Find the Best Workers' Compensation Insurance Options in West Virginia

There are currently about 113,000 small business owners in West Virginia. Each West Virginia business should at least consider getting equipped with workers' compensation insurance to receive proper reimbursement for lost wages and medical expenses if an employee gets injured or ill due to their job or workplace. This coverage is usually also mandatory by state law for most companies across the US. In West Virginia, workers' comp is mandatory for businesses with one or more employees, with only a couple of exceptions.

Luckily, an independent insurance agent in West Virginia can help your business get set up with the right workers' comp. They'll get you matched to a policy with the right amount of coverage at a great price. First, though, here's an overview of West Virginia workers' comp requirements and more.

West Virginia Workers' Compensation Laws

West Virginia workers' compensation requirements can vary by industry. But for most businesses in West Virginia with at least one employee, workers' compensation insurance is mandatory by state law. Businesses without employees aren't usually required to carry coverage. This goes for sole proprietors and others who fall into this category.

How Does Workers' Compensation Insurance Work in West Virginia?

Workers' compensation insurance in West Virginia works by offering benefit payouts to an employee who gets ill or injured due to the workplace or required job tasks. For expenses to be covered, the incident must have been due to an unsafe job site, repeated work tasks, or the equipment or materials used on the job. Workers' comp in West Virginia can also work by replacing a portion of an employee's regular wages or salary if they need time off to recover or get treatment. West Virginia workers' comp can reimburse the costs of labs, prescription medications, and doctor or hospital visits.

Workers' comp is part of a complete West Virginia business insurance policy, and coverage exempts your business from employee lawsuits related to covered incidents. Further, family members of affected employees are prevented from suing the business. Workers' comp insurance in West Virginia can help protect your workers and your company's assets.

West Virginia Workers' Compensation Exemptions

West Virginia has a few exemptions to its state workers' comp laws. Understanding these exemptions is key for business owners to know if they really need coverage. West Virginia workers' comp exemptions include the following types of workers and industries:

  • Churches
  • Domestic service
  • Agricultural businesses with five or fewer full-time workers
  • Casual employers
  • Professional sports athletes
  • Volunteer police auxiliary units and volunteer rescue squads

Businesses in West Virginia with employees who are covered by the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act's benefits are also exempt from needing coverage. So are employers that have an exemption letter from the state's insurance commissioner. A West Virginia independent insurance agent can help determine if your business is required by state law to have workers' comp and how much it needs.

Do Independent Contractors Need Workers’ Comp Coverage?

According to state law, independent contractors in West Virginia don't need to be covered by workers' comp. If you work as an independent contractor in West Virginia, you're not required to have a policy. However many independent contractors still choose to get coverage for a few reasons.

Without workers' comp, you could have to pay for workplace incidents out of your own pocket. This could be extremely costly for both you and your business. So, even if you're an independent contractor in West Virginia who's not technically required to have coverage, you may still choose to purchase a policy to be safe.

Do West Virginia Business Owners Need to Be Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

West Virginia business owners also don't need to be covered by workers' comp in one specific incidence. Sole proprietors who do not have employees are not required by state law to have workers' comp. So, West Virginia sole proprietors don't have to worry about facing fines or other penalties for not having coverage.

Still, having workers' comp anyway can help you save thousands of dollars or more if there's a catastrophe at your workplace. Any workplace incident can result in costly medical treatment and lost time from work. Without workers' comp, you could have to pay these costs by yourself, which could result in a huge loss for you or your business.

What Does West Virginia Workers' Compensation Cover?

West Virginia workers' comp can help reimburse a business's employees for many potential costs related to covered incidents of employee injuries or illnesses. The covered expenses can include doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, treatment, funeral costs, death benefits, and more. Just one employee injury or illness can result in a myriad of expenses. West Virginia workers' comp can also help replace a portion of an affected employee's regular wages or salary if they need time off to get a procedure or heal.

West Virginia workers' comp reimburses funeral costs if a serious workplace incident leads to an employee's death. This coverage also exempts a business from employee lawsuits for covered incidents. The affected employee's family members also cannot sue the business either if workers' comp was available. Workers' comp for your West Virginia business is critical for protecting both your team and the company itself.

Here's a larger picture of what workers' comp covers in West Virginia:

  • Ongoing care: Workers' comp can help pay for required ongoing care costs to continue treating a covered injury or illness. If a worker needs physical therapy due to a workplace injury, this coverage can help pay for that cost.
  • Medical expenses: Workers' comp can help pay for medical expenses after covered incidents, including prescription medications. If an employee needs a prescription for chronic pain due to their job tasks, workers' comp can pay for it.
  • Death benefits: Workers' comp can also help pay death benefits for employees who die due to a covered incident. The death benefits are most often paid to an employee's surviving dependent family members or spouse.
  • Funeral costs: Workers' comp can even help cover funeral costs for deceased employees due to a covered incident. Reimbursement can apply to burial costs, coffins, and more.
  • Time off during recovery: Workers' comp can help pay to replace some of an employee's wages while they take time off work to recover from a covered incident. If an employee needs to stay at the hospital for two weeks after surgery due to a workplace incident, workers' comp can help continue some of the wages they would've made during that time.
  • Disability benefits: Workers' comp can also help pay for disability benefits, including temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and permanent total disability benefits. If an employee qualifies for disability benefits due to a workplace incident, workers' comp can help cover these costs.

A West Virginia independent insurance agent can help you review your policy's coverage in detail so you can be clearly aware of what's covered and what's not.

How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in West Virginia?

The average cost of workers' compensation insurance in West Virginia is $57 per month or $684 per year. However, the cost of workers' comp premiums can vary based on a number of factors about your specific business. The exact number of employees you have and your annual payroll strongly affect the cost of workers' comp premiums.

