Similarly to Ohio, California is very strict in implementing its workers compensation system. Worker’s compensation in California is a critical aspect of business insurance. Companies can protect their workers and business interests from substantial financial harm. Workplace injuries and illness occur at a rate of 2.7 per 100 full–time workers. This rate has decreased in California over the past decade thanks to worker training and workers comp initiatives.
Today, the average cost of a workplace injury claim can range between $30,000 on the low end and $90,00 on the high end.. The most common causes of worker injuries, from most incidence to least incidence, include:
You want the best workers compensation in California. Even the safest workplaces are susceptible to workplace injuries or incidents, making it essential for business owners to invest appropriately in workers comp insurance coverage to protect their businesses.
This article intends to offer an informative look into common concerns and questions that workers and business owners have about workers comp in California. This guide will examine concerns like:
What is workers compensation insurance?
How does workers compensation insurance work in California?
Who is required to have workers compensation insurance in California?
Who is exempt from workers comp in California?
California Workers Compensation Laws
How much does workers compensation insurance cost in California?
The best workers compensation insurance companies in California
Ultimately, you will want to compare different prices by getting quotes in your area. Whether you are in Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angles, or elsewhere in California, there is an insurance company out there that can fit the needs of your business or workplace. California wc (workers comp) could be one of the most important investment decisions your business makes.
Workers' compensation insurance is an insurance plan that offers medical and wage benefits to workers who become injured or fall ill during the course of their workplace duties. Worker's compensation insurance in California is mandated by the state. It includes payouts for things like medical bills and relief for temporary or permanent disabilities.
Workers compensation in CA has one of the highest costs among the different states in the United States. Here is the average cost broken down by the top five most costly states based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
|State||Average Cost Per Employee Per Year|
There are a few reasons why California has such a high worker–compensation insurance rate.
The state has high medical costs in general, which pushes the insurance premiums up to match. Also, the state experiences more litigation cases for worker's comp claims, which further adds to the cost. Lastly, there is a high rate of permanent disability claims that cost more to pay out, thus increasing the average insurance cost.
Workers comp in Los Angeles sat at the top of the list in California compared to other areas because of its percentage of first reports of injury. First-time injuries are one of the most common reasons for workers comp requests.
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California workers compensation insurance works by providing both medical coverage and wage replacement that arises from many illnesses and injuries that result from the workplace. CA workers comp laws require every company to have this insurance available to their employees
For an employee to qualify for insurance benefits, they must be affected negatively by a condition that has risen during regular business activities. Here is how the process typically works:
An employee reports an injury–It is the employee's responsibility to initiate the worker comp claims process in California. Typically employees have a deadline to report an injury through a written notice to their employer within 30 days of the incident date. There are a few exceptions in California worker compensation law, but in most situations, the deadline is inflexible. Most exceptions involve a supervisor also witnessing the incident. Still, you should not delay reporting a workplace incident because it may cause your benefits to be held up
Employer and Employee file a California workers comp claim–After the employee reports the injury, the employer has a one–work–day deadline to give the employee a workers' compensation form that both need to fill out. The employer will then submit this form to the insurance company to start the benefits process
The insurance company responds–The insurance company will make a determination whether to authorize a payment for medical treatment or lost wages. Insurance companies are incentivized to resolve these claims quickly because California requires an insurer to be responsible for any medical bills up to $10,000 until it makes its decision
Employee files an adjudication claim–While this process can end at step three, there can sometimes be disagreements with the insurer about the medical treatment you request or that you need to miss work. These disagreements are common, so employees may need to follow up with officers working for the State of California workers compensation department which is called The Division of Workers Compensation. It is crucial that employees stay on top of this since there is a deadline in California of one year to file this application. In the case of the employee dying as a result of the incident, a dependent has one year from the date of death to file the application
California worker compensation law requires all employers, regardless of the industry the company is in, to have workers' compensation insurance. Independent contractors are even advised to get the coverage even if they can be exempt. Workers compensation insurance in California is stricter than in many other places in the United States.
