Find the Best Workers' Compensation Insurance Options in Kentucky

There are about 351,000 small business owners in Kentucky. Each of these Kentucky business owners needs to consider having workers' compensation insurance to get reimbursed for lost wages and medical expenses after an employee gets injured or ill due to the job or workplace. Workers' comp is also often mandatory for most businesses in the country. In Kentucky, workers' comp is mandatory for businesses with one or more employees, with a few exceptions.

Fortunately, an independent insurance agent in Kentucky can help you find the right workers' comp policy for your business. They know exactly how much coverage to include in your policy based on your specific business. But first, here's an overview of Kentucky workers' comp requirements and more.

How Does Workers' Compensation Insurance Work in Kentucky?

Kentucky workers' compensation insurance provides payouts for costs to an employee who gets ill or injured due to the workplace or job duties. To be covered, an incident can be due to an unsafe job site, repeated work tasks, or the equipment or materials used on the job. Kentucky workers' comp can also replace a portion of an employee's regular wages if they must miss work after the incident. This coverage can also reimburse a business for the costs of labs, prescription medications, and doctor or hospital visits.

Having workers' comp as a part of a Kentucky business insurance policy exempts your company from employee lawsuits related to covered incidents. Also, family members of these affected employees are prevented from suing the business. Having workers' comp insurance in Kentucky can protect your team and your business from possible financial losses that could otherwise be substantial.

Kentucky Workers' Compensation Exemptions

Kentucky has a couple of exemptions to its workers' comp laws. Understanding these exemptions is key for business owners. Kentucky workers' comp exemptions include the following types of workers and industries:

  • Charitable organization workers
  • Religious organization workers
  • Some private home domestic workers
  • Workers who are members of a religious sect that opposes workers' comp insurance benefits
  • Temporary employees who work less than 20 days in remodeling, repair, maintenance, or similar work
  • Agricultural workers

A Kentucky independent insurance agent can help determine if your business is required by state law to have workers' comp and how much it needs.

Do Independent Contractors Need Workers’ Comp Coverage?

According to state law, Independent contractors in Kentucky don't need to be covered by workers' comp. However, independent contractors in Kentucky can still choose to get this coverage if they want to. There are benefits to having coverage even though it's not required.

Independent contractors aren't required by Kentucky state law to be covered by workers' comp, but many still decide to get coverage. If you work as an independent contractor in Kentucky, you don't have to worry about workers' comp requirements or possible resulting penalties from not having coverage, but you may still want to get a policy to have that protection. Not having coverage could end up costing you much more than the cost of workers' comp premiums if an incident occurs.

Do Kentucky Business Owners Need to Be Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

In a couple of specific cases, Kentucky business owners don't need to be covered by workers' comp. These include sole proprietors, business partners in a firm, and qualified members of LLCs. These types of business owners in Kentucky aren't required to have workers' comp by state law.

However, choosing to have workers' comp coverage can help you potentially save thousands of dollars or more. Considering that just one workplace incident could result in extremely expensive medical treatment and lost time from work, you may still want to get coverage to stay safe. Without workers' comp, you could have to pay these costs out of your own pocket, which could result in a huge loss for your business.

What Does Kentucky Workers' Compensation Cover?

Kentucky workers' comp provides reimbursement for many potential costs related to covered incidents of employee injuries or illnesses. These covered costs can include doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, treatment, and more. Many types of expenses can result from one employee's injury or illness. Workers' comp can also pay to replace a portion of an affected employee's regular wages while they're out of work due to a covered incident.

Kentucky workers' comp can also provide compensation for funeral costs if a tragic incident results in an employee's death. Having coverage exempts a business from employee lawsuits for covered incidents. The affected employee's family members cannot sue the business either if workers' comp was available. So, having workers' comp is a great way to help safeguard your business against serious incidents in a number of ways.

Here's a deeper overview of what workers' comp covers in Kentucky:

  • Medical expenses: Workers' comp can help pay for medical expenses after covered incidents, including prescription medications. If an employee needs a prescription for chronic pain due to their job tasks, workers' comp can pay for it.
  • Disability benefits: Workers' comp can also help pay for disability benefits, including temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and permanent total disability benefits. If an employee qualifies for disability benefits due to a workplace incident, workers' comp can help cover these costs.
  • Death benefits: Workers' comp can also help pay death benefits for employees who die due to a covered incident. The death benefits are most often paid to an employee's surviving dependent family members or spouse.
  • Funeral costs: Workers' comp can even help cover funeral costs for deceased employees due to a covered incident. Reimbursement can apply to burial costs, coffins, and more.
  • Ongoing care: Workers' comp can help pay for required ongoing care costs to continue treating a covered injury or illness. If a worker needs physical therapy due to a workplace injury, this coverage can help pay for that cost.
  • Time off during recovery: Workers' comp can help replace some of an employee's wages while they take time off work to recover from a covered incident. If an employee needs to stay at the hospital for two weeks after surgery due to a workplace incident, workers' comp can help continue some of the wages they would've made during that time.

A Kentucky independent insurance agent can help you review your policy's coverage in full so you can understand exactly what's covered.

How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Kentucky?

The average cost of workers' compensation insurance in Kentucky is $49 per month or $588 per year. That said, the cost of workers' comp insurance can vary based on a number of factors. Your business's exact number of employees and its annual payroll heavily influence the cost of your workers' comp policy.

