Workers’ Comp Insurance New York

An A-Z guide on everything you need to know before you purchase a New York Workers' Comp Insurance Policy

New York State is home to over 450,000 small businesses. They make up 98% of the businesses in the state and employ almost half of all workers in the state, which is why the state’s workers’ compensation laws are so important.

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All employers must post a notice with coverage information in the workplace.

Not required to have coverage IF without employees:

  • Sole Proprietors
  • LLCs

Is workers’ comp insurance required in New York?

Under the law, all employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage in New York State. Not only that, but New York requires all employers to post a notice of their workers’ comp coverage in a very conspicuous place so that workers can see it. The notice must include the employer’s workers’ comp policy number and the contact information of the insurer. 

However, there are a handful of exceptions where workers’ comp is not required. For instance, if the business has no employees, or the business leases employees through a PEO, there is no need to purchase workers’ comp insurance. 

Likewise, if the business is owned by a couple of people who both own all the stock and control offices in the business with no additional employees, or if the business is a partnership, corporation, or LLC with no employees, there’s no mandate for coverage.

Other exceptions include the following:

  • Your employees are borrowed
  • You only employ unpaid volunteers
  • You employ part-time employees
  • You employ subcontractors

Do you need workers’ compensation coverage if you’re self-employed?

The short answer is “no”. Self-employed professionals in New York are not required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance under the law. However, just because it’s not required, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea to purchase a policy. 

After all, you cannot guarantee that you won’t be injured in a workplace accident or develop a work-related disease. That could leave you paying costly medical bills with no help from your health insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance also pays for some of your lost wages while you’re unable to work.

Who is exempt from New York workers’ comp requirements?

Very few people are exempt from the requirement to provide workers’ comp insurance. Part-time employees, volunteers, subcontractors, and borrowed or leased employees are at the top of that brief list. 

One category that often gives employers pause is “subcontractors”. Does that mean you can list your employees as subcontractors and not have to pay for workers’ compensation insurance? Not at all. For this exemption to apply, the individuals in question must fit a specific mold, including:

  • The employer has no direct control over the worker during job performance
  • The employer does not provide direction to the worker during job performance
  • The contractor provides services that the business does not usually offer during the course of business
  • The worker has an established business or trade aligned with the service they are performing

If the workers don’t measure up, they are employees and not subcontractors, which means they require workers’ comp insurance.

How much is workers’ comp coverage in New York?

Your New York 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
workers comp policy cost

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

Small businesses must provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees. However, that doesn’t mean it has to cost a fortune. Business owners can reduce their insurance costs in many ways. 

One of those is to ensure that your employees are classified correctly. Employees with desk jobs and other low-risk roles will cost less in insurance. You also avoid fees related to misclassification this way. 

Another option is to institute a documented safety program within the workplace to help educate employees and identify and remove safety hazards. Creating a safer workplace reduces claims and overall risk.

You should also consider instituting a zero-tolerance policy regarding drug and alcohol use. Drugs and alcohol are two leading contributors to workplace accidents and not tolerating their use creates a safer workplace for everyone.

How does workers’ comp work in NY?

Workers’ compensation operates similarly in New York as it does elsewhere within the country. This type of coverage is designed to pay for medical bills if an employee is hurt on the job or develops a work-related disease. It can also cover some lost wages and, if the injury is fatal, can provide death benefits to the employee’s surviving spouse and family members.

What does workers’ comp cover in New York?

workers comp covers medical bills

Medical bills

New York workers’ compensation insurance covers medical costs related to a workplace or work-related injury an employee sustained.It also provides cash benefits for those who suffer a loss of function/permanent disability.

workers comp covers lost wages

Lost Wages

It can also cover some lost wages.

workers comp pays death benefits

Death Benefits

If the injury is fatal, it can provide death benefits to the employee’s surviving spouse and family members.

How to get workers’ comp in New York

Obtaining workers’ comp insurance is not usually difficult unless your business falls into a particularly high-risk category. Most business owners can simply purchase a policy from an insurance company that serves New York State or buy through the state fund. However, not all insurance companies offer workers’ compensation. Kickstand Insurance helps businesses like yours find the affordable workers’ compensation coverage they need.

What can happen if I don’t have workers’ comp insurance in New York?

Not obtaining workers’ compensation insurance is a serious thing. Depending on the number of employees and the timeframe involved, it might be considered a misdemeanor and require a fine of up to $5,000. If the company has more than five employees, it’s considered a felony and the fine can be as much as $50,000. Other potential ramifications include civil suits, daily fines, and more. 

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What are workers’ comp death benefits in NY?

If an employee is killed on the job or dies due to a work-related injury, their dependents and spouse are entitled to death benefits. In most cases, the spouse will receive lifetime benefits, unless they remarry, in which case they will receive a lump sum equal to two years of benefits. Surviving minor children also receive payments until they are 18 (23 if they remain in school). Workers’ comp insurance will also pay up to $12,500 for funeral costs.

How do workers’ comp settlements work in NY?

Workers’ comp settlements can go one of two ways in New York: a stipulation agreement or a Section 32 settlement. With the former, the worker and the insurance company agree on the benefits required, which are then distributed on a schedule. The schedule and even the benefits themselves can be adjusted over time if the worker’s condition worsens.

A Section 32 settlement results in a closed claim in exchange for a lump sum payment. The settlement is final, and the claim cannot be reopened. The worker forfeits all rights to modify the claim.

What are the statutes of limitation regarding workers’ comp in NY?

Workers have a total of two years from the date of the injury or the date that the claimant should have been reasonably aware they had a work-related injury. Note that this does not apply in the case of work-related hearing loss, as employees cannot file a claim until 90 days have passed since the initial loss of hearing.

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 work with Kickstand?

Why choose us as your partner for workers’ comp insurance in New York? Our streamlined process is just one of the reasons. Our expert team also has the experience and knowledge necessary to help you save as much as possible while still upholding your obligations under the law. 

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