According to the National Safety Council, a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds in the United States. That adds up to 4.6 million workplace injuries each year. The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates employers pay nearly $1 billion per week in workers’ compensation costs.
If you own a business, you probably need workers’ compensation insurance. That’s because most states require it, especially if you have anyone working for you. In most places, if you don’t have coverage that meets the standards set by your state, you could face significant financial penalties and possibly even worse consequences.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Top 10 workers compensation insurance companies by market share in the United States
- Workers’ compensation insurance laws
- What does workers’ compensation insurance cover?
- What doesn’t workers’ compensation insurance cover?
- How is workers’ compensation insurance different than general liability insurance?
- How much does workers’ compensation insurance cost?
- How to find cheap workers’ compensation insurance
- How to file workers’ comp claims
Top 10 workers compensation insurance companies by market share in the United States
We checked out the top workers compensation companies by market share to come up with the ten best ones for different reasons. If you want to find the best and the cheapest workers comp insurance for your company, be sure to shop around with a few companies or with a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare several quotes:
- Travelers: Best for companies looking for workers’ comp coverage from an industry leader
- The Hartford: Best for businesses that want to partner with a sound and ethical insurer
- Zurich: Best for businesses that have employees who travel for work
- Liberty Mutual: Best for businesses that want to keep workers safe
- Chubb: Best overall worker’s comp insurer
- Berkshire Hathaway: Best for businesses that want choices when it comes to their coverage
- AmTrust Financial: Best for companies that need customized coverage
- State Insurance Funds: Best for businesses in Ohio, Wyoming, Washington and North Dakota
- Old Republic: Best for old school service and customized coverage
- Texas Mutual: Best for businesses in Texas
Below are the top 10 workers compensation insurance companies in the US by market share in 2020.
|Company||Market share rank||Market share (%)|
|State Insurance Fund||#8||3.7%|
Travelers: Best for companies looking for workers’ comp coverage from an industry leader
Travelers is the top provider of workers’ compensation coverage in the United States, they have 7.5% market share in the US in 2020.
It’s known for its high level of customer service, flexible solutions, responsive service and cutting-edge innovation. Travelers also uses its extensive experience to help businesses reduce risk, which can result in lower premium costs. It also provides access to care that can speed the return to work for injured or sick workers.
Travelers is known for its:
- Flexible solutions. It has solutions tailored to different industries that can be customized for individual businesses.
- Responsive and reliable service. An experienced professional is always available to answer your questions or help you with a claim.
- Innovation. Even though Travelers has been around for a long time, it’s known as a top innovator in the insurance industry.
In the end, Travelers offers quality workers’ compensation protection for businesses in many industries. You owe it to yourself to see if this industry leader could be the right insurance provider for your business.
The Hartford: Best for businesses that want to partner with a sound and ethical insurer
The Hartford is one of the oldest companies in the United States. It’s offered insurance solutions for more than 200 years and has helped one million plus businesses with their insurance needs.
They are the 2nd biggest workers compensation insurance provider in the US in 2020 with 5.9% market share.
The company takes pride in the fact that the Ethisphere Institute has named The Hartford a World’s Most Ethical Company twelve times. The Hartford’s longevity and focus on ethics makes it a company that you can feel confident about entrusting your business to.
The Hartford offers some unique features as part of its workers’ comp insurance coverage including:
- A preferred medical provider network which makes it easy to get access to medical professionals all over the United States who are experienced in treating workplace injuries.
- A prescription drug program that includes pharmacies all over the U.S. that are able to fill prescriptions, usually with no out-of-pocket costs. The program also offers convenient mail order service.
- The needle stick reimbursement program helps pay for testing of a medical worker and their patient if the worker gets hurt with a needle. It also pays for ongoing testing, if it’s needed.
- The nursed back to health program provides experienced nurses to help coordinate medical care and offer therapeutic support.
- Pay as you go billing solutions that base your workers’ comp coverage on your actual payroll. This is great for companies that have a workforce that regularly changes in size and want to get better control over their cash flow.
The Hartford is a solid and ethical insurance provider you’ll feel good about working with.
Zurich: Best for businesses that have employees who travel for work
Zurich prides itself on not just focusing on providing top tier workers’ comp solutions, which it does, but it also offers risk management strategies focused on keeping workers safe, helping reduce injuries and their impact on small businesses. On top of this, Zurich understands workers’ compensation laws vary by state and has the knowledge and expertise to tailor coverage to meet your state’s requirements.
On top of this, when it comes time to make a claim, the team at Zurich is always ready. They offer 24 / 7 claims support, along with an experienced Workplace Injury Triage team. All this has resulted in a very high net promoter score from its clients.
One other thing that makes Zurich unique is its Stop-Gap coverage and global capabilities, which means they can provide service and support no matter where your employees are injured while on the job.
Liberty Mutual: Best for businesses that want to keep workers safe
In many cases, workers’ comp insurance can seem very much the same from provider to provider. Liberty Mutual is clearly different.
