FAQ: Workers' Compensation Insurance in Nebraska

Workers' compensation insurance is a commercial insurance policy that is designed to protect businesses as well as their employees.

It can shield your company from financial losses and potential liability lawsuits if an employee is severely injured on the job or is stricken with an occupational illness. 

It protects injured employees by providing full coverage for any necessary medical treatment and disability pay for workers who need time to heal before they can return to work. In the worst cases, it can also cover burial costs and provide the employee's dependents with ongoing death benefits.

In Nebraska, every type of job is assigned a classification code, and the Nebraska Department of Insurance assigns each class code a base rate for workers’ compensation coverage. Insurance companies must use these base rates but can remain competitive by lowering their workers’ compensation insurance costs up to 25% through incentives and discounts.

Let's look at the base rates for a few different kinds of jobs in Nebraska. These are the rates employers will pay for every $100 of employee payroll.

  • Landscapers: $4.62
  • Plumbers: $2.69
  • Roofing contractors: $8.70
  • Retail store workers: $1.22
  • Clerical workers: $0.12
  • Restaurant workers: $0.92

As you can see, workers’ comp rates are higher for jobs that have a high risk of employee injuries.

The actual cost for your business will be based on the number of employees you have, the types of jobs they do, how much they are paid, and your company's history of accidents and workers’ compensation claims.

Nebraska state law requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few exceptions. Sole proprietors with no employees do not need to buy coverage. You also do not need to buy coverage for:

  • Railroad employees
  • Volunteers
  • Independent contractors
  • Household/domestic servants
  • Certain agricultural employees

In Nebraska, workers' compensation coverage is required immediately upon hiring a new employee.

Workers' compensation insurance can protect your business against financial losses and potential lawsuits by ensuring that employees who are hurt on the job receive the medical benefits and compensation for lost wages they deserve. 

This insurance can cover things like lacerations, traumatic injuries, repetitive stress injuries, certain work-related mental health disorders, and occupational illnesses.

Workers' comp in Nebraska provides injured employees with:

  • Full coverage for all necessary medical treatment
  • Full coverage for related expenses like hospital stays, ambulance services, prescription medications, physical therapy, and needed supplies like crutches and slings
  • Reimbursement for miles driven or other reasonable travel expenses (like public transportation or taxis) for trips taken to medical appointments, physical therapy, and other necessary treatment facilities
  • Disability pay if the employee must take time off work to recuperate
  • Coverage for job retraining if the employee is unable to return to their previous job due to their injury
  • Up to $6,000 in burial expenses and death benefits to the employee's spouse and dependents if a work injury is fatal

As with any type of insurance coverage, workers' comp has some exclusions. It is always a good idea to review what your policy will and will not cover when you make a purchase.

Workers' comp does not cover:

  • Employee injuries sustained outside of work
  • Accidents that occurred while the injured employee was intoxicated
  • Intentional or self-inflicted injuries
  • Injuries that occurred while the employee was committing a crime

An independent insurance agent can further explain what your workers' compensation insurance policy covers and excludes in Nebraska.

Construction workers and other contractors frequently have to provide proof of workers’ compensation coverage, especially if doing work for a governmental entity

If a prospective client asks you for proof of coverage, you will need a workers’ compensation insurance certificate. These certificates are a single sheet of paper that provides information about your coverage, including details like:

  • Name and address of the insured
  • Name of the insurance company and all policy numbers
  • Effective date and expiration date for each policy listed
  • The liability coverage limits on each policy

You will be issued this certificate by your insurance company when you purchase your policy. 

Independent insurance agents make it easy to find the right workers’ comp coverage because they do the comparison shopping for you. These agents cut the jargon and clarify the fine print so you know exactly what you’re getting when you buy any type of insurance policy.

No business is too small to benefit from the help of an independent agent. Arrange an obligation-free consultation with an independent insurance agent near you to get started.

No. Workers' compensation benefits are not considered taxable income.

What are the Best Workers Compensation Companies?

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 Nebraska

With few exceptions, all employers in Nebraska are required to cover their full-time, part-time, seasonal, temporary, and minor employees with a workers' compensation insurance policy. Established corporations with at least 100 employees and a strong financial base may apply to self-insure.

When employers are made aware of a work-related injury or occupational illness, they should notify their workers’ compensation insurance company, and then either the employer or the insurance provider must notify the state by filing a First Report of Alleged Occupational Injury or Illness report within ten days of being notified.

Failure to carry required workers' compensation insurance can result in penalties, including a civil fine of up to $1,000 for every day that the employer was uninsured, a restriction from doing business in Nebraska until coverage is secured, and possible jail time for up to one year. 


Common Workers' Compensation Claims in Nebraska

Top 5 most hazardous industries in Nebraska:

  1. Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Construction
  4. Healthcare and social assistance
  5. Transportation and warehousing


Top 5 worker injuries leading to hospitalizations

  1. Slip, trip, and fall injuries
  2. Motor vehicle accidents
  3. Machinery-related injuries
  4. Employee struck by or against something
  5. Fire/burn injuries

Workers in Nebraska experience about 20,400 on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses a year.