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Workers Compensation Insurance in Oregon: Cost, Coverage, & Companies

There are about 378,000 small businesses in Oregon, who employ more than 853,000 employees. On average, each small business employs ~2.2 workers in Oregon. Each of these small businesses need workers compensation insurance. Oregon law requires employers with more than one employee to have workers compensation insurance. Many insurance companies offer workers comp insurance coverage in Oregon. We recommend the following 5 best providers.

The 5 best workers compensation insurance companies in Oregon

After intensive research of tens of workers comp insurance companies in Oregon, here are our recommendations of the top 5 providers.

CoverWallet: Best for comparing quotes

CoverWallet works with partners to provide you with online quotes, so comparison shopping is a breeze. They use AI to power the algorithm, making the process very quick and easy. 

Once you get a quote, you can purchase insurance either online or through an agent: it’s up to you. You can file claims online as well. The only thing to keep in mind with CoverWallet is that they only provide quotes from their partners. 

The following quote is a for a coffee shop/bakery with three full time employees, one part-time employee and $500,000 in annual revenue. Although AmTrust wouldn’t give a quote on their own website, as you can see, they work with CoverWallet, so you can get a quote from them that way.

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Chubb: Best for mid-sized companies

Chubb insures small businesses, but where it really excels in insuring businesses with revenue between $10 million and $1 billion dollars. They consider a small business any business with a revenue under $30 million. Due to the specialty needs of companies with this much revenue, Chubb will only work through agents. If you want, you can get all your business insurance through Chubb.

AmTrust Financial: Best for small businesses

AmTrust focuses on small to mid-sized businesses, and they specialize in workers compensation insurance. If you would like a quote, you fill out a form and then an agent will contact you to discuss your needs. They also offer general liability, commercial property, commercial auto and EPLI (Employers practice liability insurance) as well as other policies. 

The only thing to be aware of is that AmTrust has only a B- rating on the Better Business Bureau. 

The Hartford: Best for pay-as-you-go insurance

The Hartford offers workers compensation insurance as well as many other types of insurance. If you get your insurance through them, your employees will have access to over 1 million providers, and they’ll assign a case manager to help employees return to work by coordinating treatment. 

As an employer, The Hartford offers pay-as-you-go options, so you can base your workers compensation insurance on your actual payroll, which can save you money. 

The following quote is for a coffee shop with four employees and $200,000 in employee payroll. 

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Embroker: Best digital experience

Embroker uses AI to underwrite policies, thus saving you money by cutting out the middleman. They are currently the highest rated business insurance company in the business insurance market, and it’s easy to see why. Getting a quote is easy and takes just minutes. Once you buy your insurance, you can get a certificate of insurance the same day. Furthermore, the website is very informative and easy to navigate. If you have a claim, you can file online 24/7. 

Although Embroker provides online quotes, it told us it needed some time and would email our quote later. 

Oregon Workers Compensation Laws

Oregon requires workers compensation insurance, as there are a lot of high-risk jobs in Oregon, such as logging and fishing. If you have more than one employee in Oregon, you’ll need insurance. It doesn’t matter whether they are full time or part time: either way, you need workers comp. The only exceptions are:

  • Domestic servants
  • Handypersons
  • Casual employees earning less than $500 in any 30-day period
  • Firefighters
  • Police officers
  • Ski area workers
  • Shipping, railway, and airline workers

In addition, sole proprietors and partners may be excluded. 

Employers in Oregon can choose to buy their insurance from private insurance companies, or form the alternate State Insurance Fund. The State Insurance Fund is a not-for-profit state insurance company called SAIF, or State Accident Insurance Fund. They currently cover 53% of the workers compensation insurance market in Oregon. 

If you neglect to get workers comp insurance, you can be fined a minimum penalty of $1,000 with additional penalties of $250 a day until you get insurance. 

What does workers compensation insurance cover in Oregon?

Workers compensation insurance, in Oregon and everywhere else, pays for your employees medical care when they get injured on the job or become ill due to something they are exposed to in the workplace. These include repetitive stress injuries. 

In addition, workers compensation insurance covers:

  • Disability benefits
  • Partial wage reimbursement
  • Vocational training if it turns out the employee is unable to return to their previous job
  • Death benefits to the family, should the employee die
  • Funeral expenses

Although independent contractors in Oregon do not need to be covered under workers compensation, be sure you understand what an independent contractor is, versus an employee. According the IRS, an individual is an independent contractor if he or she has the right to control or direct the result of the work, not what will be done or how it will be done. If you misclassify an employee, you will be subject to fines and penalties. 

>>MORE: The Latest Changes in Workers Compensation Insurance Small Businesses Need to Know

What doesn’t workers compensation cover?

Oregon is a no-fault workers compensation state, which means it doesn’t matter whose fault it is that an employee got injured. There are exceptions, however.

  • Substance abuse (employees who injure themselves due to intoxication are not covered)
  • Injuries that occur after the employee has left work
  • Intentional acts
  • Illegal activities
  • Horseplay (this may be summed up as the employee being stupid)

Note that while driving to and from work is not covered, if the employee gets injured while walking across the parking lot, that is covered under workers comp. 

How is workers compensation insurance different from general liability insurance?

Workers compensation insurance covers your employees, while general liability insurance covers injuries to third parties, such as clients and customers. General liability also covers third party property damage. 

How much does workers compensation insurance cost in Oregon?

The average cost of workers compensation insurance in Oregon is $1.00 per $100 of payroll. However, the rates vary according to what classification code your employees fall under, with higher risk occupations being charged higher rates. 

To determine your workers compensation insurance costs, use this formula:

Experience modification rate x class code rate x payroll/$100 = premium

The only thing you have any control over is the experience classification rate. This compares your workers compensation history against industry averages. Because of this, if you maintain a safe workplace, your workers compensation insurance rate will go down over time. 

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

How to find cheap workers compensation insurance in Oregon

First, try the state fund. Since they’re a not-for-profit company, they tend to have very competitive rates. You can also get quotes from private insurance companies: the important thing is to get quotes from a number of companies. 

Maintain a safe workplace. Some insurance companies will provide safety training and provide tips to limit the likelihood of having to file a claim. 

Some companies like The Hartford offer pay-as-you-go workers compensation insurance. This could save you money because it’s based on your actual payroll, not your projected payroll. 

Finally, make sure you classify your workers correctly. Just being one number off could cost you hundreds of dollars. You can find your workers compensation class code rates here

>>MORE: Cheapest Workers Comp Insurance Companies

Last thoughts

Workers compensation insurance is one of those insurance policies you can’t get by without. If you have employees, you need it. Furthermore, you want your employees to know they are valued and will be taken care of should anything happen to them.

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