Further, your business's exact location and industry also impact workers' comp premiums. Some industries have an inherently higher risk level, including the trucking and construction industries, so insurance companies charge more for coverage. Your business's prior claims history and the limits applied to coverage also impact the cost of workers' comp.

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

How Can West Virginia Business Owners Save Money on Workers’ Comp?

Business owners in West Virginia have some options to save money on workers' comp. A "pay-as-you-go" payment plan offers a low upfront premium. This payment method also allows a business to buy coverage based on actual payroll instead of its projected or estimated payroll, which can greatly reduce premiums. Another way to save on workers' comp premiums is by hiring seasonal or casual employees.

Since insurance companies like to see that a business has made efforts to reduce the risk of workplace incidents that could result in claims, take some time to submit proof of this to your carrier. If your business completed a safety program, this can also help bring down the cost of your workers' comp policy. Additionally, requiring your employees to complete safety training is another way you could reduce workers' comp premiums, as long as you send proof to your insurer.

What Are the Penalties for Not Having Workers' Comp in West Virginia?

West Virginia business owners who don't comply with the state's laws for workers' comp can be fined and face other harsh penalties. A business can get charged a $500 fine for a first offense. Subsequent fines are much harsher, at up to $25,000.

Repeat offenders who fail to provide workers' comp in West Virginia can get hit with stop-work orders, and business owners can even be subject to jail sentences. Failure to make workers' comp premium payments can also result in late fees with an additional 10% interest added. Also, business owners can be held responsible for paying the costs of an employee's medical treatments and lost wages out of their own pocket, which can greatly exceed how much workers' comp premiums would cost.

How to Buy Workers' Compensation Insurance in West Virginia

West Virginia offers multiple options for buying workers' compensation. The first option is to buy workers' comp through the voluntary market. A West Virginia business owner may choose to self-insure their business if they meet the state's qualifications. You can also buy workers' comp for a West Virginia business online, which can be a fast and easy way to get coverage.

However, . These agents can shop and compare policies from many different West Virginia insurers. They'll get you matched to a policy with the best blend of coverage and cost.

Best Workers' Compensation Insurance Companies in West Virginia

You could find workers' comp from a number of carriers in West Virginia. But you want your business to be matched to the best available coverage. That's why we put together this list of a few of the best workers' comp insurance companies in West Virginia. Check into these top-rated local carriers first.

  • Progressive: Progressive has been around for decades and has an outstanding financial strength rating from AM Best. The carrier also offers 24/7/365 customer service.
  • The Hanover: The Hanover started long ago, in 1852, and has excellent AM Best and Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings. The insurance company also offers 24/7 claims reporting. 
  • Travelers: Travelers is another longstanding carrier with excellent customer feedback. Travelers is known for affordable rates, many discount and endorsement options, and great financial strength.
  • Liberty Mutual: Liberty Mutual is a Fortune 500 company with a reputation for providing quality service and coverage. The carrier also has excellent AM Best and BBB ratings and offers 24/7 claims reporting.

A West Virginia independent insurance agent can help you find the workers' comp your business needs from one of these trusted local carriers.

What Are the Best Workers' Compensation Companies in West Virginia?

Top Workers' Compensation Insurance CompaniesStar Rating
5 star rating
The Hanover Insurance Group
5 star rating
5 star rating
Liberty Mutual
4.5/5 star rating

FAQs: Workers' Compensation in West Virginia

In West Virginia, workers' compensation is a type of insurance that covers incidents of injury or illness to employees. These incidents are covered if they're caused by the work environment, the tools, chemicals, or equipment used for the job, or job duties. 

The average cost of workers' comp in West Virginia is currently $57 per month. But this cost can vary due to many factors, such as the number of employees your business has.

Yes, in West Virginia, workers' compensation is mandatory for businesses with one or more employees. If your business doesn't have employees, you're not required by the state to have coverage.

West Virginia workers' compensation insurance covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages for an employee who gets injured or ill due to the job. Medications, funeral expenses, death benefits, doctor visits, etc., are covered by workers' comp.

A West Virginia workers' compensation policy excludes some types of incidents. Here are some exclusions under West Virginia workers' compensation insurance:

  • Intentional injuries or illnesses
  • Injuries or illnesses sustained outside of work
  • Injuries or illnesses related to preexisting conditions
  • Injuries or illnesses sustained while behaving negligently
  • Injuries or illnesses sustained under the influence of drugs or alcohol

There may be a request for evidence of workers' compensation insurance by your business at some point. This is known as a Certificate of Insurance, and it provides the limits, expiration dates, and agent signature on your behalf. You can obtain a certificate from your West Virginia independent insurance agent or the insurance company you got coverage through for no additional fee. 

A West Virginia independent insurance agent can help you find workers' compensation coverage for an affordable price. These agents are free to shop and compare policies and quotes from a number of different local carriers. They'll get you matched to a policy that offers the best blend of coverage and cost.

No, workers' comp benefits and premiums are not taxable in West Virginia. Workers' comp is not taxable at the state or federal level.

The industries with the most common fatal occupational injuries in West Virginia include:

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

The most reported fatal occupational injuries in West Virginia include:

  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 
  8. Entanglement with machinery
  9. Overexertion from lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, or throwing
  10. Victim of assault or other violent acts

The statute of limitations for workers' comp in West Virginia is only six months. If an incident gets reported after this period is over, it may not be covered by workers' comp.

If you are a sole proprietor with zero employees, you can go through your own insurance. Otherwise, businesses in West Virginia with at least one employee must be covered by workers' comp.'%20compensation%20action%20must,a%20hazardous%20work%20site%20condition.