Missouri Workers Compensation Insurance: Costs & Quotes from $36/mo

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Missouri has had over 60,000 workplace injury incidents since the beginning of this year. Are you a new business owner planning on operating in Missouri? If so, paying attention to this risk to your business is critical. You never know when an unexpected workplace accident or employee illness will wreak havoc on your workers and your business. Workers compensation insurance can help. Keep reading to discover details about Missouri workers compensation insurance, like when it is required, what benefits it offers, and more.

What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Workers’ compensation insurance is a policy purchased by you as an employer that helps your workers if they get ill or injured. The policy will cover many occupational injuries, illnesses, and accidents. Typically, an injured employee gets as much medical coverage as reasonable to help them recover from their injury. The policy also pays disability benefits when an injury causes the employee to miss work. The benefit amount received to compensate for this income depends on the injury and the state.

Workers’ compensation insurance will also often include employer’s liability coverage. This coverage protects the employer when a worker brings claims against you in court. With this coverage, you get help to pay legal costs to defend your business and to pay out any legal judgments.


When Do You Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Missouri?

Missouri workers compensation requirements state that most employers with five or more employees must purchase and continue to maintain benefits for these employees. The construction industry has stricter requirements. Even if you only have one employee in the construction industry, you are still required to purchase this policy. Employers in Missouri must also contribute to the Secondary Injury Fund (SIF). The SIF compensates employees who have a prior disability who get injured again.

As an employer, you have a few options to fulfill this requirement in Missouri. Most employers purchase a workers’ compensation policy from a private insurer. With this method, you use a third party to guarantee workers benefits when injured in exchange for a paid premium. 

Some employers can apply to be self-insured employers. A self-insured employer provides workers’ comp benefits without needing a middleman, saving time and money.  The downside of being a self-insured employer is that a sudden, heavy loss can severely impact profitability. 

Typically, only large employers with resources attempt to become single self-insured employers. If you are a small to medium employer, you can still become self-insured by joining a group. A typical group is comprised of multiple employers who share common risks in the same industry.


What Government Agency Oversees Missouri Workers’ Compensation?

The Missouri Department of Labor & Industry Relation oversees Missouri workers comp insurance . A specific division called the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is explicitly in charge of workers’ compensation in the state. 

The DWC provides services to ensure injured workers receive proper benefits and track employer compliance with workers comp requirements. You can call the DWC toll-free number to get specific answers to your duties when purchasing workers’ compensation insurance for your employees.

The DWC has two approved methods for acquiring workers’s compensation insurance. You can either purchase insurance from an insurance company or become self-insured. To become self-insured, you must apply to the DWC’s insurance unit. 

This unit will determine whether you have the financial capacity to be allowed to self-insure and pay benefits to injured workers. If you join a self-insurance group trust, you will also be responsible for paying a surcharge to the Secondary Injury Fund (SIF).


What Benefits are Available in Missouri Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Workmans comp in Missouri will pay various benefits to your injured employees. How much your employee earns for many benefits is calculated by looking at ⅔’s average weekly wage. The maximum benefit is calculated by considering the state of Missouri’s average weekly wage. 

As of July 1, 2023, the current average weekly wage is $1,130.01. This limit will end on June 30, 2024, when a new state weekly wage will be decided. These benefit limits affect workers’ compensation insurers, self-insured employers, and self-insured trusts.


Medical Benefits

Workers injured or sick in a Missouri workplace are entitled to medical treatment benefits. These benefits pay for doctor’s visits, tests, prescriptions, and other reasonable medical treatments to help the employee recover from the claimed injury. Starting July 1, 2023, employees also receive an allowance for any miles traveled to receive medical care. The travel allowance is 62.5 cents per mile.


Temporary Partial Disability

If an employee sustains an injury that reduces their ability to work at their maximum capacity, they can qualify for a benefit called temporary partial disability. This benefit pays ⅔ of the difference between your employee’s average weekly wage and their current reduced earnings in Missouri. Employees are held to a standard of “reasonable diligence.” This means that the employee must make a reasonable effort to work as much as their injury will allow.


