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 Oregon

  • With few exceptions, all employers in Oregon are required to cover their employees with workers’ compensation insurance.
  • All businesses that are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance must display a Notice of Compliance poster in a location where it is easily seen by employees, such as in a break room or central gathering area.
  • Upon being made aware of a worker injury, employers should notify their workers’ compensation company within five days.
  • Employers may not prohibit injured workers from filing a claim.
  • Employees have the right to receive their medical care from a physician of their choosing.
  • Failure to carry required workers' compensation insurance comes with penalties. For a first offense, you will be required to pay twice as much as you would have paid for premiums had you been covered.
  • Employers who continue to lack coverage can face more harsh penalties, including jail time for business owners, corporate directors and officers, and LLC members, as well as personal liabilities for employee injuries. Bankruptcy does not erase these penalties from your company or personal debt.

Common Workers' Compensation Claims in Oregon

Every year, workers’ compensation insurance companies in Oregon pay out more than $550 million in workers’ compensation insurance claims.

Most Common Reported Worker Injuries in Oregon:

  • Back injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Epicondylitis
  • Hearing loss

Top 5 Occupations with the Most Workers’ Comp Claims in Oregon:

  1. Education and health services
  2. Health care and social assistance
  3. Nursing and residential care facilities
  4. Transportation and warehousing
  5. Construction

Employers in Oregon report about 50,000 on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses a year.

FAQ: Workers' Compensation Insurance in Oregon

Workers' compensation insurance is a policy that is designed to protect employers and employees against financial losses resulting from on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses.

This insurance can provide injured employees with full coverage for any necessary medical treatment, disability pay for those who need time to recuperate before returning to work, and, in the worst cases, it can cover burial costs and provide dependents with ongoing death benefits.

Oregon has some of the lowest workers’ compensation insurance rates in the country. In this state, every type of job is assigned a classification code, and the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division (WCD) assigns each class code a base rate for workers’ compensation coverage.

Insurance companies must use these base rates to determine policy costs, but they are permitted to adjust rates up to 25% through policy debits and credits.

Let's look at the costs to cover a few different kinds of occupations in Oregon. These are some rate ranges employers pay for every $100 of employer payroll.

  • Landscapers:  $3.28 to $6.93
  • Tree trimmers, pruners, and removers:  $6.56 to $13.85
  • Plumbers:  $1.49 to $3.15
  • Roofing contractors:  $7.53 to $15.90
  • Retail store workers:  $0.61 to $1.29
  • Clerical/office workers:  $0.07 to $0.19
  • Restaurant workers:  $0.71 to $1.50

As you can see, workers’ comp rates are significantly higher for jobs that have a high risk of employee injuries, like tree trimmers, than they are for less dangerous jobs like office workers.

Your actual quoted cost 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 safety record and insurance claims history. A local independent insurance agent can help you obtain and compare rates from a few competing insurance providers.

Oregon state law requires all businesses with one or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few exceptions. You are not required to buy coverage for:

  • Sole proprietors
  • Casual workers
  • Domestic/household workers
  • Certain real estate workers
  • Newspaper carriers

Coverage may be obtained through a commercial provider or through the state-administered fund. With approval, companies with solid financial backing may opt to self-insure.

Workers' compensation insurance can protect your business against financial losses and potential lawsuits by ensuring that employees who are injured on the job receive the medical benefits and disability pay they deserve. The coverage it offers includes:

  • Medical care: Workers’ compensation insurance covers all necessary medical care for work-related injuries and illnesses. This includes things like doctor’s appointments, surgeries, hospital stays, physical therapy, and prescription medications. Employees should pay nothing out of pocket.
  • Travel expenses: Workers’ compensation can reimburse employees who must travel to necessary medical appointments. This includes limited reimbursement for mileage, transportation, meals, and lodging.
  • Disability pay: If an injured worker must take time off work to recuperate from an injury or occupational illness, they can receive compensation of two-thirds or their average pay until they can return to work.
  • Vocational retraining services: Employees whose injuries or illnesses prevent them from returning to their former job may receive, at no cost, training for a job that they will be able to perform.
  • Death benefits: If a work-related injury is fatal, workers’ compensation insurance can help cover funeral and burial costs and can provide the deceased employee’s spouse and dependents with ongoing death benefits.

At your request, a local independent insurance agent can explain the coverage offered in greater detail.

Sometimes workers' compensation claims are denied. Some common reasons for claims denials include:

  • The injury was sustained while the employee was not at work.
  • The injury occurred while the employee was intoxicated, using illegal drugs, or committing a serious crime.
  • The injury was sustained by an employee who started a physical fight.
  • The injury was intentional or self-inflicted.
  • The illness reported by the employee is a common short-term illness like influenza or headaches.
  • The injury or occupational illness was a preexisting condition.

If an injured employee believes that a claim was unjustly denied, they can request mediation services from the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division or the Workers’ Compensation Board.

Contractors frequently have to provide prospective clients with proof that they are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, especially if they will be doing work for a governmental entity.

A workers’ compensation insurance certificate can provide this proof of coverage. These certificates provide information about your coverage including details like:

  • The name and address of the insured
  • The name of the insurance company and all related policy numbers
  • The effective date and expiration date for each policy listed

Insurance companies will typically supply you with this certificate when you purchase or renew your policy. If you need to request a certificate of coverage, you can request one by completing an application at the Oregon state government’s website.

Independent insurance agents in Oregon make it easy to find the right workers’ compensation coverage because they do the comparison shopping for you. These agents are available to answer your insurance-related questions and can help you obtain and compare customized quotes from a selection of competing providers.

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 begin your search for a good policy at a great price.

Workers' compensation benefits are not considered taxable income.

However, if the injured employee is simultaneously collecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI) benefits, some of their workers’ compensation insurance benefits may be taxed.

What Are the Best Workers' Compensation Companies in Oregon?