How does your city compare to the national average?

Healthcare $1,825 Per $100,000 payroll

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

Construction $7,430 Per $100,000 payroll

Average Cost Per $100,000 in Payroll

CityTop Industry 1/Workers @ CostTop Industry 2/Workers Comp Cost
AlbanyPublic Administration: $160Health Care & Social Services: $1,650
BedfordProfessional, Scientific & Technical Svcs: $635Finance & Insurance: $725
BronxHealth Care & Social Services: $1,650Construction: $11,370
BrooklynConstruction: $11,370Other Transportation & Support Activities and Couriers: $7,380
BuffaloRetail Trade: $1,150Manufacturing: $2,025
Hudson ValleyRetail Trade: $1,150Finance & Insurance: $725
Long IslandProfessional, Scientific & Technical Svcs: $635Accommodation & Food Services: $3,950
Mount VernonConstruction: $11,370Retail Trade: $1,150
New York CityRetail Trade: $1,150Accommodation & Food Services: $3,950
QueensAccommodation & Food Services: $3,950Construction: $11,370
RochesterManufacturing: $2,025Health Care & Social Services: $1,650
SchenectadyRetail Trade: $1,150Manufacturing: $2,025
Staten IslandFinance & Insurance: $725Public Administration: $160
SyracuseEducational Services: $570Retail Trade: $1,150
WestchesterHealth Care & Social Services: $1,650Educational Services: $570
White PlainsProfessional, Scientific & Technical Svcs: $635Retail Trade: $1,150

Workers' Compensation Insurance Laws in New York State

  • With few exceptions, all employers in New York are required to either cover their employees with a workers' compensation insurance policy or be approved by the state to self-insure.
  • When employers are made aware of a work-related injury or occupational illness, they should contact their workers’ compensation insurance company immediately and complete a Form C-2F (Employer’s First Report of Work-Related Injury/Illness) and file it with the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board.
  • Employers are required to keep a copy of every completed Form C-2F on file for eighteen years.
  • Any communication between the employer and the treating physician should be in writing with a copy of the correspondence sent to the employee being treated.
  • With the exception of emergency treatment, all medical care should be obtained through an NYS Workers' Compensation Board-authorized medical provider.
  • Failure to carry required workers' compensation insurance can result in penalties of $2,000 for every 10-day period without coverage and compensation for any employees who may have been injured while their employer lacked coverage. Employers can also face criminal fines ranging from $1,000 to $50,000.

Common Workers' Compensation Claims in New York State

Employers in the Empire States report more than 200,000 worker injuries a year

Top 5 most common worker injuries in New York State:

  1. Punctures, cuts, and lacerations
  2. Sprains and strains
  3. Contusions
  4. Burns (caused by fire, heat, chemicals, electricity, steam, sunlight, or radiation)
  5. Fractures

Top 10 industries with the most workers' comp claims filed in NY, in order:

  1. Forestry and logging
  2. Waste management and remediation
  3. Nursing home and residential care facilities
  4. Beverage and tobacco manufacturing
  5. General merchandise stores
  6. Transportation and warehousing
  7. Hospitals
  8. Food manufacturing
  9. Transportation equipment manufacturing
  10. Fabricated metal manufacturing

Popular Questions about New York Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers' compensation insurance (also referred to as "workers' comp") is a commercial insurance policy that is designed to protect employers and employees alike.

This insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation services if an employee is injured on the job or is diagnosed with an occupational illness.

New York is one of the most expensive states for workers’ compensation insurance. Your costs will be based on the number of employees you have, how much they are paid, the types of jobs they do, and your company's history of accidents and workers’ compensation claims. 

In New York, every type of job is assigned a base rate for coverage. These rates are administered by the New York Compensation Insurance Board (NYCIB). Workers' compensation insurance companies must use these base rates but can raise or lower premiums up to 25% based on discounts, incentives, and claims histories.

Let's look at how much workers' compensation insurance cost ranges for a few different kinds of jobs in New York. These are rates for every $100 of employer payroll.

  • Lawn service and maintenance workers: $5.33 to $10.39
  • Plumbing contractors: $6.95 to $13.55
  • Roofing contractors: $19.56 to $38.14
  • Retail store workers: $1.42 to $2.77
  • Clerical workers: $0.13 to $0.25
  • Restaurant workers: $1.84 to $3.59

As you can see, workers’ comp rates are higher for jobs that have a high risk of injuries (like roofers) than jobs with low risk (like office workers and retail store cashiers). Companies with a good safety record will pay rates at the lower end of the price range, while companies with an unusually high number of serious worker injuries will pay rates at the higher end.

New York state law requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Exceptions are made only for sole proprietors and partners who do not have employees, but they can purchase coverage for themselves if they want to.

All employees must be covered, including full-time workers, part-time workers, family members, and temporary workers.

Coverage can be purchased through a commercial provider, the New York State Insurance Fund, or, with approval, companies can self-insure.

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

Workers' compensation insurance in New York provides injured employees with:

  • Medical coverage: All necessary medical treatment is covered in full. Employees should pay nothing out of pocket. This coverage includes:
    • Ambulance services
    • Emergency room treatments
    • Medical appointments
    • Hospital stays
    • Follow-up care
    • Physical therapy
    • Prescription medications
    • Supplies like slings and crutches
  • Travel reimbursement: Injured employees may be reimbursed for certain transportation costs to medical appointments. This includes compensation for:
    • Car mileage to doctor’s appointments
    • Tolls paid to and from appointments
    • Hospital parking fees
  • Disability pay: If an employee must take time off work to recuperate from a work-related injury or illness, workers’ compensation can provide disability pay equal to two-thirds of their pay prior to the accident.
  • Rehabilitation services:  Workers’ comp can cover expenses related to helping get disabled workers back into the workforce. This includes coverage for:
    • Medical rehabilitation
    • Vocational rehabilitation
    • Job retraining
    • Social services
  • Death benefits: If a worker's injuries prove fatal, workers’ compensation can help pay for funeral and burial expenses and can provide the employee’s spouse and dependents with ongoing death benefits. In the absence of dependents, a lump-sum payment may be made to the employee’s estate.

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

Workers' compensation in New York does not cover:

  • Injuries sustained by employees outside of work
  • Preexisting conditions
  • Accidents that occurred while an employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or was committing a serious crime
  • Intentionally self-inflicted injuries

Be sure to be aware of what your policy will and will not cover so this information can be clearly communicated to your employees.

A workers' compensation insurance certificate is a document that provides proof of insurance. Sometimes, clients may request to see this document before they will hire you to do a job. This is particularly true if you are bidding on a government contract.

The workers' compensation insurance certificate includes details like:

  • Name and address of the insured
  • Name of the insurance company and your policy number(s)
  • Effective date and expiration date of each policy listed

You will be issued a certificate by your insurer when you purchase or renew your workers’ compensation insurance policy. 

Independent insurance agents make finding the right workers’ compensation coverage easy. These agents can work with a variety of the area’s best insurance companies to find you a good policy at a competitive price.

No business is too small to benefit from working with an independent agent. Discover the many advantages of having an experienced insurance professional on your side by arranging an obligation-free consultation with an independent insurance agent near you.

No. Workers' compensation benefits received by employees are not considered taxable income at the state or federal level.

What Are the Best Workers' Compensation Insurance Companies in New York?