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5 Best Workers Comp Insurance in Pennsylvania for 2021

If your small business has any employees at all, you need workers compensation insurance in Pennsylvania. Even if you have only part-time workers, even if they’re your own family members, you still need workers compensation insurance—there’s no getting around it. We cover more details around workers compensation insurance requirements, how much it costs, and recommend the 5 best workers compensation insurance company in Pennsylvania.

5 best workers compensation insurance companies in Pennsylvania

We research ~20 companies offering workers compensation insurance in Pennsylvania and here are our recommendation of the top 5 providers for your consideration.

  • CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
  • Pie: Best for the cheapest quote
  • Cerity: Best for a super fast and easy online quote
  • The Hartford: Best for bigger businesses in Pennsylvania
  • biBERK: Best for a great digital experience from a reputable brandname

CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes

CoverWallet is a good place to start when you’re looking for business insurance. They are a digital broker and work with several leading business insurance companies. We said we had a small bakery with 6 full-time employees, 4 part-time employees and annual revenue of $1,000,000, annual payroll of $250,000.

We received three quotes from three different companies: Guard, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway; AmTrust; and Chubb. In this particular case, Guard offers the cheapest quote.

However, this might not be the same for your own case. So make sure to apply for your own quotes and compare to select the cheapest one for you.

Once you’ve got your quote, you can purchase a policy online, or be connected to an agent. They recommend other types of business insurance for you, too. They are licenses in all 50 states, so wherever you live, you can get a quote. 

Pie: Best for the cheapest quote

Pie claims you can save up to 30% on workers compensation insurance, and they did come in with a lower quote than others. But please note that this quote is for a smaller company with 2 full-time employees only and of $120,000 payroll.

The questions they ask are very simple—name, email address, type of business, amount of employee payroll and a few others, and in less than three minutes you’ll have a quote. However, they do insert a disclaimer that says this is not an offer of coverage and your final rate may be higher (or lower, depending). 

Pie offers insurance in only 37 states, but they do cover Pennsylvania. They specialize in worker compensation insurance, but they can also provide Business Owners policies or BOP, errors and omissions, commercial auto and general liability insurance

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Cerity: Best for a super fast and easy online quote

Cerity offers workers compensation insurance and only workers compensation insurance. The quoting process is pretty easy. It returned this quote for us in less than three minutes, which is exactly how long it says it takes to get a quote. They claim to use artificial intelligence to zero in on how much to charge you for insurance. 

They are backed by Employers Holdings Inc, which has over 100 years of experience in the workers compensation industry. 

The Hartford: Best for bigger businesses in Pennsylvania

The Hartford is one of the oldest name in the insurance industry. They have been around for more than 100 years and have had a lot of experience in insuring both individuals and businesses.

They offers all types of business insurance, and you can also tack on your personal auto or homeowners insurance for a discount. The quote process isn’t very lengthy, although this is the first time the Hartford gave us a quote for anything—usually, they say we’ll have to call. 

The Hartford likes to post stellar reviews on its own website, but if you look on more neutral websites such as Trustpilot, they are far less glowing. For example, on Trustpilot, the Hartford earns 1.8 stars out of five. It should be noted that this does cover all of their insurance options, both personal and business.  Some of them caution that if you give them your phone number or email address, you will be inundated with offers for insurance. 

biBERK: Best for a great digital experience from a reputable brandname

biBERK is backed by Berkshire Hathaway, which is Warren Buffet’s company. They claim to use an automated analytical system to generate quotes. Most internet companies do this these days, and most can spit out a quote in under five minutes. However, we’ve never not gotten a quote from biBERK, they’ve never told us to come back later or they would email us the results. It’s very easy and straightforward. Rates are usually pretty good. 

