Rhode Island Workers Compensation Guidelines

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

If your business has one or more employees, you’re required by Rhode Island law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. That coverage helps to pay for medical treatment, rehabilitation, medications, and other costs associated with work-related injuries and diseases.

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LLC members and corporate officers are required to be covered by a workers’ compensation policy.

Sole proprietors and partners cannot purchase workers’ compensation insurance for themselves.

Is workers’ comp insurance required in Rhode Island?

Most Rhode Island-based businesses will need to carry workers’ compensation insurance. State law mandates that any business with one or more employees carry such a policy.

Note that Rhode Island differs from many states in that it requires LLC members and corporate officers to be covered by workers’ compensation and does not allow them to exempt themselves.

Who is exempt from Rhode Island workers’ comp laws?

While many Rhode Island businesses will be required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, there are a few exceptions. For instance, sole proprietors and business partners are not required to do so. Police officers, firefighters, federal employees, and municipal employees in areas that do not elect to provide workers’ comp insurance are exempt.

Real estate agents and brokers, agricultural workers, and domestic employees are also exempt. 

Note that sole proprietors and partners cannot purchase workers’ compensation insurance for themselves.

How much is workers’ comp coverage in Rhode Island?

Your Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island small business owners save money on workers' comp?

You might be required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, but that doesn’t mean you cannot save money along the way. There are several tips that can help you reduce the cost of your premium or offset your insurance costs.

For instance, if you implement a drug and alcohol-free workplace program, your premiums will probably be reduced. The same goes for a formal workplace safety program

A record of safe operations and no or few accidents, because your employees know and follow OSHA rules, will also help reduce your costs.

On the administrative side, make sure that your employees are classified correctly, as this can have a major impact on your costs.

Applying the dividends you earn each year after your audit will also offset your costs.

How does workman’s comp work in RI?

Workers’ compensation can seem complicated, but business owners don’t need to lose sleep over it. 

Just follow these simple steps:

  • You purchase coverage based on an estimate of your annual payroll
  • Once you pay your premium, your coverage is active
  • That coverage remains active for a full year
  • At the end of the year, you’ll go through an audit to determine if you overpaid or underpaid
  • If you paid too much, you’ll get a refund. If you paid too little, you’ll get a bill.

What does workers’ comp cover in Rhode Island?

Workers who file a workers' comp claim in Rhode Island 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 to get workers’ comp insurance in Rhode Island

Like other states, Rhode Island offers a simple, straightforward path to getting workers’ compensation insurance. The most common way to get insurance is to compare quotes from an insurance company and choose the one that fits best. Kickstand Insurance can help you find the right policy for your business.

Some businesses cannot purchase insurance from an insurance company because their industry is too risky. These businesses can purchase coverage through the state’s assigned risk market.

Finally, large companies may choose to self-insure. This requires meeting stringent requirements and filing an application with the state’s Department of Labor and Training

What if I don’t purchase workers’ compensation coverage in RI?

Rhode Island takes workers’ compensation very seriously. Businesses that don’t follow the law can face a wide range of penalties.

  • $250 – failure to post the required workers’ compensation poster in the workplace.
  • $1,000 – the daily fee for not providing workers’ compensation insurance.
  • $10,000 – the fine for not providing coverage. 
  • Felony charges and up to two years in prison – the legal ramifications of not purchasing workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Business shutdown – if you fail to comply with the rules, the RI DLT can shut your business down.
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What are the workers’ comp death benefits in RI?

Workers’ compensation pays death benefits in all states, but those benefits vary considerably. In Rhode Island, workers’ compensation insurance will pay up to $20,000 for funeral expenses. 

Surviving dependents and spouses can also receive a benefit payment each week that cannot exceed the maximum weekly total disability benefit for Rhode Island. The actual percentage varies based on factors such as income, marital status, number of dependents, and more.

How do workers’ comp settlements work in Rhode Island?

Many workers’ comp claims end in settlements. These arrangements are often beneficial for the employee, the employer, and the insurance company.

Rhode Island allows two types: a denial and dismissal settlement and a commutation settlement. 

The former ends in a lump sum settlement with no further claims possible and neither the employer nor the insurance company accepts liability. 

The latter closes claims in which benefits have been paid for at least six months and may involve either a lump sum payment or a structured settlement, and the employee releases the employer from any further liabilities. 

A workers’ comp judge must approve all settlements in the state.

What are the workers’ compensation statutes of limitation in Rhode Island?

Most employees have two years to file a workers’ compensation claim in the state. However, this varies depending on the nature of the injury or illness.

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!

Learn more about Workers' Comp in Rhode Island

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