Workers’ Comp Insurance VA

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

The state of Virginia is home to almost 800,000 small businesses that employ over 1.6 million people. That accounts for 99.5% of all the businesses within Virginia. The state’s workers’ compensation laws protect those employees but also support businesses and safeguard business owners.

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Sole Proprietors are not required

Officers of an INC & members of an LLC are counted as employees for coverage minimum, even if they are exempt

Is workers’ comp insurance required in Virginia?

Yes, there is a good chance that your Virginia business must have workers’ comp insurance. It’s mandatory for all businesses with three or more employees, although you will discover a handful of exceptions. 

Sole proprietors working with no employees or subcontractors do not require workers’ comp insurance, although it is still a smart decision to buy coverage. Sole proprietors also do not need to file a waiver or exemption with the state government. 

All executives and corporate officers are considered employees for the sake of the count, but they can reject coverage if they so desire. For that to work, the business must have workers’ comp coverage for other eligible employees. The employee rejecting coverage must file a Rejection of Coverage form with the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission, as well as with the company’s insurance company. 

Note that the same rules apply to LLC members, but not to executive non-compensated officers of 501(c)(3) organizations. 

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

Self-employed professionals/independent contractors are not required to carry workers’ comp insurance in Virginia. However, the line between self-employed professional and employer is unclear, and if the state determines that the relationship is one of employer and employee instead of employer and independent contractor, the business will be at risk of paying fines and may need to provide workers’ comp  coverage. 

Note that an employer controls the work to be performed, hires people to do the work, can fire those doing the work, and pays the people doing the work.  

Who is exempt from Virginia workers’ comp requirements?  

Virginia takes a different stance than most states when it comes to workers’ compensation exemptions. Only those individuals previously discussed can be considered exempt. What’s more, the state has a very broad definition of what constitutes an “employee”, thereby mandating the business purchase coverage, including:

  • Minors under 18 working for the business
  • Family members working for the business
  • Full and part-time workers
  • LLC managers
  • Corporate officers
  • Employees of nonprofit organizations, including churches and charities
  • Immigrant workers or immigrants being trained to work
  • Temporary and seasonal workers

How much is workers’ comp coverage in Virginia?

Your Virginia 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 Virginia small business owners save money on workers' comp?

Workers’ comp insurance is a requirement for most businesses in Virginia. However, that doesn’t mean you have no control over the situation. In fact, it’s possible to save money without sacrificing coverage with the right steps. Here are some of the most important steps to reducing your workers’ comp costs:

  • Create a safety program and involve your employees. Make sure to hold brief daily meetings, as well as more in-depth weekly meetings. 
  • Always follow OSHA standards and make sure they are posted prominently for employees to see.
  • Create a return-to-work program to support injured workers and help them continue earning while they recover. Light duty has been shown to help employees recover faster than complete downtime.
  • Make sure your employees are classified correctly. Employee codes/classifications can be very nuanced, so work with an expert who can guide you.
  • Apply dividends post-audit. Most small business owners don’t realize they can save 5% or more just by asking about dividends. Dividends up to underwriter’s discretion
  • Create a drug and alcohol-free workplace. Conduct random tests and implement a formal, written policy.

How does workers' comp work in VA?

Workers’ compensation insurance protects your employees, but it also safeguards your business. Employees injured on the job deserve support, and this insurance kicks in to keep your business from covering the cost. 

The lifecycle of workers’ comp insurance in Virginia looks like this:

  1. You contact an insurance agent and give them an estimate of your annual payroll.
  2. Based on that estimate, they set up a policy and premium.
  3. You pay the premium and get coverage.
  4. If you paid too much, you’ll receive a refund. If you paid too little, you’ll be billed the additional premium.

Keeping accurate payroll and tax records is essential to keeping your costs down and avoiding unexpected bills at the end of the year. 

What does workers’ comp cover in Virginia?

Workers’ comp insurance in VA covers employees who have been injured on the job or who are suffering from an occupational disease. This type of insurance covers:

workers comp covers medical bills

Medical bills

Medical costs related to the injury/accident, including physical therapy, prescription medications, rehabilitation, and more

workers comp covers lost wages

Lost Wages

Lost wages due to the injury or illness

workers comp pays death benefits

Death Benefits

Death benefits for spouses and dependents if an employee is killed in a work-related accident or incident

How to get workers’ comp insurance in Virginia

Obtaining workers’ compensation insurance is essential. You can purchase a policy for your company through any insurance agency  licensed to operate in Virginia.

Kickstand Insurance offers workers’ comp throughout the state and we deliver personalized guidance to reduce your costs without sacrificing coverage. If you represent a large business, you may be able to self-insure. 

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

Virginia levies steep penalties if you shirk your responsibility to carry workers’ compensation insurance. You could face a fine of $250 per day that you go without coverage, up to a maximum of $50,000. Depending on the situation, your business could also face criminal charges.

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What are workers’ comp death benefits in VA?

Under Virginia law, workers’ comp death benefits include the following:

  • Dependents may receive up to two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wages in weekly payments for up to 500 weeks from the accident date.
  • Survivors may receive up to $10,000 for burial expenses.
  • Survivors may receive up to $1,000 for transportation expenses.

How do workers’ comp settlements work in VA?

Workers’ compensation settlements often work in the best interests of all parties.

For instance, employees can settle their claims faster and receive compensation almost immediately. It also benefits employers. The process involves the employee and their attorney sitting down with the insurance company and its attorney(s) to find a solution that works for everyone.

The settlement agreement must be signed by the employee or their survivor(s), an employer rep, and the insurance company. It must also be filed with Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation Division after being approved by a sitting judge and should contain specific elements, including:

  • A notarized affidavit stating that the employee or their survivors understand the terms of the agreement
  • A petition describing the terms of the agreement
  • A medical statement that describes the employee’s condition
  • A proposed settlement order
  • A statement of the employee’s legal fees

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

Like most states, Virginia limits workers’ compensation claims to two years from the date of the injury and does not offer extensions for diseases or injuries discovered after that.

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 Kickstand? We go out of our way to customize your coverage to ensure that you’re able to save as much as possible while still getting the coverage you and your employees need.

We combine online quotes for speed with access to expert agents to deliver the personalized experience you deserve.

Ready to get started with Kickstand?

It takes just 5 minutes to complete our online form and receive a no-obligation quote and invitation to connect with one of our expert agents.