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Worker’s compensation is complex, and it’s all we do. Our specialists know work comp inside and out and provide unmatched quality.
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With an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and AM Best rating of A- (Excellent) we offer top service and a solid financial foundation.
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Work comp 101
As a business owner, you probably have a lot of questions about worker’s compensation. “Do I need a policy? What does it cover? How can I buy it?” Learn about worker’s comp in Wisconsin from the Work Comp Experts.
What is worker's compensation insurance?
Worker’s compensation insurance protects businesses and their employees from the cost of workplace injuries. You may also hear it called “work comp” or “workman’s comp.”
Worker’s comp covers medical bills and lost wages when someone is injured at work. Benefits can also include payments to compensate for permanent disabilities and to dependents of workers who are killed in job-related incidents.
What does worker's compensation insurance cover?
Unlike other lines of insurance, worker’s compensation doesn’t offer different or optional levels of coverage for you to choose. When your policy is in place, it covers every work-related injury considered compensable by Wisconsin state law.
Worker’s comp benefits are determined by state law and don’t vary from policy to policy within the state. They are designed to:
- Replace wages lost when an employee is unable to work due to a work injury
- Cover medical bills related to on-the-job injuries
Benefits can also include payments to compensate for permanent disabilities and to dependents of workers who are killed in job-related incidents.
How do I know if I need a worker's comp policy in Wisconsin?
According to the Department of Workforce Development , Wisconsin law requires you to purchase worker’s compensation coverage if you do any of the following:
- Usually employ three or more full-time or part-time employees. You must have insurance immediately upon employing a third person.
- Employ one or more full-time or part-time employee(s) to whom you have paid combined gross wages of $500 or more in any calendar quarter for work done in Wisconsin. You must have insurance by the 10th day of the first month of the next calendar quarter.
- If you are a famer who employs six or more workers (at one or more locations) on the same day for any 20 consecutive or non-consecutive days during the calendar year (January through December). You must have insurance within 10 days after the 20th day of employment. Some relatives of farmers may not count as employees.
There are some exceptions as determined by Wisconsin state law (if certain requirements are met):
- Domestic servants
- Any person whose employment is not in the trade, business, profession or occupation of the employer
- Some farm employees
- Volunteers, including volunteers of nonprofit organizations that receive money or other things of value totaling not more than $10 per week
- Religious sect members that qualify and are certified for an exemption
- Employees of Native American tribal enterprises (including casinos), unless the tribe elects to waive its sovereign immunity and voluntarily become subject to the Worker’s Compensation Act
- Real estate brokers, agents and salespersons that satisfy the two elements pursuant to s. 452.38, Wis. Stats.
While not required, in most situations these individuals do have the option to include themselves in a policy.
Businesses that don’t currently have employees can also purchase a small policy to cover future employees.
See Wisconsin state law for specifics.
How much does it cost?
Your worker’s compensation premium is based on the type of work your business does, how dangerous your industry is, and the amount you pay your employees. Other factors affecting price include your business’ commitment to safety and history of work injuries. Basically, the safer you keep your workers, the less it costs you to insure them.
Worker’s comp policies are issued annually, with a required review or “audit” at the end of each year.
Sometimes accidental injuries are out of your control, but you’d be surprised how much control you do have. For example, slips and falls are very common causes of serious work injuries. Simply ensuring that your parking lot is shoveled and salted in the winter, and keeping your indoor work environment tidy could prevent one of these accidents.
Our top three tips for holding down your claim costs:
- Make workplace safety a high priority. Find many general and industry-specific resources to make your workplace safer in our resource catalog.
- Report claims right away. Our claims representatives are experts in making sure injured workers get the care they need to ensure a smooth and speedy recovery.
- Provide light-duty work to injured employees who have medical restrictions rather than having them stay off work until they can return to their regular jobs.
Learn more about keeping worker’s compensation costs low.
How do I buy worker's comp insurance in Wisconsin?
You have a couple of options for purchasing a worker’s compensation policy in Wisconsin. Since Wisconsin has a voluntary market, you can purchase worker’s comp insurance from any independent insurance agent or insurance carrier that is licensed to provide coverage in Wisconsin (like SFM).
To get your worker’s comp coverage directly through SFM, request a quote on our website or call us at (844) 828-3801.
SFM partners with many local Wisconsin insurance agents. If you choose to work with an independent insurance agent but don’t already have a relationship with one, use our tool to find an agent in your area.
Where can I get more information on worker's compensation in Wisconsin?
Since worker’s comp coverage is mandated by the state, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is your go-to source of information. You can also call them at (608) 266-3131.
Visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website for safety requirements and information.
The Wisconsin Safety Council also provides helpful safety information.
If you’re having trouble purchasing a worker’s compensation policy through the voluntary market, you can contact the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau (WCRB) to obtain coverage through the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Insurance Pool.
Ready to get started?
We’d love to add you to the growing list of Wisconsin employers who trust us for their worker’s compensation coverage.