The only exceptions to the California worker's compensation insurance requirement are owners, board members, or shareholders of the business. This exemption can also extend to spouses as well since the California Labor Code considers a spouse to be a co–owner.
Workers can also choose to exclude themselves from coverage if they fill out a waiver for the insurance carrier or company if they choose. Some workers choose to exempt themselves from workers comp because they want to operate as independent contractors. These workers are willing to absorb the risk to retain their freedom from the company. The Contract State Licensing Board of California also mentions that out–of–state contractors can apply for a waiver of exemption as well. Here is a breakdown of how different groups can get exempted:
|Group||How the Exemption Works|
|Owners and Sole Proprietors||Automatically Exempted|
|Board Members or General Partners||Need to File a Wavier|
|Spouses of Owners||Need to File a Waiver|
|Contractors||Need to File a Waiver|
Through the California Workers compensation law workers enjoy a no-fault workers comp coverage this system. This ensures that all employees receive payout for a work-related injury regardless if the accident was their fault or the employer’s fault. .
California workers compensation system allows employers and employees to save on legal costs as well as help workers get a leg up in understanding their legal rights about workplace injury.
Another added benefit of this system is that your companies liabilities costs for workers compensation may not be as high since you won’t need to defend yourself in court against worker injury claims as often.
Workers comp benefits in California typically last 104 weeks or two years after the date of the injury. More severe injuries that cause partial or complete disability and disease can last up to 240 weeks.
Workers comp benefits do not last forever, and California law does not require employers to purchase long–term disability coverage. However, some companies give themselves a competitive advantage in the labor recruiting market.
Complex injuries that result in permanent or partial disability are often taken to court to get litigated to get a judgment known as an Award of Permanent Disability. This award allows a worker to draw permanent disability benefits and even allows them to continue drawing benefits even if they haven't lost their job.
Because of these high stakes, companies often settle these litigations out of court with employees for lesser and agreed–upon amounts. These cases can also take months or even years to litigate in court and can be costly legal endeavors. This process also incentivizes companies and employees to settle out of court to save money and time.
The premium costs of workers' compensation insurance in California generally start at around $101 per employee per month or $1,212 per year on the low end of the scale. However, different companies offer different levels of coverage that will affect the premium rates. Several other factors will influence the rate as well, such as profession, claim history, and work experience. A comparison of the cost of the best companies is listed below:
|Company||Cost per Month||Cost per Year||Best for|
|NEXT||$25||$300||Best overall; Fastest workers comp in California|
|CoverWallet||$27||$324||Comparing California workers compensation insurance quotes online|
|The Hartford||$70||$840||Personalized customer service|
|Tivly||$85||$1,020||Comparing quotes over the phone|
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Workers compensation insurance in CA can end up being one of the most expensive types of insurance a company pays for. This means that it is crucial to shop around for quotes to get the most bang for your buck. Here are the best companies to work with. Read some of the reviews below to know their pros, cons, and rate:
Issues an online proof of insurance instantly
Fastest workers comp in California
Great customer service and reputation
Outstanding value for money
Get a 10% discount if you buy two or more policies
No paper records, which may not appeal to traditional business owners
NEXT is a fantastic company for dealing with State of California workers comp insurance. They have a nice amount of customization, and their online systems are slick and easy to use.
Best for: Best overall; Fastest workers comp in California
Average cost: $25 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Great small business experience
Good online customer service
Need to talk to an agent before making a purchase
The Hartford is one of the best options for small business owners and their employees. They have an excellent customer service track record, and their service agents make the experience easy. If you need Sacramento workers comp, they operate in locations all over the state.
Best for: Personalized customer service
Average cost: $70 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Convenient online dashboard
Quotes Require a phone call
CoverWallet offers lots of customization that are made easier thanks to its helpful dashboard, which helps you keep track of all your products in one place
Best for: Comparing California workers compensation insurance quotes online
Average cost: $27 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Many partner carriers
Limited tools for managing policies
Tivly has an extensive list of partner carriers, making it the go–to insurance stop for people who like lots of options. The ability to get instant quotes also makes the decision–making that much easier. They possess a 200-provider network in California that helps customers find workers comp in San Diego and elsewhere in California. Call a representative now to compare quotes over the phone and get covered.
