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Buy Workers' Compensation for Construction & Trade Contractors

Workers’ compensation premiums are calculated, in part, by the kinds of work performed. Many businesses have multiple functions performed by different kinds of employees - others have just a few people who wear many different hats. It’s important to classify employees accurately - based on what they spend the majority of their time doing - because this could alter your premium dramatically.

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What to Know

  • Construction and trade contractors are unique in the way their jobsites, co-workers and employers change with each job they work on, which can make it difficult to understand the limits of a workers’ compensation policy.
  • Subcontractors are the liability of the general contractor, unless they carry their own workers’ compensation insurance. General contractors must cover subcontractors under their work comp policy, or require subcontractors to show proof of insurance before stepping on the jobsite.
  • Because it is very physically demanding, construction businesses and trade contractors are higher risk compared to other industries.

Potential Hazards

  • Heavy equipment, dangerous tools, heights and working outdoors can all make for potentially hazardous working conditions. The construction and trade contractors industry is diverse, ranging from the highly risky roofing jobs to relatively safe plumbing operations.
  • Working at heights above 15 feet, on roofs or in trenches will make your business a greater risk.
  • If you perform work outdoors, your level of risk could vary depending on your state’s climate and weather patterns (extreme heat, snow, natural disasters).

Factors That Impact Coverage

  • You are a sole proprietor, partner or member of an LLC: In Wisconsin, you are not considered an employee and excluded from coverage but have the option to include yourself. 
  • You are a corporate officer: You are considered an employee and included in coverage; however you may exclude yourself under certain circumstances.

About Work Class Codes

Many businesses have several work class codes that describe what their employees do. It’s important to classify each group of employees accurately because it could alter your premium dramatically.

Construction & Trade Contractors Work Class Codes

  • Carpentry
  • Masonry
  • Plumbing
  • Specialty trade contractor

Other Tips

If you employ workers in multiple states or your employees are temporarily working out-of-state, you need to purchase insurance for all the states where your workers are located, according to each state’s laws.

Call 1-800-416-0285 and let us walk you through it.

The nature of your business, number of employees being covered and past coverage and claims are all factors in how much your premium will cost.

Learn more about workers’ comp insurance rates >>

Here's What You Need to Get Started

To buy workers compensation insurance, you need to request a quote from a licensed insurance agent and provide some details about your business.

Here’s what to have in front of you:

  • Number of employees in each class code.
  • Total payroll for all employees. You may be able to exclude yourself if you don't wish to be covered under the policy. 
  • Federal ID Number. If you are a sole proprietor, you can use your Social Security Number.
  • Copy of your workers comp insurance policy, if you've had coverage or claims in the past few years. If you know your company's experience mod, please have your experience mod rating sheet or policy in front of you. Otherwise, you will be assigned a default rating of 1.0.
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The information on this page has been interpreted and summarized for your convenience. Please consult your state's governing authority for the most current and complete legislation.