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

Ohio Workers' Compensation Insurance Laws

  • With very few exceptions, all employers in Ohio are required to purchase and maintain workers' compensation insurance.
  • All policies must be purchased through the state-administered fund. Private insurance and self-insurance are not permitted.
  • All employers are required to post a copy of the Certificate of Premium Payment at each work site. It may also be posted on a company intranet site so it can be accessed by employees.
  • If injured, employees may seek medical care from a doctor of their choosing for their initial treatment or assessment. After that, all care must be handled by a BWC-certified provider.
  • Failure to pay your workers’ compensation premiums on time can result in a $30 flat fee plus a penalty charge of 15% of the amount due.
  • If caught operating a business that is not covered by mandatory workers’ comp insurance, employers can be required to pay back premiums for each day that they lacked coverage. Additionally, liens can be placed against their property until all back payments are received.

Common Workers' Compensation Claims in Ohio

There are more than 100,000 workers' compensation insurance claims filed in Ohio every year.

Top 10 Industries with the most workers’ comp claims in Ohio:

  1. Healthcare and social assistance
  2. Trade, transportation, and utilities
  3. Nursing and residential care facilities
  4. Transportation and warehousing
  5. Leisure, entertainment, and hospitality
  6. Food services and drinking places
  7. Construction
  8. Warehousing and storage
  9. Fabricated metal product manufacturing
  10. Food manufacturing

Top 5 most reported injuries in Ohio:

  1. Sprains, strains, and overexertion
  2. Slips, trips, and falls
  3. Falling from a height
  4. Struck by an object
  5. Motor vehicle crashes

FAQ: Workers' Compensation Insurance in Ohio

Workers' compensation insurance is a commercial insurance policy that is designed to protect employers as well as the people who work for them.

It protects your business by shielding it 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 employees by ensuring that if they are injured on the job, they will have full coverage for all necessary medical care and related expenses and that they will not suffer a large financial setback due to lost wages.

When it comes to workers’ compensation insurance, Ohio is a monopolistic state. Employers may only purchase coverage through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). Despite this, rates in this state remain competitive when compared to other states.

In this state, every type of job is assigned a base rate for workers’ compensation coverage. These rates are assigned per $100 of employee payroll according to how likely it is that the worker will suffer a serious injury on the job. The more hazardous the job, the more workers' compensation insurance will cost.

Low-risk jobs like clerical office work tend to run about 15 cents per every $100 of employee pay, while more hazardous jobs like house painting can cost around $10 per every $100 of pay. 

To find out how much a mandatory policy will cost for your business, you will need to contact the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC).

Ohio state law requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance and to keep their policy information updated and current at all times. This means that the BWC must be notified of new hires and other changes to your business.

There are only a few exceptions. You do not need to buy coverage for:

  • Sole proprietors, partners, or LLC members
  • Family farm corporate officers
  • Incorporated individuals with no employees
  • Domestic workers (like housekeepers, babysitters, cooks, and gardeners) who earn less than $160 per calendar quarter

In Ohio, workers' compensation insurance can only be purchased through the state-administered fund. Private insurance and self-insurance are prohibited. Coverage is required immediately upon hiring a new employee.

Workers' compensation insurance can cover many of the costs accrued by employees if they suffer from work-related injuries like cuts, strains, fractures, and occupational illnesses.

Workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio can pay for:

  • Medical care: Workers’ compensation insurance will fully cover all necessary medical care, including ambulance rides, medical treatment, prescription medications, physical therapy, hospital stays, follow-up care, and supplies like slings and crutches.
  • Lost wages: Workers’ compensation can provide disability pay to employees who must take time off work to recuperate from a work-related injury or illness. In the case of permanent disability or impairment, a lump-sum payment may also be awarded.
  • Travel reimbursement: If an injured employee must travel more than 45 miles round trip for necessary medical care, workers’ compensation can reimburse mileage or other transportation costs and, under some circumstances, can also cover meals and lodging.
  • Job retraining: Workers’ compensation can cover vocational rehabilitation services to help workers stay in their current job or, if necessary, find new employment.
  • Death benefits: In worst-case scenarios, workers’ compensation can cover burial costs up to $5,500 and provide the deceased employee’s spouse and dependents with ongoing death benefits.

Workers’ compensation covers a lot of worker injuries, but it does have some exclusions.

Workers' comp does not cover:

  • Employee injuries sustained outside of working hours, such as during a lunch break
  • Intentional and/or self-inflicted injuries
  • Injuries that occurred while the employee was under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs or was in the act of committing a serious crime
  • Compensation for pain and suffering

Be sure to know the details of what your policy does and does not cover so that this can be communicated clearly to your employees.

When you purchase your workers’ comp policy the BWC will issue you a Certificate of Ohio Workers’ Compensation (also referred to as a certificate of coverage). These certificates are mailed to the insured, and a new one is sent every year as the policy is renewed.

Your certificate is valid only as long as you pay your premiums and assessments by their due dates.

Ohio state law requires all employers to post a copy of the Certificate of Ohio Workers’ Compensation at each work site in a highly visible location. It may also be posted on the company intranet page so that it can be easily accessed by employees.

If you need additional copies of your certificate, you and your authorized representatives may have one reprinted provided your policy is still active.

Even though employers in the Buckeye State can only purchase their coverage through the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC), it pays to work with an independent insurance agent. These agents can ensure that you understand the ins and outs of your policy and can help you with any other commercial insurance policies you may need for your business.

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 more information.

No. Workers' compensation benefits received by employees are not considered taxable income.