Find the Best Workers' Compensation Insurance Options in Maine

There are about 147,000 small business owners in Maine. All businesses with employees should consider getting workers' compensation insurance to reimburse losses related to lost wages and medical expenses if an employee gets injured or ill due to their job or workplace. Also, workers' comp is often mandatory for most businesses. In Maine, workers' comp is mandatory for businesses with at least one employee, with few exceptions.

Fortunately, an independent insurance agent in Maine can help you find the right workers' comp. They know exactly how much coverage your specific business needs. But first, here's an overview of workers' comp in Maine.

Maine Workers' Compensation Laws

Maine's workers' compensation requirements can vary depending on the type of business. But most businesses in Maine with at least one employee must have workers' compensation insurance. Businesses with zero employees, however, are not required to carry coverage. This includes sole proprietors.

How Does Workers' Compensation Insurance Work in Maine?

In Maine, workers' compensation insurance works by offering benefits for injured or ill employees if the incident occurred due to their job. If an employee got injured due to their work tasks or tools or equipment necessary to perform their job, or the workplace was unsafe and resulted in an injury, they would be eligible to receive workers' comp benefits. The same applies if the job site, tasks, equipment, etc., resulted in an illness. Workers' comp could pay for some of the employee's wages while they had to miss work for treatment and the cost of prescription medications and medical care necessary to treat them.

With workers' comp as a part of your Maine business insurance policy, your business is exempt from employee lawsuits for related incidents. The family members of affected employees cannot sue the business either if this coverage is provided. Maine workers' comp insurance can protect your employees and your business.

Maine Workers' Compensation Exemptions

There are some exemptions to Maine's workers' comp requirements. When determining if your business needs coverage, consider which industry it falls into and what type of company it is. Also, be sure to review Maine's specific workers' comp exemptions, such as:

  • Sole proprietors with no employees
  • Independent contractors hired on a project-by-project basis
  • Domestic workers in private homes
  • Agricultural businesses that have seasonal workers and at least $25,000 in employer liability coverage and $5,000 in medical payments coverage
  • Agricultural businesses with six or fewer employees and at least $100,000 in liability coverage for each full-time employee and at least $5,000 in medical payments coverage

A Maine independent insurance agent can help you determine if your business is required by law to have workers' comp.

Do Independent Contractors Need Workers’ Comp Coverage?

If your Maine business has employees, it's required to provide them with workers' comp coverage. All workers are typically considered employees for tax purposes in Maine. However, this doesn't apply to independent contractors.

If your Maine business hires independent contractors, it's not required by state law to cover them with workers' comp. However, keep in mind that this exclusion only applies if the independent contractor isn't considered to be under your essential control while they perform their job duties for your business. If you have any questions about whether you need to cover your independent contractors with workers' comp, ask your Maine independent insurance agent for further clarification.

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

In Maine, business owners typically need to include themselves in the company's workers' comp policy. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. The first is for business owners who are sole proprietors with no employees.

Other Maine workers' comp exemptions are for parents, spouses, and children of sole proprietors, business partners, and bona fide owners of at least 20% of a firm. You can also be exempt from Maine's workers' comp requirements if you're a member of an LLC. If any of these exemptions apply to you, it's likely that you aren't required by state law to be covered by workers' comp as a business owner.

What Does Maine Workers' Compensation Cover?

In Maine, workers' comp covers the costs of medical expenses, including hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription medications, and more, for employees who get injured or ill due to their work or job site. Workers' comp can also help replace some of an employee's income while they have to miss work to recover from their injury or illness. You'll need to review your specific workers' comp policy to be sure of the extent of coverage for your employees.

A Maine workers' comp policy can also cover funeral costs if an employee tragically dies due to the work environment or job duties. Further, having workers' comp prevents employees who get injured or ill due to the job or workplace from filing lawsuits against your business for these incidents. These employees' families cannot press charges against the business, either.

Here's more of a breakdown of what workers' comp covers in Maine:

  • Time off during recovery: This coverage can pay for some of an employee's wages while they take necessary time off work to recover from a covered injury or illness. So, if an employee needs to rest at home for a week after surgery following a workplace accident, workers' comp can help continue some of the wages they would've made during that time.
  • Medical expenses: This coverage can help pay for the medical expenses related to employee injuries or illnesses resulting from the job, including prescription medications. So, workers' comp can pay for this cost if an employee needs a prescription for chronic pain due to their work tasks.
  • Ongoing care: This coverage can help pay for required ongoing care costs to continue treating an injury or illness caused by an employee's work. So, if a worker needs physical therapy due to a workplace injury, this coverage can help pay for that cost.
  • Death benefits: This coverage can even provide death benefits for employees who pass away as a result of their job or work environment. Death benefits are usually paid to an employee's surviving dependent family members or spouse.
  • Funeral costs: This coverage can even help cover funeral costs for deceased employees if the incident is covered. This can include burial costs, the cost of the casket, and more.
  • Disability benefits: This coverage can also 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, Maine workers' comp can help cover these costs.

A Maine independent insurance agent can help review your policy with you so you can be sure of what your workers' compensation policy covers.

How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Maine?

The average cost of workers' compensation insurance in Maine is $40 per month or $480 per year. But the cost of your workers' comp insurance can vary due to a number of factors. Your business's number of employees and annual payroll are two major factors impacting workers' comp costs.

