Alaska Workers' Compensation

Your Guide to Workers' Comp Insurance in Alaska

Find the right workers' comp insurance policy for you.

Alaska Workers' Compensation Insurance

In recent years, Alaska has paid out $226.4 million in workers' comp claims. Work-related injuries happen every day, from trips and falls to life-altering injuries, but having the right workers' comp coverage can help protect your business. For help navigating workers comp insurance coverage, find a local independent agent.

Workers' Compensation Coverages/Non-Coverages in Alaska

Employees need help paying for medical bills when they get injured on the job. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect employees from the costs of workplace injuries, and protect employers from lawsuits and other unpredictable costs.

Here's a closer look at what workers' compensation covers and does not cover in the state of Alaska.

Workers' comp covers the following:

  • Traumatic injuries
  • Repetitive-type injuries
  • Certain mental injuries
  • Occupational diseases

Real-life example of coverage:

A professional hired fisherman in Alaska is out on a job and ends up in a boating accident. The worker gets taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. A workers' comp policy would help pay for any related medical treatments and other costs.

Workers' comp does not cover:

  • Employee illnesses or injuries sustained outside of work
  • Accidents that occur while an employee is intoxicated
  • Intentional employee injuries to themselves at the workplace
Workers' Compensation Coverage Covered Not Covered
Traumatic injuries
Covered by Worker's Compensation
Repetitive-type injuries
Covered by Worker's Compensation
Certain mental injuries
Covered by Worker's Compensation
Occupational diseases
Covered by Worker's Compensation
Employee illnesses or injuries sustained outside of work
Not covered by Worker's Compensation
Accidents that occur while an employee is intoxicated
Not covered by Worker's Compensation
Intentional employee injuries to themselves at the workplace
Not covered by Worker's Compensation

An independent insurance agent can further explain what workers' compensation insurance both covers and excludes in Alaska.

Why Do You Need Workers Compensation Insurance in Alaska?

Workers' comp insurance is a necessity for most businesses for several reasons. For starters, it's actually required by law in most states, if your business has employees. Workers' comp also provides critical protection for your business against financial losses.

For most states, workers' comp is required immediately upon hiring a new employee. You'll want to be equipped with coverage before any of your workers get injured or ill on the job so that your business won't be held financially liable. Coverage doesn't kick in for workplace incidents until after you purchase a policy.

What Consequences Could You Face if You Don’t Have Workers’ Compensation in Alaska?

If your business doesn't carry workers' comp to protect your team, you could end up facing legal consequences like fines or jail time. Though some businesses think of workers' comp as optional or unnecessary due to the nature of their operations, coverage can provide important financial protection in case of an incident.

Workers' comp is mandatory in most states, including Alaska, if your business has one or more employees. Businesses in Alaska without the right workers' comp insurance can be subject to fines of up to $1,000 per employee per day that they lacked coverage.

Alaska Workers’ Compensation Laws

The Alaska Workers’ Compensation Act requires each employer having one or more employees in Alaska to obtain workers’ compensation insurance unless the employer has been approved as a self-insurer. Employers are required to provide proof of coverage to the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Substantial civil and criminal penalties apply to employers who fail to maintain coverage or pay compensation. 

Alaska also has a state Fishermen’s Fund, a special fund unit of the Workers’ Compensation Division. Established in 1951, it provides for the treatment and care of licensed commercial fishermen who get injured while fishing on or offshore in Alaska. It's financed by fishermen’s license and permit fees for the state and is administered by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development. 

How Much Does Alaska Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost? 

Workers’ compensation insurance always costs more for industries and occupations that are presumed to have a higher risk of occupational injuries or illnesses. Cost is determined by how many employees you have, the types of jobs they perform, and your history of accidents and workers’ compensation claims. 

In Alaska, the National Council for Compensation Insurance (NCCI) assigns classification codes for each occupation. Each class code is given a recommended base rate for workers’ comp. For the premium, an employer’s annual payroll at the start of the policy period is divided by 100 and then multiplied by the base rate. 

