Kentucky Workers' Compensation Insurance

Most Kentucky small businesses are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

Employers are responsible for maintaining a safe workplace and training employees on safety procedures. But when accidents happen, workers’ compensation helps navigate these situations.

A workers’ compensation policy covers employees that are injured on the job, while protecting the employer by limiting their liability. Most employers must carry it for their employees, whether full-time or part-time.

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Small Business Work Comp Requirements in Kentucky

Any employees working in Kentucky must be covered by a workers’ compensation policy. State law has no exceptions for family members, temporary or part-time employees.

Factors That Impact Coverage

  • Sole proprietors: Excluded from coverage but have the option to include themselves.
  • Independent contractors: Excluded from coverage. Employee or independent contractor? 10 ways to tell >>
  • Corporate officers: Included in coverage but may exempt themselves from coverage by filing an Employee's Written Notice of Rejection.
  • Partners or members of an LLC: Exempt from coverage under certain circumstances.
  • Out-of-state employers: If employees are performing any work in the state, employers are required to provide Kentucky coverage.

How to Buy Small Business Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Kentucky has a private market, which means that employers can purchase workers' compensation insurance from any insurance carrier or agency that is licensed to write in that state. WorkCompOne can write workers' compensation policies in any U.S. state except those that practice state-run workers' compensation (Ohio, Washington, North Dakota and Wyoming). Get a quote from WorkCompOne.

Kentucky also has a competitive state fund. Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI) is independently run, and provides a market of last resort for employers that can’t find coverage elsewhere.

Coverage and Rates in Kentucky

A small business workers’ comp premium can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on four main factors:

  • Class code, or industry.
  • Location.
  • Payroll.
  • Experience (years in business and past history of claims).

Kentucky recently passed reforms to overhaul its workers’ compensation system, the most significant changes in decades. Aimed at cutting costs, reforms include a limit on the number of years partially disabled workers can receive benefits, and preventing workers’ compensation cases from being reopened several years after a claim. Similar to many other state work comp systems across the country, the new legislation also takes steps to address the opioid crisis.

Workers' compensation insurance covers wage replacement and medical bills for employees injured on the job. To protect against other injuries at your place of business, you may need general liability insurance. Learn more about general liability >>

Kentucky Work Comp Resources

Editor’s note: Last updated October 7, 2018

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.

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.