The 6 Best Workers Comp Insurance Companies in Tennessee

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

Workers Compensation as defined by the state of Tennessee is a system of insurance that assists employees and their members of staff to reduce the negative impacts of work-related injuries and illnesses. Essentially, it is a policy that covers wage replacement, medical treatment, and other forms of compensation for costs associated with workplace injuries or illnesses to injured or ill workers. The policy also covers the dependence of such employees that are covered in the event of their death.  

The Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is in charge of enforcing the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act. The bureau also provides services to assist injured and ill employees so they can return to full recovery and their jobs as soon as possible. In this article, we will describe in detail what you must know regarding Workers Compensation Insurance in Tennessee. 

6 Best workers comp insurance companies in Tennessee

CoverWallet: Best for comparing insurance quotes

The best way to find the best affordable insurance quotes online is to compare prices across carriers. CoverWallet allows companies to check online for insurance quotes that suit them. The broker does not have any insurance policy of its own but instead it offers you services based on your needs and the quotes from their partners. To get a quote all you need is to enter your details and the system automatically generates a quote for you. In some cases, you might have to speak with a customer representative to get a quote that matches your business.  

Travelers: Best for mobile businesses that have business dealings outside Tennessee

If you have a mobile workforce, out-of-state offices, or travel internationally, Travelers is the best choice for workers’ compensation insurance. That’s because the company has a national presence and a large network of healthcare providers. Therefore, it has an advantage in understanding workers’ compensation for other multistate businesses.

Travelers also provide TravPay, a pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation insurance plan designed to keep insurance costs manageable and accurate. TravPay is distinct in that it is available to businesses of all sizes, does not require a down payment, and offers real-time workers’ compensation premium calculations and automatic premium deductions.

The Hartford: Best for medical care providers 

The Hartford, which was founded in 1810, is well-known for its service and dependability. Because of its expertise working with outpatient offices and its unique benefits, Hartford stands out as the best choice for medical providers. It has prior experience ensuring healthcare professionals, having insured over 105,000 outpatient small businesses nationwide. Your plan provides your employees with access to dedicated case managers and pharmacy networks, allowing them to get the care they require when they need it the most. While some users can purchase insurance policies online, not everyone is. To obtain a quote and complete your enrollment, you may need to contact an insurance specialist. AM Best gives the Hartford an “A+” rating.

Cerity: Best for small businesses 

Cerity is an offshoot of Employers Holdings, Inc.  Employers Holdings, Inc. is a 100 years old company with a track record of 100,000 customers. With that knowledge and experience, they create the best-in-class insurance for small businesses. Unlike most other platforms on the internet, Cerity owns its insurance policies. When you buy a plan from them, Cerity provides direct-to-consumer Workers Compensation insurance via a web-based questionnaire and interface. The company has an A+ rating on the BBB review for its wonderful service. 

Liberty Mutual: Overall Best  

Liberty Mutual is a well-known name in personal insurance, but it’s also a top-10 provider of business insurance, making it a convenient one-stop-shop for all of your insurance needs. This carrier prioritizes the customer experience, making everything from getting quotes to filing claims as simple as possible.

The company’s interest in commercial business is growing, and it is broadening its coverage options. For convenient service and policy claims, customers can use a dynamic online account manager or call their local agent.

Chubb: Best for excellent customer service 

Chubb is a large national carrier that provides personal and commercial insurance. The company provides excellent return-to-work program assistance, assisting small business owners in managing medical and disability benefits for injured employees who can either return to work or stay at work by effectively tracking, trending, and managing absences. Chubb can write policies for almost any size business, but it is known for treating all accounts the same when it comes to customer service and claims.

Previously, you had to find a local agent or office to get a quote from Chubb because they didn’t provide them online. The carrier, on the other hand, recently launched a small business insurance microsite that does provide online quotes. The workers’ compensation application is simple to use, but it requires more information than other carriers. While time-consuming, a thorough application will provide you with a more accurate quote to help you choose the coverage you require.

How does the workers’ compensation law work in Tennessee?

By law, most businesses in Tennessee must carry workers’ compensation insurance. According to the laws of the state, employers a minimum of five employees must provide this coverage for their workers. Furthermore, unless a worker is specifically exempted, any employer in the construction or any related industry with one or more employees must offer this coverage to all their members of staff.  

However, the laws are not strict as regard certain positions in certain organizations. For instance, corporate officers in non-construction organizations, subcontractors, and independent contractors, may be exempted from this coverage. But then, these employees can choose to obtain coverage if they want to help cover the costs of injuries or illnesses that occur during their job.

While companies must offer their employees Workers compensation insurance in Tennessee, the laws also forbid the employer from collecting the fees for such insurance from their workers. 

