New York State Workers' Compensation Requirements

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

New York state workers' compensation requirements stipulate that all employers need to offer workers’ compensation insurance for every employee in New York.

The main exceptions are that partners and sole proprietors without employees do not have to get coverage. However, they can get it for themselves if they desire.

Gaining access to insurance can be done through the state fund or a commercial provider. Self-insurance is possible for approved companies.

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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 insurance company. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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

You can learn more about New York's workers’ comp rates here.

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 who file a workers' comp claim in New York can receive benefits for the following:

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.

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 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 use Kickstand to
get workers' comp insurance?

Speed + Service + Experts

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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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