FAQ: Workers' Compensation Insurance in Tennessee

Workers' compensation insurance in Tennessee is mandatory when you have five or more employees. It helps pay for employee medical expenses due to an on the job accident, injury, or illness. 

The cost of workers' compensation insurance in Tennessee will vary from industry to industry. The riskier your operation, the higher the amount you can expect to pay to protect your business and employees. Each job duty is given a class code and will fall in the low high range for that class code Some examples of Tennessee workers' compensation rates per $100 of employer payroll are as follows:

  • Landscaping Service: $2.51 to $4.40
  • Tree Trimming-Pruning Removal: $4.82 to $8.45
  • Residential Cleaning Service-Housekeepers: $1.91 to $3.35
  • Breweries-Craft Beers: $0.75 to $1.31
  • Winery-Wine Makers: $1.18 to $2.07

In Tennessee, workers' compensation insurance is required under state law if you have five employees or more. While you're not legally mandated to carry coverage with less than five staff members, coverage is typically recommended with any number of employees. 

Workers' compensation in Tennessee will cover a variety of items for your business and employees. In short, it pays for the medical expenses of an employee who is injured or becomes ill employee as a result of their job duties. Some of these include the following: 

  • Traumatic injuries
  • Repetitive injuries
  • Some mental or cognitive injuries
  • Occupational illnesses/diseases

With any policy, some exclusions apply. Tennessee workers' compensation insurance will not usually provide coverage for the following incidents:

  • Intentional injuries or illnesses
  • Injuries or illnesses sustained outside of work
  • Injuries or illnesses sustained while committing a crime
  • Injuries or illnesses sustained under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Certificates of insurance provide proof of coverage to governments, municipalities, other businesses, and individuals that may require evidence for your operation. One can only obtain a certificate of insurance from their licensed agent or the carrier that writes their workers' compensation coverage for their business. The business's licensed agents must legally verify all certificates and carriers to be legitimate.  

A Tennessee independent insurance agent can help your business find the most competitive rates and best coverage in town. A licensed adviser helps you review premiums and offerings from various insurance companies to choose the coverage that offers the most value to your company.

Your local agent can also help you evaluate your risk management techniques and find new programs and solutions to keep your workers’ compensation insurance costs down over the long term.

In Tennessee, and most other states, workers' compensation benefits paid to the employee do not count as a taxable income. 

Find Workers' Compensation Insurance Near You

How does your company measure up?

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 Tennessee

Under Tennessee state law, workers' compensation insurance is required when you have five employees or more. If you're in the construction industry, you must obtain workers' compensation insurance upon hiring your first employee. 

Employees are required to report any work-related injury to their boss within 15 days of the injury. This allows the proper paperwork to be completed and submitted in a timely manner. The sooner a work-related injury is reported, the better. 


Common Workers' Compensation Claims in Tennessee

The Top 5 industries with the most fatal occupational injuries:

  1. Construction
  2. Transportation and warehousing
  3. Manufacturing
  4. Crop farming
  5. Landscaping


The Top 6 most reported fatal occupational injuries:

  1. Violence and other injuries by persons or animals
  2. Transportation incidents
  3. Fires
  4. Falls, slips, trips
  5. Exposure to harmful substances or environments
  6. Contact with objects and equipment


According to statistical data, 142 workers' compensation claims turned fatal in Tennessee in one recent year.