How does Workers’ Comp work in Arkansas?

An A-Z guide on everything you need to know before you purchase an Arkansas Workers' Comp Insurance Policy

In Arkansas, workers’ comp works as follows: The majority of companies with at least three employees need to have coverage. Some exceptions exist to the three or more rule so anyone with less than three employees should speak with a professional to ensure they aren’t required to provide workers’ compensation insurance.

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Any business in a very high risk industry, even with 1 employee, must have coverage.

Who can be exempt?

  • Real estate agents
  • Domestic workers
  • Farm laborers
  • Employees of religious organizations
  • Employees of nonprofits/charities
  • Sole proprietors
  • Independent contractors
  • Any employee covered by federal law

Is workers’ comp insurance required in Arkansas?

Yes, most businesses in Arkansas with 3 or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, the laws are not as strict as some other states, such as California

Even if you have fewer than three employees, you may be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in Arkansas depending on your industry. Businesses in high-risk industries like construction must carry workers’ compensation even if they have only a single employee.

Who’s exempt from Arkansas workers’ comp requirements?

There are some exceptions when it comes to workers’ compensation insurance for Arkansas businesses. These include the following: real estate agents, domestic workers, farm laborers, employees of religious organizations, nonprofits & charities, sole proprietors, independent contractors, any employee covered by federal law.

Do you need workers’ compensation insurance in Arkansas if you’re self-employed?

No, Arkansas does not require self-employed professionals to carry workers’ compensation insurance unless you fall within a high-risk industry, such as roofing and other sectors of the construction industry. 

How much is workers’ comp coverage in Arkansas?

While workers’ compensation insurance will come at a cost, it does not have to be exorbitant. The average workers’ comp rate in Arkansas is $1.73 per $100 of payroll.

Your Arkansas workers’ comp rate will depend on the following factors:

  • The type of business you have
  • The size of your payroll
  • Your safety record
  • Claim history

You can learn more about Arkansas’ workers’ comp rates here.

workers comp policy cost

How can Arkansas small business owners save money on workers' comp?

To reduce the cost of workers’ compensation insurance in Arkansas, small business owners can take the following steps:

Classify Employees Correctly

Carefully evaluate and classify your employees. Correct classification can significantly impact your insurance premiums, as it reflects the level of risk associated with each job. 

Minimize Claims

From regular safety drills to employee training on equipment handling, each step reduces the likelihood of accidents and, consequently, claims.

Return-to-Work Programs

Implementing a structured return-to-work program for employees recovering from injuries ensures they can contribute effectively, even in a limited capacity. This not only aids their rehabilitation but also minimizes the financial strain of long-term absences.

Drug-Free Programs

A drug-free workplace is a safer workplace. Instituting comprehensive drug and alcohol policies, including regular screenings, can prevent many workplace accidents, leading to lower insurance costs over time.

Shop Smart

Insurance providers vary in their offerings and premiums. Don't hesitate to shop around or negotiate with your current provider for better rates based on your business's safety record and needs.

How does workman’s comp work in AR?

In Arkansas, initiating workers’ comp involves estimating your annual payroll, in order to calculate the premium for a year-long coverage for your company and employees. After the policy year concludes, an audit verifies your actual payroll figures, potentially leading to additional charges or refunds.

Accurate payroll documentation throughout the year is crucial to prevent unexpected adjustments.

Workers’ comp serves as a vital protection for your business, covering medical costs for job-related injuries or illnesses, and shielding you from lawsuits by injured workers. 

Should a workplace injury occur, it's your responsibility to report it to your insurance company, who will then handle the claim costs, ensuring your business's financial continuity regardless of fault.

What does workers’ comp cover in Arkansas?

Workers who file a workers' comp claim in Arkansas can receive benefits for the following:

workers comp covers medical bills

Medical bills

workers comp covers lost wages

Lost Wages

Workers' comp coverage also protects employers from legal action. This means that if an employee sues your business because of a workplace injury, the insurance will cover the legal costs of the case.

How can I get workers’ compensation insurance in Arkansas?

Obtaining workers’ compensation insurance in Arkansas is relatively straightforward. Business owners can purchase coverage from any private insurance company that offers policies in the state.

Businesses that cannot obtain insurance through a private insurance company because of the high-risk nature of their industry can apply through the state fund/assigned risk pool via the Office of Operations and Compliance

Large companies can choose to self-insure. However, that requires applying for a permit through the Self-Insurance Division

What are the ramifications of not carrying workers’ compensation insurance in Arkansas?

If an employer with three or more employees or that falls within a designated high-risk industry fails to provide workers’ compensation insurance, the business will face a range of significant repercussions. Those include the following:

  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • The loss of protections from the state’s workers’ compensation commission
  • Conviction of a Class D felony
  • Being held responsible for providing financial benefits to employees injured on the job or who became ill from work-related causes
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What are workers’ comp death benefits in AR?

If an employee is killed on the job or dies due to injuries sustained on the job or through work-related responsibilities, or a work-related illness, death benefits are provided to the surviving spouse and child(ren). 

Arkansas workers’ comp death benefits include:

  • Burial expenses of up to $6,000
  • Weekly payments of up to 67% of the employee’s average weekly income
  • Up to 35% of the employee’s weekly wage to the surviving spouse and up to 15% to each surviving child

How do workers’ comp settlements work in AR?

Workers’ compensation settlements are beneficial agreements for both the employer and the employee. In this situation, all parties (the employer, employee, and insurance company) agree on financial support regarding the injury or illness. 

In most cases, this will involve a lump sum payment meant to cover the employee’s medical costs, lost wages, ongoing treatments, and potential future lost wages. 

Once a settlement has been reached, the employer is free from the claim and the employee can no longer pursue further damages regarding the claim in question. 

Note that a claim may cover a single injury, or it may relate to injuries that take place over long periods, such as work-related repetitive motion disorders or hearing loss. 

What are the statutes of limitation on workers’ comp claims in AR?

All states impose a time limit when it comes to filing workers’ compensation claims. In Arkansas, employees (or their survivors) have two years from the date of the injury or the date that the employee should have known of an injury or impairment, or one year from the date of last payment of compensation to file a workers’ compensation claim.

How do workers’ comp claims work in Arkansas?

Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover the cost of immediate medical care, ongoing treatment, and lost wages. The first step is for an employee to report their injury to their employer. 

Under Arkansas law, benefits are automatic but cannot begin until the situation has been reported. Once reported, the employer or insurance company must provide the employee with WCC From AR-N, which explains the employee’s rights to medical care. 

Note that under state law, the employer can choose the doctor who provides treatment, at least initially. Employees can change it later by submitting a request to the employer or insurance company.

How do I get a workers’ comp insurance policy with Kickstand Insurance?

Start by filling out a short online form about your business. We’ll use that info to get you an estimated quote. Then, one of our experienced agents will contact you to review the quote and make sure you are getting the absolutely lowest rate possible for your business. Once the quote is finalized, you’re ready to buy the policy - often with coverage starting that day!

Why use Kickstand to
get workers' comp insurance?

Speed + Service + Experts

Document with workers’ compensation insurance quote surrounded by insurance icons

Unlike other online insta-quote systems,
here your quote is reviewed by experts

Why does it matter?

  • Avoid surprise bills at audit
  • Make sure all your employees are properly covered
  • Protect yourself from lawsuits

What do we check?

  • Business categorized correctly
  • Employees job roles
  • Special discount opportunities
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Ready to get started with Kickstand?

It’s time to get the coverage you need. Just complete our simple online form and we’ll get you a no-obligation quote and connect with one of our expert AR agents. It’s that simple!