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 Oklahoma

  • With few exceptions, all employers in Oklahoma are required to either cover their employees with a workers' compensation insurance policy or be approved by the state to self-insure.
  • Workers’ compensation coverage must be purchased for each employee immediately upon hiring.
  • With the exception of emergency care, all medical treatment must be obtained from a physician approved by the employer or the employer’s workers' compensation insurance company.
  • It is illegal to terminate employment for a worker who is collecting temporary total disability if the sole reason for the termination is the employee's absence from work or in an attempt to discontinue paying disability benefits to the employee.
  • It is illegal to discriminate or retaliate against employees who have filed a claim under the Administrative Worker’s Compensation Act (AWCA) or who have testified on behalf of another employee in regard to an AWCA claim.
  • Failure to carry required workers' compensation insurance can result in penalties including fines of up to $1,000 per day, and civil penalties filed against the employer. Additionally, a stop-work order may be issued requiring the employer to discontinue working until coverage is secured and all fines and penalties are paid.


Common Workers' Compensation Claims in Oklahoma

Employees in Oklahoma report nearly 50,000 workplace injuries a year.

 Top 5 most reported worker injuries in Oklahoma:

  1. Slip, trip, or fall injuries
  2. Muscle strains
  3. Struck by an object
  4. Caught between or underneath objects
  5. Motor vehicle accident injuries

Top 5 Most Hazardous Occupations in Oklahoma

  1. Oil and gas extraction
  2. Construction
  3. Manufacturing
  4. Transportation and trucking
  5. Agriculture and forestry

FAQ: Workers' Compensation Insurance in Oklahoma

Workers' compensation insurance (or "workers' comp") is a no-fault commercial insurance policy that is designed to protect both employers and employees from financial losses related to workplace injuries.

It can provide coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation services, and other related expenses if an employee is injured on the job or is diagnosed with an occupational illness. In doing so, it can significantly reduce the employer’s chances of facing a liability lawsuit related to the injury.

Oklahoma is among the most expensive states for workers’ compensation insurance.

Every different type of job is assigned a base rate for coverage by the Oklahoma Department of Insurance. Workers' compensation insurance companies must use these base rates, but can adjust them up to 25% through policy debits, credits, and incentives.

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

  • Landscapers:  $4.55 to $10.01
  • Plumbers:  $2.72 to $5.98
  • Roofing contractors:  $12.15 to $26.73
  • Retail store workers:  $1.87 to $4.11
  • Clerical workers:  $0.15 to $0.33
  • Restaurant workers:  $1.13 to $2.27

Employers who have a solid history of worker safety will pay rates at the lower end, whereas those with higher-than-expected rates of worker injuries will pay rates at the higher end.

Your quoted costs will be based on the number of employees you have, how much they are paid, the types of jobs they do, your company's safety record, and your workers’ compensation claims history. 

In Oklahoma, all employers, even those who only employ one part-time worker, are required to cover all their employees with workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few exceptions. You do not need to purchase coverage for:

  • Sole proprietors, partners, and corporate officers
  • Certain laborers in agricultural and horticultural businesses
  • Licensed real estate brokers
  • Most domestic/household workers

Additionally, Oklahoma has a “family of five or fewer exemption.” This allows businesses that have five or fewer employees, all of whom are related by blood or marriage to the employer, to opt out of coverage.

You can purchase your coverage from your choice of commercial insurance providers. High-risk businesses that are unable to secure private insurance coverage can purchase a policy through the state-administered fund. Additionally, businesses with strong financial stability can apply for approval to self-insure.

Workers' compensation insurance shields your business against financial losses and potential lawsuits by ensuring that workers who are injured on the job receive the compensation they deserve.

Workers' compensation insurance in Oklahoma provides injured employees with:

  • Full medical coverage for the treatment of work-related injuries and occupational illnesses
  • Replacement for lost wages incurred as the result of a work-related injury or illness
  • Compensation for permanent disabilities
  • Vocational retraining if a worker injury leaves them unable to return to their previous job
  • Death benefits for the employee’s family if a work-related injury is fatal

Sometimes, workers’ compensation claims are denied. Some of the most common reasons for denial in Oklahoma include:

  • The employee failed to notify their employer of the injury or medical diagnosis within 30 days
  • The injury was not work-related
  • The injury occurred when the employee was engaged in horseplay or a physical fight started by the injured employee
  • The accident occurred while the injured employee was under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol
  • The employee received care from a non-approved treating physician
  • The illness or injury is a preexisting condition
  • The injury was intentionally self-inflicted

Employees may file an appeal if they feel that their claim was unjustly denied.

In Oklahoma, if a prospective employer wants to verify that you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, they can do this with an online lookup. All covered businesses in this state are included in an online database that lets your clients know your insurance provider, policy numbers, and effective dates of coverage.

Businesses that are exempt from needing coverage may obtain a Certificate of Non-coverage verifying their exempt status. These certificates can be obtained by filing an application with the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Independent insurance agents make finding the best workers’ compensation insurance coverage easy. These agents can help you find a competitively priced policy from an insurance company that specializes in covering businesses that operate in your industry.

No business is too small to benefit from working with an independent agent. Discover the many advantages of having a local insurance expert on your side. Arrange an obligation-free consultation with an independent insurance agent near you to get started.

In most cases, workers’ compensation benefits are not considered taxable income at the state or federal level. However, employees may face some taxes on these benefits if they are also receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI).

What Are the Best Workers' Compensation Companies in Oklahoma?