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Michigan Workers' Compensation Insurance

Learn everything you need to know about worker's compensation insurance in Michigan.

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Small Business Work Comp Requirements in Michigan

In 1912, Michigan responded to the rise of industrialization with the adoption of a Workmen’s Compensation Act.

Workmen’s compensation, or workers’ compensation, provides wage replacement, medical care and rehabilitation benefits to individuals injured at work, and protects employers by limiting their liability.

Michigan has a strict workers’ compensation system. Nearly all Michigan employers are subject to the Workers' Disability Compensation Act, and must carry coverage for their employees.

Businesses must cover their employees with a work comp insurance policy if any of the following apply:

  • One or more full-time employees.
  • Regularly employing three or more employees at one time (including part-time employees).
  • All public employees.


  • Agricultural employers: These employers must purchase a workers’ compensation policy if they have three or more full-time employees.
  • Independent contractors: According to Michigan state law, a company performing a job for another company is considered an independent contractor. However, if a single person performs work for another company, does not maintain a separate business, and does not offer services to the public, the worker is considered an employee and must be covered by the hiring company’s work comp policy.
  • Sole proprietorship: If employees are the spouse, child or parent of the sole proprietor, they may be excluded.
  • Stock corporation: Corporate officers that own 10% or more stock can be excluded.
  • Partnership: Partners can be excluded.
  • Limited Liability Company: Members that are also managers and own 10% or more of the business can be excluded.

If all employees can be excluded according to one of the above exceptions and no subcontractors are used in the operation of the business, the employer can file an exclusion.

Otherwise, the employer must get coverage, but can talk to their insurer about excluding applicable employees from the policy to reduce their premium.

Coverage and Rates in Michigan

Small business workers’ compensation cost can vary depending on the business. The insurance premium factors in the type of work employees perform, number of employees being covered and past coverage and claims. Learn more about workers’ comp insurance rates >>

Factors That Impact Coverage

  • Who needs to be covered by the policy, where you can buy it and how much it will cost are influenced by state legislation and the state's workers’ compensation system.
  • Your business must comply with the state where your employees perform work, and not necessarily where the business was founded or is based. If your business operates in multiple states, or employees travel across state lines to work, you may need to modify your policy to guarantee coverage.

Michigan Work Comp Resources

How to Buy Small Business Workers’ Compensation Insurance


1. Request Coverage

We've made it easy. Answer a few simple questions about your business, employees and payroll. 


2. Review Your Quote 

Receive an online quote from one of our top-rated carriers. all rated A or higher by A.M. Best.


3. Purchase Your Policy

Some policies can be purchased online that same day — for near-instant coverage. 

Michigan has a private market. Employers can purchase workers' compensation insurance from any insurance carrier or agency that is licensed to write in that state.

To get workers’ comp coverage:

  1. Add up your payroll by class code, or type of work performed.
  2. Find a licensed commercial insurance agency or carrier. Check that it is licensed to write in all states where you need employees covered.
  3. Contact them to request a quote. Have your payroll information, EIN number and any existing coverage details in front of you.

Most small businesses will start shopping with their local broker or insurance agency. However, many independent agencies can’t or won’t write work comp because it’s often more difficult and less profitable work for them. For straightforward advice and competitive quotes, contact an agency that specializes in work comp.

Michigan also maintains a state fund that competes with the private market. If you’re still having trouble finding coverage, you can contact the Compensation Advisory Organization of Michigan (CAOM).


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