They understand that employee absences because of work related injuries and illnesses can have a big impact on company finances, productivity, morale, reputation and other factors.
That’s why the firm uses its more than one hundred years of experience to help businesses improve workplace safety and protect employees. Not only is this the right thing to do, it also helps businesses save on their workers’ comp costs.
Teams from Liberty Mutual work with businesses to:
- Identify work site hazards and risks
- Recommend ways to reduce the risk of accidents and illnesses
- Resolve claims quickly and fairly
- Support injured workers so they can recover faster and get back to work.
Businesses that partner with Liberty Mutual can feel confident knowing they will benefit from working with knowledgeable underwriters and risk control professionals with a broad and deep understanding of the workers’ comp universe and types of claims across industries. They also have dedicated claims specialists who are able to advocate for injured workers, which makes it possible to achieve better outcomes.
In addition to all of this, the firm is known for its high quality research and education materials, which it makes available to clients for free.
All this might seem expensive. However, the truth is that Liberty Mutual’s focus on reducing risk makes them highly competitive from a cost perspective.
Chubb: Best overall worker’s comp insurer
Chubb offers workers’ compensation insurance for companies of all sizes, including a solution for small businesses. Workers’ comp coverage can easily be added to the Chubb Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) along with other types of coverage, including umbrella, commercial auto, cybersecurity and more, providing complete protection for businesses.
Some of the features of the Chubb small business workers’ compensation solution include:
- It’s available for businesses with as few as one employee up to those earning $30 million in annual revenue
- It offers versatile insurance options including a waiver of subrogation and a range of employer liability limits
- Occasional international travel insurance with expanded coverage is available through the Chubb foreign package policy
- Medical management support, including nurse case managers, provide medical expertise and advice to the company’s adjusters.
Chubb is known for its top-tier claims service. They make it easy to file a claim, get answers to questions and access forms and other resources online. The firm is also renowned for its technical expertise in claims management, knowing the nuances of regulations across the United States.
Some other things that make Chubb an attractive workers’ compensation provider include its:
- Preferred provider network that makes it easy to access quality medical care at reasonable rates throughout the U.S.
- Return-to-work program that helps speed employee recovery times
- Pharmacy benefit management program focused on patient safety
- A dedicated Special Investigative Unit (SIU) to identify fraud.
- Chubb makes it easy to get a business insurance quote online.
All these features make Chubb our top provider for workers’ compensation coverage.
Berkshire Hathaway: Best for businesses that want choices when it comes to their coverage
Berkshire Hathaway, a holding company headed by well-known investor Warren Buffett, offers workers’ compensation insurance through four different subsidiaries. No matter which you select, you can rest assured knowing you’re working with a firm that has millions of satisfied customers and that’s been insuring customers for more than 75 years.
Here are the highlights of each of the insurers that offer coverage through Berkshire Hathaway:
Guard workers compensation insurance
Guard distinguishes itself from other Berkshire Hathaway workers’ comp providers because it offers many value-added services including:
- Up-front loss control measures to identify and eliminate workplace hazards
- A highly responsive claims process
- Facilitation of quality medical care.
Guard also has a competitive, multi-tier pricing structure. It’s able to offer this because it can access coverage through a range of affiliated carriers. It also offers discounts for things like maintaining a drug-free workplace and implementing a safety program. Guard also has flexible payment options, including pay as you go and a self reporting platform.
biBerk workers compensation insurance
biBERK is Berkshire Hathaway’s low-cost workers’ comp insurance provider. Even though you’re saving money on your coverage with biBerk, you can rest assured knowing you are still getting quality protection for your employees. biBERK is able to lower workers’ comp insurance costs by approximately 20 percent because it insures small businesses directly, without the added costs of having to work through a middleman or insurance broker.
THREE workers compensation insurance
If you prefer a single source for all your business insurance coverage, THREE could be the ideal solution for you. It protects all aspects of a business, including its people, property and operations, in a single comprehensive business insurance policy. Workers’ comp is a part of the package. THREE makes protecting your business easy.
Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies (BHHC) workers compensation insurance
BHHC is made up of six insurance carriers that are part of the Berkshire Hathaway group of insurance companies. Its workers’ comp division is committed to providing people who get hurt at work with compassionate care and access to top quality and timely treatment and support.
What sets BHHC apart from other workers’ comp insurers is its specialized, in-house service teams, tailored risk management programs, return-to-work service, proactive claims management service and flexible payment options. It also has a superior rating from A.M. Best, an insurance company rating service.
No matter which Berkshire Hathaway provider you choose, it’s likely you’ll have a good experience.
AmTrust Financial: Best for companies that need customized coverage
AmTrust is an insurance provider that specializes in small business and workers’ comp coverage. It is known for its high level of service and willingness to work with businesses to help them get the coverage they need.
AmTrust and their agents make it possible for small businesses to customize their coverage based on their individual requirements, something many insurers are unable to do. The firm works closely with their agents to design the individual insurance packages businesses need.
