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Workers’ Compensation Cost: Resources to Keep You Compliant for Less

But how much does it cost??

It’s one of the top questions on any small business owner’s mind. At WorkCompOne, we’re dedicated to making insurance easy and accessible. That means easy to buy and easy to understand.

If you’re looking to find out how much you might pay for the workers’ compensation coverage you need, you’ve come to the right place.

Here, we’ve rounded up everything we’ve written to date on how workers’ compensation costs, well — work.

show me my workers compensation cost

Workers' Compensation Insurance Resources: Start Here ⤵️

Want to understand the basics of what the average small business pays for a workers’ compensation policy, and what will impact your costs? We recommend starting with this page:

How Much Does Workers' Compensation Insurance Cost?

This post offers a high-level overview of work comp policy costs, including: 

    • The average workers’ compensation cost for small businesses
    • What influences how much coverage costs
    • An overview of the factors that influence cost — like rates, classification codes, payroll and state workers' compensation markets
    • How work comp insurance premiums are presented

For an explanation of how workers’ compensation premiums are calculated, read this post next:

Workers' Compensation Insurance Cost Calculator: How Much for a Small Business Policy?

This post breaks down the formula used by insurance carriers to calculate workers' comp premiums, and offers step-by-step instructions on how to find the estimated cost for yourself. 

Plus, we now have a new free calculator! Use our interactive calculator to get an estimated premium amount. (Although our recommendation? Use it to organize and tally payroll by classification code — then get a real, live quote from WorkCompOne.) 

If you still have questions, want step-by-step instructions or are looking for more examples, dive into the posts in the following section.

How to Estimate Your Workers' Compensation Cost

From examples of payroll breakdowns, to tips on choosing the right class code, to up-to-date state rates, we have plenty of resources to help you understand and estimate your potential workers’ compensation insurance costs.

1. Add Up Payroll for Each Employee

Workers’ compensation insurance premiums are based in large part on the rate per $100 in payroll. That’s why getting your payroll and workers’ compensation rate right is so important.

What should you do about part-time employees? Hourly workers? What about seasonal employees, or family members? What counts as payroll? Is rounding ok?

This blog post walks you through it: How to Calculate Payroll to Find Your Workers’ Compensation Cost

We also address pay-as-you-go workers' compensation policies and exactly how changes in payroll impact workers' comp.


2. Find Your Classification Code

Classification codes are unique to workers' compensation. They standardize how the work comp system — from rating agencies to insurance carriers — categorize and assess different businesses. 

A classification code is an essential component of the workers’ compensation policy: both what employers pay and whether the business is properly covered. It’s also why you may need to divide employees into groups, based on what they do.

Each class code is assigned its own rate, and that rate is used to calculate the workers' compensation premium.

This blog post explains what class codes are, where to find them, and tips to choose the correct one: Workers Comp Insurance Cost: How to Avoid Overpaying

3. Look Up Your Workers' Compensation Rate

The rate for clerical work in Indiana is just $0.35, while a plumbing business might be $1.68 — nearly 5x higher. Workers' compensation costs are based on the rate set by your state’s rating agency or bureau.

This blog post covers: 

  • What workers' compensation insurance rates are 
  • How rates impact premiums 
  • How to understand work comp insurance rates
  • An overview of workers' compensation rates by state
  • What base rate states are
  • And a lot more. 

Learn more about how rates are set and where to find the ones that apply to your business: Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rates: What They Are & How They’re Set


4. Calculate Estimated Workers’ Compensation Cost Per Employee

Armed with your total payroll, class codes and the current state workers’ compensation rates, you can calculate the cost of workers’ compensation for each employee.

This can be used to add up your total estimated workers' compensation premium, and to understand how headcount impacts your insurance costs. 

This blog post is a must-read: How to Calculate Workers’ Compensation Cost Per Employee


Get Advice on Workers’ Comp Policy Shopping

Now that you understand what factors in your price, you’re ready to start shopping around. These posts offer tips on getting the best price and coverage.

How to Get a Workers' Compensation Quote

WorkCompOne has helped thousands of small business owners buy workers’ compensation coverage, many for the first time. Follow this “step-by-step beginner’s guide” to shop for your growing business. What to expect, what business details to have in front of you, and more. 

8 Tips for Buying Work Comp Insurance [Updated]

Shopping for a workers’ compensation policy can be confusing. Here’s what you need to know to shop work comp the smart way.

Workers’ Comp Limits, Explained (& How to Choose What's Best for You)

What are employer liability limits? What limits should you choose? And how much will it cost? We break it all down in this post on workers' compensation limits of liability.

Workers' Compensation Insurance Cost: What Trade Contractors Need to Know

As a small business owner, trade contractor or general contractor, you know workers’ compensation insurance affects your bottom line and your ability to step onto the jobsite. What you may not realize is that there are special nuances, exceptions and considerations specific to trades and contractors.

Shop Smart in Your State

Workers’ compensation is regulated at the state level. Remember to always check your state workers’ compensation laws to make sure you’re compliant. This includes where you can buy workers' compensation insurance, who needs to be covered by the workers' comp policy, the definition of an employee under the state workers' compensation system, and current workers’ compensation rates.

We also have some state-specific resources for work comp shopping:

Read Tips for Buying Small Business Insurance

For even more advice on smart small business insurance shopping, see the resources below.

12 Ways to Save Money on Small Business Insurance

As experts in small business insurance, we’ve rounded up tips on where you can uncover savings. Here are 12+ ways to spend less on insurance. Have you tried them? 

4 Tips for Smart Small Business Insurance Shopping

When it comes to choosing the right insurance for your business, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are a few tips to get started shopping for small commercial insurance.

8 Small Business Insurance Questions We Get Asked All the Time (& Their Answers)

Insurance companies haven’t always been known for their simplicity. We know – we’ve heard the frustrations of first-time entrepreneurs, who want to protect their business, so they can get back to running their business. This post rounds up some of the top questions we hear.

Get a Workers’ Compensation Quote

If you’re ready to get a quote, our online quoting tool is fast and easy.


Tags: buying workers compensation, workers compensation insurance cost