Temporary Total Disability

An employee whose care provider has determined to be unable to work qualifies for temporary total disability. Temporary total disability currently has a maximum weekly benefit rate of $1,186.51. The weekly wage necessary for your employee to receive the maximum benefit rate is $1,779.77.


Permanent Partial Disability

With permanent partial disability, an employee has sustained an injury unlikely to recover fully. This injury has left them partially impaired to some degree. The maximum permanent partial disability benefit is $621.51 per week. Depending on the type of injury, this benefit may be paid out in a lump sum instead of a continual payment.


Permanent Total Disability

This disability benefit is reserved for employees who have become completely disabled. If your employee qualifies for this benefit, they are entitled to it for their entire lifetime. Alternatively, they can request the disability payment to be paid in a lump sum. The amount paid to the employee is ⅔ of the employee’s average weekly earnings, not exceeding a maximum of $1,799.77.


Rehabilitation Benefits

An employee whose injury has left them severely disabled is entitled to the DWC vocational rehabilitation program. This program will attempt to retrain an employee while considering their new disability. The program’s goal is for the employee to train enough in a new profession or job to be capable of gainful employment. To qualify for the vocational rehabilitation program, your employee must undergo an assessment and follow a rehabilitation plan.


Survivor Benefit

These benefits are paid to the surviving spouse or children of an employee who dies on the job. Survivors will earn ⅔ of the employee’s average weekly wage for the entire year after the incident. Survivor benefits are subject to the maximum weekly benefit currently being $1,799.77. Missouri’s Workers’ compensation insurance will also pay up to $5,000 in funeral expenses. Missouri also offers additional compensation benefits to ambulance air pilots, medical technicians, firefighters, law enforcement officers, or others killed in the line of duty. Survivors of killed employees receive a $25,000 death benefit in addition to all other forms of compensation.

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Common Questions About Missouri Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Next, we will look at Missouri workers compensation questions, which are commonly asked by employers, employees, and medical providers.


How Long Do Employees Need to Wait to Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Missouri?

The Missouri workers compensation waiting period is three consecutive business days. An exception to the waiting period may apply if the employee has already been unable to work for more than 14 consecutive days. If this exception applies, the three-day waiting period will also be paid on the first benefit payment.


What Businesses Are Exempt From Missouri Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Missouri workers compensation rules clarify that certain businesses are exempt from workers’ compensation requirements. These exempt businesses include:

  • Private domestic servants

  • Farm labor

  • Direct sellers

  • Real estate agents

  • Volunteers

  • Sole proprietors with no employees

  • Commercial motor-carrier owner-operators

  • Railroad, postal, and maritime workers who are already covered by federal law

Even if you are an exempt employer in Missouri, you may still want to purchase workers’ compensation insurance because it protects you from civil liability. If you choose to forgo purchasing workers’ compensation insurance, employees can easily sue you for workplace injuries in court.


What Are the Penalties For Not Having Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Missouri?

Missouri workers compensation laws clearly state that failing to maintain workers’ compensation insurance for your employees will result in a Class A misdemeanor. This misdemeanor has a fine attached that requires you to pay three times the annual premium you should have been paying. This penalty payment can be up to $50,000. You must also pay for any injuries your employees have endured while you lacked coverage. If you are a second-time offender, the charge becomes a Class D felony.


Do I Have Other Responsibilities in Missouri Besides Maintaining Coverage as an Employer?

Yes. Another requirement in Missouri is to post a notice to your employees about the procedure for seeking medical treatment and filing a claim. The notice must be in a place that is visible to all employees. You must also provide immediate medical care in the event of a workplace injury. 

An employer in Missouri may also pay medical bills for workplace injuries for less than $3,500 if the employee doesn’t need to miss work. If you pay for an employee injury this way, it will not affect your insurance premiums. 

Employers must also notify the insurance company immediately after an injury. You must report the injury within 30 days of the incident. If you fail to report an injury promptly, you may be charged with a misdemeanor crime.