AmTrust has excellent customers service ratings and their coverage is surprisingly affordable especially when you consider the level of customization they offer.
State Insurance Fund: Best for businesses in Ohio, Wyoming, Washington, and North Dakota
Instead of buying workers’ comp coverage from an insurance company, it’s also possible, in some cases, to get it through a state insurance fund.
There are two types of state insurance funds:
- Monopolistic state fund: Four states, Ohio, Wyoming, Washington and North Dakota, require employers to buy insurance through a state fund. This can limit the businesses in those states because they can’t shop around for coverage and they’re forced to buy additional worker’s compensation insurance protection for employees who work in other states.
- Competitive state fund: If your state offers a competitive state fund, you are allowed to obtain workers’ comp coverage from your state or a private carrier. It’s worth shopping for coverage through both sources if they’re available to you in order to find the best coverage at a fair price.
You can learn more about state insurance funds by searching online for workers’ compensation in your state.
Old Republic: Best for old school service and customized coverage
Old Republic is a group of insurance companies that focus on solutions for small businesses. Because of its decentralized business model, it’s able to customize solutions for most businesses.
Old Republic has been in business for more than one hundred years. It’s able to work with most businesses to create custom business insurance solutions that address all the risks they face.
Old Republic’s parent company, Old Republic International Corporation, is among the 50 largest publicly held insurance organizations in the United States.
The company believes in doing business the old fashioned way, providing top tier service on the local level. If close, interpersonal business relationships are important to you, Old Republic could be the right workers’ comp provider for your business.
Texas Mutual: Best for businesses in Texas
More than 70,000 businesses in the state of Texas get their workers’ compensation coverage through Texas Mutual. The company offers businesses in the Lone Star State competitive premiums, a dedicated health care network, and responsive service.
Texas Mutual also offers discounts of up to twelve percent if businesses can be placed into industry-specific safety groups or participate in the firm’s health care network.
Another thing that differentiates Texas Mutual is that policyholders automatically become shareholders in the firm, which means that it’s likely they’ll earn annual dividends that could also help reduce their workers’ comp costs.
Workers’ compensation laws in the United States
Carrying workers’ compensation insurance is a legal requirement in most states. It is highly likely that if you have one or more employees, you will have to purchase it.
If you don’t have coverage when it’s required, it could result in severe penalties, ranging from significant fines to stop work orders all the way up to prison terms.
You can search online to find out about your state’s workers’ comp requirements.
What does workers compensation insurance cover?
Worker’s comp helps cover:
- Accidents and injuries: Workers’ compensation pays medical costs if an employee gets injured on the job
- Illness: If a worker is exposed to harmful chemicals or allergens in the workplace that cause an illness, their medical care is covered by workers’ comp
- Lost wages: A work-related injury or illness often forces employees to take time off. Workers’ comp helps replace the lost wages of injured or sick employees while they’re recovering
- Ongoing care: If a workplace injury or illness requires an employee to get ongoing care, such as physical therapy, workers’ compensation will pay for the treatment
- Funeral costs: If an employee passes away because of a work-related incident, workers’ comp pays funeral costs up to a certain limit
- Repetitive injury: If a worker is injured because of ongoing repetitive job related strain, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, workers’ comp will pay for therapy
- Disability benefits: If an injury is so severe an employee never returns to work, or doesn’t for a long time, workers’ comp will pay medical costs and some lost wages over the long term.
What doesn’t workers compensation insurance cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance does not cover things like:
- Injuries to independent contractors, clients or customers
- Employees who are intoxicated or high when they’re injured
- Wages for temporary employees while recovering from a work-related injury
- OSHA fines
- Injuries that occur after an employee has left work
- Vandalism or intentional injuries.
How is workers compensation insurance different than general liability insurance?
Workers comp only covers people who work for you. If a client, customer or random person is injured at your workplace or job site, general liability insurance will cover it. General liability covers bodily injury and damage caused by you or an employee to someone else’s property.
How much does workers compensation insurance cost?
The cost of your workers’ comp premium is based on a number of factors, including your:
- Number of employees and size of payroll
- Industry and type of work
- Workplace risks
- Company claims history
- Business location
- Business age or years in operation.
Taken together, all these things will determine your ultimate premium cost.
Different insurance companies will always give you different quotes. The only way to ensure that you’ll get the cheapest quote is to compare several quotes. Shopping with a digital broker like CoverWallet is a good way to help you compare several quotes easily.
How to find cheap workers compensation insurance
In most states, except for Ohio, Wyoming, Washington and North Dakota which require that businesses purchase workers’ comp through a state fund, businesses are able to choose their own workers’ comp insurance provider. You owe it to yourself to compare coverage and costs from several insurers. They have different ways of calculating premium costs and you will likely find a range of prices. You can select one that offers you the coverage you need at the best possible cost.
How to file workers’ comp claims
You should be able to find everything you need to file claims on the workers’ comp page of your insurance company’s website or state fund’s site. If a claim is rejected by an insurer, it can usually be appealed through a state’s workers’ compensation agency or department.