Your business's location and industry also affect the cost of workers' comp. Certain industries come with greater risk factors, such as businesses in the construction industry. Due to the higher likelihood of injuries in specific industries, insurance companies must charge more for workers' comp. Also, the claims history of your business and the coverage limits applied to its specific policy will impact the cost of its workers' comp premiums.

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 Maine Business Owners Save Money on Workers’ Comp?

Maine business owners can save money on workers' comp coverage in a few ways. First, they can select a policy with the "pay-as-you-go" payment option. This option provides a low upfront premium and allows the business to buy coverage only based on its actual payroll instead of estimated or projected payroll, which can greatly reduce costs. Another trick is to hire seasonal or casual employees.

Also, providing your insurance company with proof that your business completed an approved safety program can help reduce your costs since you're trying to reduce incidents. Having your employees complete required safety training can also help bring down the costs of your workers' comp coverage. Any measures your business takes to help reduce the risk of workplace incidents can potentially help reduce the cost of workers' comp.

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

Businesses in Maine that fail to provide workers' comp if they have employees can be penalized and fined. First, business owners can be held liable for covering the costs of an employee's death benefits and medical expenses out of pocket. Business owners can also be charged with a Class D crime for not providing workers' comp insurance.

Other penalties include the possibility of a civil penalty against your business of up to $10,000 or 108% of the premium it would've paid for workers' comp coverage, whichever is higher. These businesses can also lose their corporate charter and/or business license. Finally, a failure to maintain workers' comp coverage can result in legal trouble, and the business's commercial general liability insurance would refuse to cover these expenses.

How to Buy Workers' Compensation Insurance in Maine

A business owner in Maine can buy workers' compensation in a couple of different ways. First, a business owner can purchase coverage through the voluntary market or choose to self-insure their company if they qualify. Online coverage is also available and is typically quick and easy to obtain.

However, shopping for workers' comp is easiest with the help of a Maine independent insurance agent. These agents can shop and compare policies from many different Maine insurers. Ultimately, they'll match you with the policy that provides the best overall blend of coverage and cost.

Best Workers' Compensation Insurance Companies in Maine

Many insurance companies in Maine provide workers' comp coverage. But you're likely to be in search of the best quality and the most affordable options. That's why we put together this list of a few of the best workers' comp insurance companies in Maine for your convenience.

  • The Hanover: The Hanover started long ago, in 1852, and has excellent AM Best and Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings. The insurance company also offers 24/7 claims reporting. 
  • Liberty Mutual: Liberty Mutual is a Fortune 500 company known for providing quality service and coverage. The carrier also has excellent AM Best and BBB ratings and provides 24/7 claims reporting.
  • Nationwide: Nationwide is a longstanding carrier with an excellent reputation thanks to its outstanding 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.
  • Main Street America: Main Street America has been around for a century and has excellent AM Best and BBB ratings. The carrier also provides 24/7 claims reporting and has outstanding customer feedback.

A Maine independent insurance agent can help you find the workers' comp your business needs from one of these top-rated carriers.

What are the Best Workers' Compensation Insurance Companies in Maine?

Top Workers' Compensation Insurance CompaniesStar Rating
5 star rating
Liberty Mutual
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
Main Street America

FAQs: Workers' Compensation in Maine

Maine workers’ compensation insurance provides some wage replacement benefits and medical treatment for your employees who get injured or ill due to a work-related task or on the job. This policy protects both the business owner and the employee because affected employees and their families cannot sue the business for related incidents if coverage is provided.

The average cost of workers' comp in Maine is $40 per month or $480 per year. However, the cost of your policy will depend on a number of factors, including your business's niche, claims history, number of employees, and more.

Workers' compensation is required for all Maine businesses with one or more employees. Coverage must be obtained at least at the state's minimum liability limits.

Workers' comp in Maine covers incidents of workplace injuries or illnesses caused by the job environment or work duties. It can provide some continuation of income for affected employees and pay for the costs of medical treatment and funeral expenses. It can also provide disability benefits and cover ongoing care costs.

Maine workers' comp doesn't cover malicious or intentional incidents caused by employees on the job. It doesn't cover incidents in which an employee was under the influence. It also doesn't cover injuries or illnesses not caused by job duties or the workplace in some way.

You can get a Maine workers' comp certificate from the insurance company that provided you with your policy. A Maine independent insurance agent can also help you obtain yours.

A Maine independent insurance agent can greatly simplify the process of getting workers' compensation for your business. Your agent will review your business's needs and help you get all the coverage necessary for the number of employees you have, based on your industry's inherent risks and other factors.

If you're a business owner in Maine who has to file a claim against your workers' compensation policy, your employee's benefits will not be counted as taxable income. Review your specific policy or check with your Maine independent insurance agent for more details.

In Maine, the industries with the most fatal occupational injuries in recent years were forestry, fishing and hunting, agriculture, construction, and transportation and warehousing. 

In recent years, the most reported fatal occupational injuries in Maine were transportation incidents. Contact with objects and equipment was the next-highest reported number of fatal occupational injuries. 

The statute of limitations for workers' compensation in Maine is two years. Injuries or illnesses reported more than two years after an incident occurred are not covered.

If your business has one or more employees in Maine and does not meet one of the few exceptions, you must use workers' comp insurance. You cannot use your own insurance instead.