What is the Assigned Risk Market?

Employers who cannot get a policy in the regular private insurance market may still purchase coverage from the assigned risk market. You may need to purchase a policy in the assigned risk market due to the riskiness of your business or if you have had bad injury claims in the past. You may also start out in the assigned risk market if you are a new business with no experience in your current industry.


Who Chooses the Healthcare Provider?

In Missouri, the employer chooses the healthcare provider that the employee uses. Employees can still use their own doctor, but they must pay for medical benefits themselves. If your employee wants to have their medical costs covered under workers’ compensation benefits, they must use your chosen doctor.


Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover All Job Injuries?

No. While workers’ compensation insurance will typically cover most injuries, exceptions exist. If an employee causes an injury to themselves deliberately, this event will not be covered. Also, if an injury occurs due to drunkness or deliberately risky activities that violate safety procedures, the insurer may reject the claim.

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Common Questions About Missouri Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Next, we will look at Missouri workers compensation questions, which are commonly asked by employers, employees, and medical providers.


How Long Do Employees Need to Wait to Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Missouri?

The Missouri workers compensation waiting period is three consecutive business days. An exception to the waiting period may apply if the employee has already been unable to work for more than 14 consecutive days. If this exception applies, the three-day waiting period will also be paid on the first benefit payment.


What Businesses Are Exempt From Missouri Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Missouri workers compensation rules clarify that certain businesses are exempt from workers’ compensation requirements. These exempt businesses include:

  • Private domestic servants

  • Farm labor

  • Direct sellers

  • Real estate agents

  • Volunteers

  • Sole proprietors with no employees

  • Commercial motor-carrier owner-operators

  • Railroad, postal, and maritime workers who are already covered by federal law

Even if you are an exempt employer in Missouri, you may still want to purchase workers’ compensation insurance because it protects you from civil liability. If you choose to forgo purchasing workers’ compensation insurance, employees can easily sue you for workplace injuries in court.


What Are the Penalties For Not Having Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Missouri?

Missouri workers compensation laws clearly state that failing to maintain workers’ compensation insurance for your employees will result in a Class A misdemeanor. This misdemeanor has a fine attached that requires you to pay three times the annual premium you should have been paying. This penalty payment can be up to $50,000. You must also pay for any injuries your employees have endured while you lacked coverage. If you are a second-time offender, the charge becomes a Class D felony.


Do I Have Other Responsibilities in Missouri Besides Maintaining Coverage as an Employer?

Yes. Another requirement in Missouri is to post a notice to your employees about the procedure for seeking medical treatment and filing a claim. The notice must be in a place that is visible to all employees. You must also provide immediate medical care in the event of a workplace injury. 

An employer in Missouri may also pay medical bills for workplace injuries for less than $3,500 if the employee doesn’t need to miss work. If you pay for an employee injury this way, it will not affect your insurance premiums. 

Employers must also notify the insurance company immediately after an injury. You must report the injury within 30 days of the incident. If you fail to report an injury promptly, you may be charged with a misdemeanor crime.


What is the Assigned Risk Market?

Employers who cannot get a policy in the regular private insurance market may still purchase coverage from the assigned risk market. You may need to purchase a policy in the assigned risk market due to the riskiness of your business or if you have had bad injury claims in the past. You may also start out in the assigned risk market if you are a new business with no experience in your current industry.


Who Chooses the Healthcare Provider?

In Missouri, the employer chooses the healthcare provider that the employee uses. Employees can still use their own doctor, but they must pay for medical benefits themselves. If your employee wants to have their medical costs covered under workers’ compensation benefits, they must use your chosen doctor.


Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover All Job Injuries?

No. While workers’ compensation insurance will typically cover most injuries, exceptions exist. If an employee causes an injury to themselves deliberately, this event will not be covered. Also, if an injury occurs due to drunkness or deliberately risky activities that violate safety procedures, the insurer may reject the claim.