In the event of death as a result of a workplace injury or illness, the dependents of the deceased employee are to receive death benefits under the law. Usually, the insurance company will pay for these costs. However, if the employer is self-insured, he will cover such costs. Usually, the costs also include the burial expenses of the dead employee.  

Who needs workers’ compensation insurance in Tennessee?

Like we already mentioned, the laws of Tennessee make it compulsory that companies have worker’s compensation insurance as long as they have 5 or more employees. However, it’s usually complex to differentiate between an employee and an independent worker. As a result, most people do not know if they need worker’s compensation or not. 

Usually, when counting your employees, you must include family members, corporate officers, part-time workers. If after counting all these people, the employee count reaches a minimum of 5, then, you need worker’s compensation insurance. 

Additionally, you will need worker’s compensation insurance even if you don’t have the minimum number of employees required in the following cases: 

  • If your run a construction company, you must offer a workers’ compensation policy for your employees so far you have more than one of them. However, if that employee happens to be a sole proprietor, partner, corporate officer, or limited liability company (LLC) member, then that person can apply for an exemption. 
  • Employees of coal mining companies must also be covered irrespective of the company size. 

What does the Tennessee workers’ compensation insurance cover?

Tennessee state law specifies the types of injuries that are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. The laws serve as a general guideline that can assist employers in understanding what typically qualifies for a workers’ compensation claim.

Workers’ compensation typically covers the following types of injuries and illnesses:

  • Injuries or illnesses that are not the result of intentional self-harm, drug or alcohol abuse, or fighting
  • Injuries or illnesses that occur as a result of the worker’s general “course and scope” of employment, such as long-term occupational injuries, such as back strain from repetitive motion

Who is exempt from Tennessee workers’ compensation insurance?

According to the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act, the following people are exempt from having worker’s compensation insurance.   

  • State and local governments are exempt from the coverage requirements. However, these people may choose to purchase workers’ compensation insurance if they want to.
  • People who employ farm laborers or domestic help like real estate agents are also exempt from the coverage requirements. That’s because their employees typically work for a limited number of days per year or earn a low salary. 
  • Independent contractors, whom businesses hire to provide expertise or complete a project, are exempted from coverage as well.
  • Sole proprietors, partners, and members of limited liability companies are not counted as employees in determining whether or not an employer is covered by the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act. Corporate officers have the right to be exempt from a workers’ compensation policy, but they are NOT excluded from the employee count unless they are not paid or compensated.

If an employer is not required to carry worker’s compensation insurance and an employee is injured on the job, the injured worker is not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but he or she is not barred or prohibited from suing the employer.

>>MORE: Who Is Exempt from Workers Comp Insurance in the Top 10 States?

How much does workers’ comp insurance cost in Tennessee?

The cost of workers’ compensation insurance premiums in Tennessee, like in other states, will vary depending on a variety of factors. Private insurers set their rates, which are frequently based on a variety of factors that are unique to each business.

On average, workers comp insurance cost for small businesses in Tennessee is $0.81 per $100 payroll, which is cheaper than the national average.

Comparing quotes from multiple companies is the best way for Tennessee business owners looking for coverage to determine how much they’ll pay. The premiums for each business will differ depending on the circumstances that are unique to that business. For example, if your business is considered low-risk, such as accounting, your rates may be lower than those of high-risk businesses, such as oil and gas.

>>MORE: How Much Does Workers Comp Insurance Cost?

Self-insured workers comp insurance in Tennessee 

A self-insured Workers’ Compensation plan (also known as a self-funded plan) is one in which the employer assumes the financial risk of providing Workers’ Compensation benefits to its employees. If a Tennessee business meets certain financial requirements, it may choose to self-insure. These financial requirements include, 

  • A minimum workers’ compensation premium of $350,000 in the state.
  • Minimum security of $500,000
  • Business insurance in excess and many other things. 

You will find a list of other requirements that a self-insured business owner must meet in this document.  In practice, self-insured employers pay the cost of each claim “out of pocket” as it occurs, rather than paying a fixed premium to an insurance carrier or a state-sponsored Workers’ Compensation fund. This is not a good option for most businesses because it can be extremely expensive in the event of an incident.

How to find cheap workers comp insurance in Tennessee?

Here are some tips to help you find the coverage you need at a fair price:

  • Shop around for the best value. Get quotes from a few companies or compare the multiple quotes generated by a service like CoverWallet. 
  • Don’t stop shopping around. Make sure you get new quotes before you renew your policy.
  • Take advantage of discounts. If they’re not offered to you when getting a quote, ask about them, whether you’re buying online or through an agent.

Taking these steps will help ensure you’re not paying too much for your workers comp insurance coverage in Tennessee.

>>MORE: The Cheapest Workers Comp Insurance Companies

Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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