Workers’ Comp Insurance PA

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

Pennsylvania is proudly committed to keeping their employees safe. That’s why it enacted workers’ compensation laws. They’re there to help employers protect their businesses from lawsuits while providing peace of mind for their employees.

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Sole Proprietors are not required

Who is exempt?

  • railroad employees
  • federal employees
  • Longshoremen
  • domestic workers

Is workers’ comp insurance required in Pennsylvania?

Yes. Employers in PA who hire at least one employee, are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage. This law applies to all employees, regardless if they are full-time, part-time, or seasonal.

However, self-employed individuals, also known as sole proprietors, do not need to obtain workers’ comp coverage, although they can always elect to do so.

Who is exempt from Pennsylvania workers’ comp requirements?

Businesses in Pennsylvania that exclusively employ workers who qualify as exempt from workers' compensation coverage can be exempt from obtaining coverage.

Exempt categories include railroad employees, federal employees, longshoremen, and domestic workers.

How much is workers’ comp coverage in Pennsylvania?

Your Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania's workers’ comp rates here.

workers comp policy cost

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

“Why do I always seem to pay more than I expected for my workers comp insurance?” This question is asked by almost every executive I meet.” David R. Leng, author of “Stop being frustrated and overcharged year after year by your workers’ compensation program”

Many small business owners don’t realize that they can reduce their workers’ comp costs! Here are some things you can do.  

  • Set up a written safety program: This can include daily and monthly safety meetings, tool box meetings, and constant review of OSHA protocols.
  • Implement a formal Return-to-work (RTW) program: This means that in case of injury the employee can still work for the company in light duty work while the employee is recuperating. 
  • Implement a formal drug and alcohol-free workplace program: This typically includes a written policy and random testing.  
  • Be vigilant about claims: Having less claims lowers your Experience Modification Rate (Ex-Mod) which directly reduces your premium. 
  • Ask to have dividends applied: Ask your agent to have your dividends applied. This up-to-5% credit can usually be applied post-audit if there are minimal or no claims. 

How does workman’s comp work in PA?

Having workers’ comp insurance is like having a safety net for your business. It protects your employees by covering any costs associated with workplace injuries and illnesses. And it protects you, the employer from being sued should an injured employee file a lawsuit.

Here’s how it works:

Policies typically last for one year. At the beginning of the policy, you’ll need to estimate your payroll for the year. The insurance company bill you according to your payroll projections.

At the end of the policy year, the insurance company will perform an audit to determine your actual payroll. They will then bill you or compensate you for any discrepancy.

To make sure that you’re properly compensated (and to avoid unexpected bills!), it is essential to keep accurate records of your payroll throughout the year.  

If a worker is injured on the job, you are responsible to file a workers’ comp claim with your insurance company. Workers’ comp claims are generally covered regardless of who is at fault for the injury.

What does workers’ comp cover in Pennsylvania?

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

workers comp covers medical bills

Medical bills

medical bills for any work-related injuries, including therapy expenses‍

workers comp covers lost wages

Lost Wages

lost wages for any work missed due to the illness or injury

workers comp pays death benefits

Death Benefits

death benefits, including funeral and burial costs. In some cases, the family and loved ones of the deceased employee can receive financial assistance.

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 insurance in Pennsylvania

Employer can purchase a policy through any insurance company that is licensed in the state of PA. Kickstand Insurance offers insurance throughout the state. Large companies can apply to self-insure. Any employer who is having difficulty getting coverage, as a last resort, can get covered by the State Workers’ Insurance Fund (SWIF). For more details, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

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

The state of Pennsylvania has a Uninsured Guaranty Fund (UGF) which will cover any employee who’s employer does not have proper workers’ comp insurance. You will then be responsible to reimburse the fund for the benefits paid out to your employee, plus penalties and interest.

Plus, you would not be protected in the event that your employee decides to sue you for his or her injuries. Being sued for damages is far more costly than what workers’ compensation would cost.

Lastly, because Pennsylvania places a strong emphasis on workplace compensation, charges for failing to have proper coverage can carry fines and/or jail time. The severity of the charges can increase for each day of noncompliance.

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What are workers’ comp death benefits in PA?

Workers' comp death benefits in PA are provided to the dependents of a worker who dies as a result of their job-related injury or illness. These benefits include a lump sum death benefit and ongoing payments for surviving dependents.

How do workers’ comp settlements work in PA?

In PA, workers' comp settlements are based primarily on the extent of the injury or illness and the amount of lost wages. The injured employee agrees not to pursue additional benefits in lieu of compensation via structured monthly payment or one lump sum. As in the case of other states, settlements are typically negotiated between the employee and employer and finalized by a workers' comp judge.

In the typical workers' comp settlement, workers are entitled to two-thirds of the average weekly pay for the duration of 500 weeks that injured workers in Pennsylvania are eligible for benefits. For example, if two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly pay is $500, his total compensation would be $250,000.

What are the statutes of limitations regarding workers’ comp in PA?

Time can run out on workers’ comp claims. In PA, any employee filing a workers’ comp claim must do so within three years of the date of injury.

Additionally, they must be treated for the injury within 90 days and notify their employer about it within 120 days.

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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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 PA agents. It’s that simple!