Consider the following example:

  • Classification Code 5183: Plumbing
  • Base Rate: $5.08
  • Employer payroll (example): $100,000
  • Premium calculation: $5.08 per $100 of employer payroll (or 5.08% of payroll)
  • Estimated annual premium for sample plumber: $5,080 

Most employers have employees in more than one classification. All applicable classifications and related premiums will be combined to determine the annual Alaska workers’ compensation insurance premium. Premiums are approved and regulated by the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Division and must remain within NCCI guidelines.

Alaska Workers’ Compensation Base Rate Examples

The NCCI sets a low rate and a high rate for each Alaska risk classification, but rates may vary by insurance company underwriting standards. 

Here are some sample base rates (rate per $100 of employer payroll):

  • 0042 Landscaping: $7.20
  • 5183 Plumbing: $5.08
  • 5427 Carpentry: $9.06
  • 8017 Retail Store: $1.94
  • 8810 Clerical: $0.41
  • 9082 Restaurant: $2.52

Workers' Comp Cost Per Employee in Alaska

The cost of workers' comp coverage per employee increases with higher company payrolls, as these businesses cost more to insure. Check out a breakdown of how workers' comp costs vary by payroll range in each specific industry below.

Annual Workers' Comp Cost Per Employee

Industry Lower Cost Medium Cost Upper Cost
Construction $2,013 $3,857 $14,758
Finance and Insurance $663 $1,196 $4,380
Hotels / Motels $486 $1,092 $4,613
Manufacturing and Food Production $861 $1,635 $6,217
Professional and Technical Services $622 $1,232 $4,818
Real Estate $112 $223 $873
Restaurants and Taverns $197 $440 $1,852
Retail Trade $293 $728 $2,787
Transportation and Warehousing $1,482 $2,920 $11,382

Businesses that have a greater track-record of safety and fewer accidents pay less for their coverage. Insurance companies have complex formulas to reset your rates after an accident, likely leading to a noticeable spike in your premiums.

Best Workers' Comp Companies in Alaska

Workers' comp is available from many different insurance companies in Alaska. Here are just a few of our top picks for quality workers' comp insurance carriers.

Top Workers' Compensation Insurance Companies Star Rating
Travelers
5 star rating
Liberty Mutual
4.5/5 star rating
Builders & Tradesmen's Insurance
4.5/5 star rating
Accident Fund
Acuity
5 star rating

An independent insurance agent can help you look into these workers' comp insurance companies and get matched to the carrier who best meets your needs at the most affordable rate.

Top 6 Most Common Workers' Comp Claims/Injuries

Top 6 Most Common Workers Comp Claims
  1. Lacerations: In other words, deep cuts. These can happen in any industry, but are especially common in the restaurant and manufacturing fields. 
  2. Sprains/strains: Again, these injuries can happen in any industry, but are especially common in job settings where lots of twisting and turning is required.
  3. Contusions: In other words, bruises and other marks on the skin caused by impact. Contusions often happen from dropped objects, improper lifting, or colliding with an object.
  4. Burns: Burns can happen in any industry that has a heat source, including restaurants, construction businesses, bakeries, and more.
  5. Eye injuries: Eye injuries are most frequent in industries that require chemicals, including manufacturing, painting, and construction.
  6. Fractures: Fractures can happen to employees anywhere, but are especially common in industries that require a lot of movement and the use of heavy machinery.

Why Are Independent Insurance Agents Awesome?

It’s simple. Independent insurance agents simplify the process by shopping and comparing insurance quotes for you. Not only that, but they’ll also cut the jargon and clarify the fine print, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

There’s no business too small for our independent insurance agents. They have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best workers' comp coverage and competitive pricing while working for you.

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TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

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https://www.employers.com/blog/2019/7-common-workers-compensation-claim-injuries/

https://labor.alaska.gov/wc/home.htm