National Average Cost of Workers' Compensation Insurance

Healthcare $1,825 Per $100,000 payroll

Retail Trade $2,850 Per $100,000 payroll

Construction $7,430 Per $100,000 payroll

Workers' Compensation Insurance Laws in California

In California, you must carry workers' compensation coverage with one employee or more. Workers' compensation has strict penalties in California. If your business fails to have coverage, it is a misdemeanor and carries a fine of $10,000 and up to a year in jail. If you fail to carry workers' compensation twice, penalties include one year in jail and a fine of $50,000.

Common Workers' Compensation Claims in California

The Top 5 industries with the most fatalities, in order:

  1. Construction
  2. Transportation and warehousing
  3. Manufacturing
  4. Crop farming
  5. Landscaping

The Top 7 most reported fatal injuries are, in order:

  1. Violence and other injuries by persons or animals
  2. Transportation incidents
  3. Fires
  4. Falls, slips, trips
  5. Exposure to harmful substances or environments
  6. Contact with objects and equipment
  7. Overexertion and bodily reaction

According to statistical data, 463 workers' comp claims turned fatal in California in one recent year. 

FAQ: Workers' Compensation Insurance in California

California workers' compensation insurance pays for an employee's medical expenses and lost wages when they get injured or become ill as a result of doing their job. 

Workers' compensation insurance costs will depend on several risk factors. There is a low to high range for workers' compensation rates in California. Below are rate ranges in California for several industries, per $100 of payroll:

IndustryLow CostHigh Cost
Roofing Contractors$23.06$87.83
Asphalt & Paving Work$0.72$2.57
Residential Construction- Home Builders- Remodelers- Siding$3.30$10.39
Grading Work$4.04$14.67

Yes. California requires all business owners to carry workers' compensation insurance when they have just one employee or more. Coverage must be obtained at the minimum limits of liability at least. 

In California, workers' compensation will cover several incidents for your business and employees. This policy pays for the medical expenses of an employee who is injured or becomes ill as a result of their duties. This can include the following:

  • Traumatic injuries
  • Repetitive injuries
  • Some mental or cognitive injuries
  • Occupational illnesses/diseases

With any policy, some exclusions apply. In California, your workers' compensation insurance will not usually provide coverage for the following incidents:

  • Intentional injuries or illnesses.
  • Injuries or illnesses sustained outside of work.
  • Injuries or illnesses sustained while committing a crime.
  • Injuries or illnesses sustained under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

When your business works with other companies, individuals, and municipalities, they may require proof of insurance. A certificate of workers' compensation coverage can be obtained from your local agent and provide evidence of protection. 

When you're searching for workers' compensation insurance in California, you'll have options. Working with an independent insurance agent can get you affordable coverage that suits your needs the best. They have access to multiple carriers so that you're presented with top-rated companies.

No. If your employee has to file a claim against your workers' compensation policy, their benefits will not be counted as taxable income in California. 

What Are the Best Workers' Compensation Companies in California?