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 West Virginia

  • With few exceptions, all employers in West Virginia are required to either cover their employees with a workers' compensation insurance policy or be approved by the state to self-insure.
  • Employers are required to post information about workers’ compensation insurance in a conspicuous location at the workplace. This notice is to include the name, address, and phone number of their insurer as well as information about who employees can contact regarding a claim.
  • When employers are made aware of a work-related injury or occupational illness that requires medical attention, they must notify their workers’ compensation insurance company within five days.
  • Failure to carry required workers' compensation insurance can result in fines of at least $500 for a first offense and up to $25,000 for subsequent offenses. Additionally, the business can be issued a stop-work order and the employer may subject to incarceration.

Common Workers' Compensation Claims in West Virginia

Employers in West Virginia report around 16,500 worker injuries a year.

5 Most Hazardous Industries in West Virginia:

  1. Transportation and warehousing
  2. Mining and quarrying
  3. Oil and gas extraction
  4. Farming, fishing, and forestry
  5. Construction

Insurance companies in West Virginia pay out more than $2.5 billion in workers’ compensation claims every year.

10 Most Common Cause of Work Injuries in West Virginia:

  1. Repetitive motion injuries
  2. Motor vehicle accidents
  3. Collision with an object like a wall, door, or furniture
  4. Falling from a height
  5. Struck by a falling object
  6. Muscle strains and sprains
  7. Slips, trips, and falls (same-level falls)
  8. Entanglement with machinery
  9. Overexertion from lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, or throwing
  10. Victim of assault or other violent acts

FAQ: Workers' Compensation Insurance in West Virginia

Workers' compensation insurance (or "worker's comp") is a no-fault insurance coverage system designed to protect employers and employees alike. 

It can provide coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation services if an employee is injured or diagnosed with an occupational illness. At the same time, it shields employers from potential liability lawsuits related to these injuries.

In this state, every type of job is assigned a base rate for coverage according to how likely it is that an employee will be seriously injured while doing it. These rates are set and overseen by the NCCI and the West Virginia Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

Workers' compensation insurance companies must use these base rates to calculate costs, but can adjust them up to 25% based on discounts, incentives, and policyholder claims histories.

Let's look at some workers' compensation cost ranges for a few different kinds of jobs in West Virginia. These rates are for every $100 of employer payroll:

  • Landscapers:  $2.67 to $4.26
  • Tree trimmers/pruners/removers:  $4.32 to $6.89
  • Plumbing contractors:  $1.06 to $1.69
  • Roofing contractors:  $7.36 to $11.75
  • Retail store workers:  $0.44 to $0.70
  • Clerical workers:  $0.09 to $0.14
  • Restaurant workers:  $0.44 to $0.70

Companies with a good safety record will pay rates on the lower end of these ranges, while those with higher-than-expected employee injuries will pay rates at the higher end.

The good news is that workers’ compensation insurance rates in West Virginia are significantly lower than the national average rates. Your quoted 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. 

West Virginia law requires all employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few exceptions. For instance, you do not need to buy coverage for:

  • Sole proprietors, partners, corporate officers, or LLC members
  • Agricultural workers if you have fewer than five employees
  • Independent contractors
  • Domestic/household workers
  • Federally covered employees
  • Participants in organized professional sports

In West Virginia, workers' compensation coverage is required immediately upon hiring a new employee. Policies can be purchased through a commercial provider or the state-administered fund. Approved businesses may opt to 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 West Virginia provides:

  • Medical benefits: Workers’ compensation can cover all reasonable and necessary medical treatment if an employee is injured on the job or is diagnosed with an occupational illness. Employees should pay nothing out of pocket.
  • Mileage reimbursement: Injured employees may be reimbursed for miles driven to and from authorized medical appointments related to their injuries.
  • Disability benefits: Employees who must take time off work to recuperate or who are unable to work in any capacity due to injuries sustained on the job can collect disability payments in amounts based on their average weekly wages before the incident.
  • Death benefits: If an employee’s injury or occupational illness is fatal, workers’ compensation insurance can cover up to $7,000 in funeral and burial costs and provide the employee’s spouse and dependents with ongoing benefits of two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly earnings before the injury.

While workers’ compensation covers a lot of work-related injuries and illnesses, it has some limitations.

Your workers’ compensation company is likely to deny coverage for:

  • Claims for workers who are not official employees of your business
  • Employee illnesses or injuries sustained outside of working hours
  • Injuries or illnesses that are preexisting conditions
  • Accidents that occurred while the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Injuries suffered while engaged in horseplay or committing a serious crime
  • Intentional, self-inflicted injuries

Learn more about what your workers’ compensation policy will and will not cover by talking to an independent insurance agent.

A workers' compensation certificate of insurance is a single-page document that provides proof of coverage. Sometimes, prospective clients may request to see this proof before they will hire you to do a job. The workers' compensation insurance certificate includes details like:

  • Name and address of the policyholder
  • Name and address of the insurer
  • Policy number(s)
  • Effective dates of coverage

You may be issued this certificate by your insurer when you purchase or renew your workers’ compensation policy or on request. 

Alternatively, prospective clients who want to verify your workers’ compensation coverage can do so with an online search, since West Virginia keeps a database of all active workers’ compensation policies.

When you are shopping for workers’ compensation insurance, local independent agents can save you time and money by doing the comparison shopping for you. These agents can cut the jargon and clarify the fine print, so you know exactly what you’re getting when you buy any type of policy with their help.

No business is too small to benefit from working with an independent agent. These agents are free to work with some of the best workers’ compensation insurance companies in West Virginia as they search for an excellent policy at a competitive price. Find an independent insurance agent near you to get started.

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

What Are the Best Workers' Comp Insurance Companies in West Virginia?