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Best Companies for Missouri Workers’ Compensation  Insurance

Are you wondering what the best companies are for Missouri workers’ compensation insurance? We recommend the following. Each insurer offers unique benefits to consider and is rated by organizations like the Better Business Bureau or AM Best. Read some of the reviews below to know their pros, cons, and average cost: 


NEXT

Pros 

  • NEXT grants a premium discount if you bundle workers comp with other policies.

  • You get an instant certificate of insurance.

  • Get an online quote and purchase your coverage online.

  • NEXT has a mobile app where you can view and manage your insurance policies. 

  • Numerous perks comes when working with NEXT and you get the best value for money. 

  • NEXT offers a fast workers compensation insurance policy. 

  • NEXT is popular for excellent customer service and satisfaction. 


Cons

  • Couldn’t find any. 

NEXT is a digital online insurer that offers affordable policies. You can save money when bundling multiple policies with NEXT. They offer discounts for business insurance. NEXT was founded in 2016 but has quickly grown to have a gross written premium count of more than $200 million. The company serves over 420,000 customers and has a B+ with the Better Business Bureau. AM Best rated NEXT with an A- (excellent) score.

Best for: Best overall; Fastest workers compensation insurance. 

Average cost: $83 per month 

Our rating: 10/10


The Hartford

Pros

  • The Hartford Extra perks for AARP members.

  • The Hartftord has over 200 years of underwriting experience.

  • Get a quote online or call an agent. 

  • Workers compensation insurance from this company comes with specialized perks. 


Cons

  • The customer service experience can be inconsistent.

The Hartford is a trusted insurer who has been writing policies for over two centuries in the United States. They started as a fire insurance writer and have since become a long-standing insurer loved by customers. They have a 100% rating on the Corporate Equality Index. The Hartford provides added convenience when buying and tracking your policy through their mobile app. Hiscox has an A- rating from AM Best and an A+ from the Better Business Bureau.

Best for: Workers compensation insurance with specialized perks. 

Average cost: $130 per month

Our rating: 10/10 


Tivly

Pros

  • Compare quotes with multiple insurers.

  • A rating from the Better Business Bureau.

  • Personalized approach to granting the best coverage. 


Cons

  • You need to talk with a representative to compare quotes. 


Tivly is an insurance platform that lets you choose from over 200 insurers and their policies. They don’t offer online quotes but boast a 4-second average phone answering rate. After quickly getting connected, a Tivly representative will help match you with the perfect policy so you are not overwhelmed by their vast partner selection. With so many options, you are bound to find a policy and insurer that fits your business profile. Call now and talk with a representative to compare quotes over the phone. 

Best for: Comparing workers compensation insurance quotes over the phone. 

Average cost: $87 per month 

Our rating: 10/10


Thimble

Pros

  • A-rated insurance partners pack policies.

  • Online resources to help you learn.

  • Thimble offers on-demand coverage.

  • Quickly offers online quotes and accurate estimate of your rates. 


Cons

  • Their simplified insurance product may not fit your needs.

Thimble offers a simplified insurance purchasing process that makes getting your coverage up and running quicker and easier. The form asks fewer questions, so you spend less time on the prerequisites. 75% of Thimble’s customers are first-time buyers, which shows how easy it is to purchase coverage. Thimble has sold over 125,000 policies since launching in 2016. They have also represented over $150 billion in coverage. The company writes policies for over 300 professions and has over 200,000 policies sold. Thimble has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Best for: Workers compensation insurance on-demand. 

Average cost: $93 per month 

Our rating: 10/10 


Hiscox


Pros

  • Offers refunds within 14 days.

  • Tailor your coverage to the unique risks in your industry.

  • Discounts when bundling multiple Hiscox policies.


Cons

  • No PayPal payments are allowed.

Hiscox is an insurer that focuses on personalized coverage for small and medium businesses. They have passionate service agents to help you craft and finally purchase a policy that serves your needs. The company has a trusted service award from Feefo. They have sold policies to over 500,000 customers and are an international insurance group. Hiscox has an A rating from AM Best.

Best for: Workers comp insurance for local and international businesses. 

Average cost: $120 per month 

Our rating: 10/10

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