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>>MORE: 10 Best Workers Compensation Insurance Companies for Small Businesses

Workers compensation laws in Pennsylvania

If you own a small business in Pennsylvania, workers compensation insurance is required, with only a few exceptions. You can apply with the State Workers’ Insurance Fund (SWIF) to obtain insurance. Or you could apply for self-insurance status, which is available to large, financially independent companies that promise to cover workers’ compensation claims themselves. 

Other people who are exempt from workers compensation insurance in Pennsylvania include:

  • Longshoreman
  • Railroad workers
  • Domestic workers
  • Federal employees

If you don’t have workers compensation insurance, you may face civil and criminal penalties, including a $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail if you accidentally failed to provide workers’ compensation anda $15,000 fine and up to seven years in prison if the courts decide you failed to provide coverage deliberately. 

What does workers compensation insurance cover?

Workers compensation insurance protects your employees just in case they are injured on the job. It covers:

  • Medical expenses
  • Death benefits
  • Missed wages 
  • Lawsuits
  • Vocational training

Vocational training covers education if your employee can no longer do the job they were hired to do. 

Workers compensation will cover your court costs and any settlements if the injured employee decides to sue you. If the worst happens and an employee dies while on the job, workers compensation n covers the funeral and burial expenses. It also provides a settlement to the victim’s family. 

Keep in mind that diseases employees were exposed to while at work can also be covered under workers compensation. Carpal tunnel syndrome for office workers and black lung disease for coal miners are two well-known occupational hazards that can be covered by workers compensation insurance. 

What doesn’t workers compensation insurance cover?

Workers’ compensation doesn’t cover everything. It won’t cover:

  • Independent contractor injuries
  • Client injuries 
  • Employees who are intoxicated or high
  • Wages for temporary workers while the worker recovers
  • OSHA fines
  • Injuries that occur after the employee has left work (assuming they’re not doing something under the scope of employment)
  • Vandalism or intentional injuries

How much does workers compensation insurance cost in Pennsylvania?

The cost of workers compensation insurance varies according to:

  • Amount of payroll
  • Claims history
  • Number of employees
  • Coverage limits
  • Location
  • Level of risk 

If you want to calculate your workers compensation costs, in Pennsylvania it’s $1.35 per $100 of payroll, on average. You then multiply this by class code, which is how the insurance industry categorizes workers, and then that’s multiplied by an experience modification rate, which is how your business compares to other businesses. Costs of workers compensation insurance tend to go down over time because of experience, unless you have a claim. 

If you want to reduce the cost of workers compensation insurance for your business, make sure you shop around with at least 3 companies or with a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare several quotes and select the cheapest one for you.

How to find cheap workers compensation insurance in Pennsylvania?

Finding cheap workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania really depends on your claims history and your payroll. It’s always possible to find different rates, especially if you choose an insurer that focuses solely on covering workers’ compensation, like Pie Insurance. You can also find affordable insurance through internet based insurers compared to the more traditional brick and mortar institutions.

As you see above, the cost of workers compensation insurance for the same company in Pennsylvania varies significantly across providers. So make sure you shop around with a few companies or a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare several quotes to select the cheapest one for your company.

It can also pay to ask about any discounts on the insurance policy with an agent. Some insurance companies will provide discounts for having safety policies and return-to-work policies in place. You may also get a discount if you choose to bundle multiple insurance policies with the same insurer.

Lastly, the cost of worker compensation insurance depends on the classification codes of your employees. Construction workers have much more expensive workers compensation insurance than clerical workers, so make sure you classify your employees into the correct codes and remember to update the codes when your employees change the nature of their work.

How is workers compensation Insurance different that general liability insurance?

Workers compensation insurance only covers people who work for you. If your client or a customer or even a random passerby is injured on your jobsite, general liability insurance will cover that. General liability covers bodily injury and third-party property damage against you, the business owner.

Last thoughts

Although no one wants to pay a lot of money for workers compensation insurance, the cost of not having it is exponentially more. Make sure you run a safe workplace, and hopefully you won’t have any claims filed against you.

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