The location and industry of your company can also influence your workers' comp costs. Some industries have an inherently higher risk level, including the trucking and construction industries, so insurance carriers charge higher premiums for coverage in these industries. Also, your business's prior claims history and the limits applied to coverage influence the cost of your workers' comp.

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

How Can Kentucky Business Owners Save Money on Workers’ Comp?

Kentucky business owners have a few options to save money on workers' comp policies. A "pay-as-you-go" payment option offers a low upfront premium. This payment method also allows a business to buy coverage based on actual payroll rather than projected or estimated payroll, which can help to greatly reduce costs. Another way to save on workers' comp premiums is by hiring seasonal or casual employees.

Proving to your insurance company that your business completed a safety program can also help bring down the cost of your workers' comp policy. Insurers like to see that your company has made efforts to reduce the risk of workplace incidents that would result in claims. Additionally, requiring your employees to complete safety training is another way you could save money on workers' comp. 

What Are the Penalties for Not Having Workers' Comp in Kentucky?

Kentucky business owners who don't comply with the state's laws for workers' comp can face harsh penalties like fines or worse. Business owners can be fined $1,000 per employee for each day the business went without the mandated workers' comp coverage. They may also be ordered to close the business until the correct amount of coverage is obtained.

Business owners in Kentucky who fail to provide workers' comp at the state's mandated level can also be subject to other penalties. These business owners can be sentenced to jail time. Having the required amount of workers' comp for your business can help avoid such penalties and fines.

How to Buy Workers' Compensation Insurance in Kentucky

Kentucky offers multiple options for buying workers' compensation. The first option is to buy workers' comp via the voluntary market. A Kentucky business owner can also choose to self-insure their company if they meet the qualifications. Another option is for a Kentucky business owner to buy workers' comp online, which is often a fast and easy way to obtain coverage.

However, the easiest method of obtaining workers' comp in Kentucky is by working with a local independent insurance agent. These agents can shop and compare policies from many different Kentucky insurers. They'll get you matched to a policy with the best blend of coverage and cost.

Best Workers' Compensation Insurance Companies in Kentucky

Workers' comp can be sold by many insurance companies in Kentucky. Since you want your business to have the best coverage around, you don't want to waste time searching through endless options. That's why we put together a list of some of the best options for workers' comp in Kentucky. Get started by checking out these top-quality insurance companies.

  • Progressive: Progressive has been around for decades and has an outstanding financial strength rating from AM Best. The carrier also offers 24/7/365 customer service.
  • Nationwide: Nationwide is a longstanding carrier with an excellent reputation thanks to its outstanding Better Business Bureau (BBB) and AM Best ratings. The carrier also offers 24/7 claims support. 
  • Travelers: Travelers is another longstanding carrier with excellent customer feedback. Travelers is known for affordable rates, many discount and endorsement options, and great financial strength.
  • Liberty Mutual: Liberty Mutual is a Fortune 500 company with a reputation for providing quality service and coverage. The carrier also has excellent AM Best and BBB ratings and offers 24/7 claims reporting.

A Kentucky independent insurance agent can help you find the workers' comp your business needs from one of these outstanding carriers.

What Are the Best Workers' Compensation Companies in Kentucky?

Top Workers' Compensation Insurance CompaniesStar Rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
Liberty Mutual
4.5/5 star rating

FAQs: Workers' Compensation in Kentucky

In Kentucky, workers' compensation covers incidents of injury or illness to employees. These incidents are covered if they're caused by the work environment, the tools or equipment used for the job, or job duties. 

The average cost of workers' comp in Kentucky is currently $49 per month. However, this cost can vary due to many factors, such as the number of employees your business has.

Yes. In Kentucky, workers' compensation is mandated for businesses with one or more employees. If your business doesn't have employees, you're not required by the state to have coverage.

Kentucky workers' compensation insurance covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages for an employee who gets injured or ill due to the job. Medications, doctor visits, etc., are covered by workers' comp.

Not every claim is covered under your Kentucky workers' compensation policy. Some restrictions apply, and it's key to understand what those are before filing an unnecessary claim. Here are some exclusions under your Kentucky workers' compensation insurance:

  • Intentional injuries or illnesses
  • Injuries or illnesses sustained outside of work
  • Injuries or illnesses sustained while behaving negligently
  • Injuries or illnesses sustained under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Some entities may request evidence of workers' compensation insurance, among other business policies. This is known as a Certificate of Insurance, and it provides the limits, expiration dates, and agent signature on your behalf. You can obtain a certificate from your Kentucky independent insurance agent or the insurance company you got coverage through for no additional fee. 

A Kentucky independent insurance agent can help you find workers' compensation coverage for an affordable price. These agents are free to shop and compare policies and quotes from a number of different local carriers. They'll get you matched to a policy that offers the best blend of coverage and cost.

No, workers' compensation benefits are not considered taxable income in Kentucky.

The industries in Kentucky with the most fatal occupational injuries include:

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

The most reported fatal occupational injuries in Kentucky include:

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

The statute of limitations for workers' comp in Kentucky is two years. If an incident gets reported after this period is over, it may not have to be covered by workers' comp.

If you are a sole proprietor, an independent contractor, or in a partnership that owns a business, you don't have to be covered by workers' comp in Kentucky. Otherwise, if your business has one or more employees, you'll need to cover all these workers with a policy.,federal%20or%20state%20tax%20return.,accident%20or%20discovering%20the%20injury.