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Workers' Compensation Insurance Costs in New York

Workers’ compensation New York state holds high standards for its employers. All for-profit businesses in the state of New York are required to carry coverage, and the cost is ultimately determined based on the industry risk classification codes and annual payroll.

Strict regulations and high rates can be a concern to business owners in The Empire State, but continue reading to learn what you can expect and how you can save.

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new york state workers compensation cost

New York Workers’ Compensation Rates

According to a 2018 report, NY workers' compensation rates are among the highest in the nation, averaging $3.00 - $3.49 per $100 in payroll.

New York rates are set by the New York Workers' Compensation Board. This non-profit, unincorporated association of insurance carriers collects loss, premium and payroll data, and recommends rates. Rates are set by class code, or industry.

A person working in construction in the heart of New York City will have a higher rate than a person working a desk job, because of the relative risk of injury or illness in the course of their work.

How Are Premiums Calculated?

Each industry classification, called a class code, is assigned a base rate. Once you know your class code and rate, this formula can be used to estimate workers’ compensation insurance costs:

Base Rate x (Payroll/100)

Example: An architect makes $100,000 per year and has a base rate of $2.05.

$2.05 x ($100,000/100) = $2,050

For more help calculating workers’ compensation insurance costs, read: Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost Calculator: How Much for a Small Business Policy?

Ways to Save on a Workers’ Comp Policy

Even though New York has some of the highest rates in the nation, that does not mean there are not ways to save on your policy.

Class Codes

As mentioned above, class codes are vital in determining your coverage price. But overpaying can occur when employers choose the wrong class codes, and thus pay the wrong rate.

Review the job description of each employee to match with the proper code, or work with an expert in workers’ compensation insurance who can help classify your business accurately.

Experience Modifier & Credits

Some insurance providers offer discounts for businesses with a track record of safety. While often not available to new businesses, ask the insurer if any credits are available to you.


Maintaining a safe work environment is the best way to save on workers’ compensation costs. Setting up safety programs, having guidelines posted and available are small, yet vital, steps toward ensuring the well-being of employees and avoiding claims.

Learn more about how workers' compensation insurance costs are calculated.