, General Manager at Krueger & James Insurance/Christian/Civil War Nerd/Future Scratch Golfer

Scott Pearson

Scott Pearson

It seems like ages ago, if someone wanted a Workers Compensation policy, the rates, prices and coverages were all mandated by the states.

Times have changed.

Each state still sets their own limits/values for certain work related injuries. Premiums are based on payroll. And year end audits are still a fact of life, but rates aren’t the same any more.

Click on the chart below. Did you know the State of Missouri will pay you more is you lose the last joint of a finger on your dominate hand in a work related injury then if you lose the same joint on your non-dominate hand? (Missouri Department of Labor website)

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One thing that’s also different for individual states is who is required to carry Work Compensation. In Missouri, if you’re a retail/service/office type company and you have five (5) employees including yourself (based on conversations we’ve had with Department of Labor employees), you must carry Workers Compensation coverage.

If you’re in the construction industry and have one (1) employee, even an uninsured subcontractor, you must carry Workers Compensation on that employee. The law in Kansas is if your payroll (W-2s and 1099) exceeds $20,000, you need to carry Workers Compensation on your employee(s).

The key to this article is what some/most agents don’t tell you: Even if the state law doesn’t require you to carry Workers Compensation, if one of your employees gets hurt in a work related accident, YOU as THE EMPLOYER can be held accountable for the medical, rehabilitation, and lost wages for that employee as mandated by that state’s Workers Compensation benefit schedule.

Each state has different requirements regarding ownership and the mandate for business owners to carry Workers Compensation on themselves. If you have questions, give us a call at 816-471-4245 and we’d be happy to discuss this further with you.