Workers Compensation Insurance  in Massachusetts

Providing workers compensation insurance solutions to residents in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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Workers Compensation Insurance in  Massachusetts

What is workers compensation insurance? 

Workplace injuries can be devastating for employees, who may incur large medical costs right when they can’t work. To help protect employees from this risk, and Massachusetts employers from potential liability, there’s workers compensation insurance.

Workers compensation insurance may financially help in the event of a workplace illness or injury. In doing this, it can give both employees and employers with invaluable protection.

Workers Compensation Insurance Massachusetts
Workers Compensation Insurance Massachusetts

What businesses in Massachusetts are obligated to have workers comp insurance? 

In Massachusetts, state law normally mandates most employers carry workers comp insurance. This is broadly true regardless of industry, business size or other variables. In short, plan on getting workers comp if your business has at least one employee.

The state law generally follows the IRS’s definitions in determining who’s an employee. Workers are likely classified as employees if they’re issued W2 tax documents at year’s end. They might be independent contractors if they’re issued a 1099 instead.

Are businesses obligated to have workers comp insurance for independent contractors?

State law normally doesn’t require that businesses have workers comp insurance for independent contractors. Businesses that only use contractors may not need workers comp at all. Businesses that have contractors and employees may only need coverage for their employees.

This is generally because independent contractors are usually considered separate entities, with their own businesses and insurance needs.

In rare situations, it may be advisable to carry extend workers compensation so that it covers independent contractors. This is uncommon, but businesses might want to check whether they should do this with a specialized insurance agent. An agent who knows workers compensation well will be able to explain whether this would be wise to do given a business’s situation.

What sorts of events does workers comp insurance apply to?

Workers comp may cover a range of workplace injuries and illnesses. Covered events usually include:

  • Immediate Injuries (e.g. a lawn care professional is injured by a mower)
  • Long-Term Injuries (e.g. an office worker develops carpal tunnel)
  • Sudden Illnesses (e.g. a cook gets salmonella from poorly prepared food)
  • Long-Term Illnesses (e.g. a worker gets sick due to prolonged asbestos exposure)
  • Fatalities (e.g. a worker dies from a tragic workplace accident)

These are just some examples of how workers compensation might apply in different situations. An insurance agent who’s familiar with the insurance will be able to detail examples that are more specific to a business’s industry and operations.

Workers Compensation Insurance Massachusetts

What expenses are covered by workers comp in case of a claim? 

Workers comp typically assists with medical bills and lost wages resulting from a covered workplace illness or injury. Medical costs may be covered in full, while lost wages might be partially covered.

How does workers comp classify employees? 

Workers compensation policies assess premiums partly on what work individual employees do, and this is done by classifying them. A standardized system developed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NNCI) is usually used. The system uses mostly 3- and 4-digit codes to denote different workers. For instance:

  • 803: Financial auditors and financial analysts
  • 2041: Chocolate and cocoa production employees
  • 0005: Plant nursery employees
  • 8829: Elderly rehabilitation or care center employees
  • 7038: Small-scale tour boat employees
  • 2143: Apple cider press employees
  • 5190: Outside holiday decorators

As these show, some codes can be highly specific. It’s also common to have different employees classified under different codes if they don’t have the same position.

Can employees still sue if filing a workers compensation claim?

Having workers compensation doesn’t preclude employees from suing if they’re hurt while working per se, but it can greatly decrease the likelihood of a lawsuit.

Lawsuits come with high legal costs, long cases that don’t pay until resolved, and uncertainty if a suit goes to trial. Workers compensation normally provides a streamlined process, by which employees can be promptly compensated without an expensive legal battle. The coverage was developed largely to give employees fair and quick access to compensation.

Most workers compensation policies do have terms that prohibit employees from suing after they file a claim. While they might sue beforehand, it’s unlikely and they usually can’t afterward. 

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Where can Massachusetts businesses find a workers compensation insurance policy?

For help finding workers compensation insurance in Massachusetts, reach out to the independent insurance agents at Platinum Insurance. We’ll make sure you find a policy that protects your business and your employees well.