FAQ: Workers' Compensation Insurance in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, employers are required to offer certain benefits to employees who get injured or become ill on the job. If you have one employee or more, you must purchase workers' compensation insurance in Massachusetts. It pays for medical care and lost wages for the injured employee, and protects your business from being sued for further damages.  

Every workers' compensation policy will come with unique premiums. This is due to various risk factors like experience level, loss history, the coverage selected, and industry. Workers' compensation rates are determined within a range per job type and $100,000 in payroll. See some current Massachusetts rates below in each category:

IndustryLow CostHigh Cost
Alarm Installation and Repair$1.50$1.50
Security Guards- Patrol Officers$0.61$0.61
Gas Stations- Convenient Stores$0.55$0.55
Retail Stores- Merchandise- Cannabis Dispensary$0.44$0.44
Warehousing and Storage Facility$1.60$1.60

Workers' compensation insurance is typically required in all 50 states to some degree. In Massachusetts, you are obligated to carry workers' compensation insurance when you have one employee or more. Limits need to be set at no less than the minimum requirements or greater. If you're unsure what that means for your business, consult with a licensed professional for guidance.

There are numerous instances where your workers' compensation insurance will apply. When an employee becomes injured or ill as a result of doing their job, it's important to understand how your policy works and what could be covered. Here are some incidents that are included under your workers' compensation policy in Massachusetts:

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

As with any commercial policy, restrictions will apply. Depending on the incident, you may not have coverage for every claim filed. See below for occurrences where coverage is excluded under your Massachusetts workers' compensation policy:

  • 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

A workers' compensation certificate of insurance lists your business policy limits and expiration dates, and includes a licensed agent's signature. The best way to obtain your certificate of insurance is from your independent agent. Some people that may request proof of coverage for your business are the following:

  • Clients/customers
  • Municipalities
  • Individuals
  • Anyone you're doing work for or with

When you're searching for the best workers' compensation policy for your business, there's a lot to consider. Fortunately, a local independent insurance agent can help in the following ways, making it an easy choice:

  • Quotes policies for free
  • Works with dozens of top-rated carriers
  • Finds the most competitive rates
  • Can shop your business coverage every year

In Massachusetts, workers' compensation insurance benefits paid to the employee are not considered income and therefore will not be taxed. Consult with your tax professional for your specifics. 

What Are the Best Workers' Compensation Companies in Massachusetts?

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 Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, workers' compensation insurance is required by all employers. The number of employees does not matter; if you have one or one hundred, you're still required to carry coverage by law. Limits of liability must meet or exceed the state minimum limits to comply. You'll face serious penalties, misdemeanors, and even jail time if you're found without proper coverage.


Common Workers' Compensation Claims in Massachusetts


The top 10 fatal injuries by industry in Massachusetts, in order:

  1. Construction
  2. Government
  3. Wholesale and retail trade
  4. Transportation, warehousing, and utilities
  5. Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
  6. Professional and business services
  7. Manufacturing
  8. Leisure and hospitality
  9. Education and health services
  10. Financial activities


Top 5 fatal occupational injuries by event, in order:

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


You can't always avoid accidents in the workplace. However, proper steps can be taken to prevent serious injury or illness. According to statistical data, 69 workers' compensation claims turned fatal in Massachusetts in one recent year. Fortunately, when your business has workers' compensation insurance, you'll have coverage for funeral costs if a loss of life occurs on the job.