Best for: Comparing quotes over the phone
Average cost: $85 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Getting a quote and purchasing are very quick
More coverage options
Great features for contractors
No telephone customer service line
Thimble is an online–based insurance company that has excellent coverage options for workers comp insurance. They also have a quick quote and purchase time thanks to their well–designed site.
Best for: Streamlined service
Average cost: $90 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Small business focused
Bundle discount on similar products
Limited options for large businesses
Another great small–business–focused insurance company is Hiscox. They pair online quotes with features that make it easy for a small business to get started on workers comp insurance.
Best for: Easy access
Average cost: $30 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Excellent for small and medium businesses
Have to call to complete a purchase
Progressive is a balanced option for small and medium companies. They offer competitive rates, and their agents make the purchase process smooth after you get your online quote.
Best for: Policy variety
Average cost: $160 per month
Our rating: 8/10
Lonnie Bell Insuranker
Policy Type: Business Insurance
Company name: Employers Insurance
Use anyone except Employers. Period. They are non-transparent and shameful. After I complained long enough to warrant a call from a supervisor, the supervisor called back from a PRIVATE NUMBER (no caller ID), left a message that they are not reversing their decision (without any communication with me), and failed to leave a phone number for me to call back. She was hiding! They also fact find via email and phone calls, which is terrific for speed and communication. However, after setting a precedence of email or phone calls, they send time sensitive information via email, without any heads up... they are hoping you miss it and forfeit via expiration. Evil policies. Go elsewhere.
This place is an absolute joke of a company and should be ashamed of the way they conduct business. I was hurt on the job at the end of July and it took them just shy of 7 weeks to issue out a paycheck to me. Yes the amount was back dated but still. Not many have the luxury of not receiving a paycheck for almost 2 months. To top it all off, the original adjuster marked me down for the wrong state which caused a problem from the get go, I've had 3 different adjusters now since each one can't seem to figure out the simplicity of my claim. All my paperwork which includes, my job, house, and drs visits all are from the same state and city but yet some how I have been filed under a completely different state 1500 miles away. They do not answer your phone calls or emails no matter how many you leave. I've had to escalate my frustrations to the supervisors of each of these individuals in order to even get some kind of response. I've had more communication and information given to me about my claim from the customer service representatives then the actual adjusters.......... please tell me how that works?! A serious overhaul needs to happen here in order to serve your clients the way they deserve to be taken care of. 10/10 do not recommend this company to a single soul on earth
I have never had the displeasure of working with a more incompetent and disrespectful person in my life. I’m an injured worker and the adjuster that was assigned to my case was named Carrie Furgeson. In the past 6 weeks that I’ve been injured and out of work I have only been able to get ahold of her twice, not for lack of trying. I have left countless voicemails, countless emails, and she ignores them all. When I am finally able to get ahold of her I’m greeted with terrible customer service. She is rude, she talks over me and I’m hardly able to get a word in edgewise. She spelled my name wrong on my documents even after I spelled it for her properly countless times, this caused a whole new issue with my bank. I have bill collectors from the hospital calling me demanding payment and Carrie Furgeson won’t do a single thing to help, or to get them paid. All of my documentation is in Colorado, my job is in Colorado, my address is in Colorado, all my Dr offices and appointments have been in Colorado and Carrie still managed to hold my claim because she wasn’t sure what state she needed to file it under. It’s been 6 weeks since my Injury and my company still hasn’t received the wage paperwork to fill out so they can get me my correct wages. When she’s not ignoring me she’s answering my questions with “I don’t know” well I don’t know how she got this job, because apparently she doesn’t know anything about it. She is a disgusting morose individual inside and out and I genuinely wish her the worst in all of her future endeavors. I highly recommend you don’t use this company. Please if you are a business owner and your looking into this company please don’t use them. I’m sure they have the cheapest payment and that’s why companies use them in the first place, but you will be doing your employees a grave disservice by forcing them to venture into this absolute dumpster fire of a company. I would rate 0/5 if possible but 1 was the lowest I was allowed.
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