The Georgia work comp system, regulated by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, oversees the more than 250,000 employers and 3.8 million employees working in the state.
All businesses with three or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Read on for more on how to purchase workers’ compensation insurance in Georgia.
Small Business Work Comp Requirements in GeorgiaBusiness owners are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in Georgia if they have three or more employees working in Georgia, whether full-time or part-time. Owners: Officers may need to be included, if employed by an incorporated business. Up to five officers may waive coverage on themselves, but they still count toward the three or more employees rule. In other words, if you have three officers that waive coverage and one non-officer employed, you’re legally required to provide insurance for that one employee. Georgia considers sole proprietors and partners to be employers and do not need to be covered. They can choose to be covered on their policy, if they wish. Contractors: If you are an independent contractor, you might not be covered by the hiring company’s insurance policy and may need to provide proof of work comp. Contractors must also be wary of subcontracting work; they could be held liable if the subcontractor has employees but not work comp coverage.
How to Buy Small Business Workers’ Compensation InsuranceGeorgia has a private market, which means you can purchase a workers’ compensation policy from any private insurance carrier or agency that is licensed to write in that state. Remember:
- Your policy only covers employees when they are working within state lines.
- Work comp covers employees injured on the job. To protect against other injuries at your place of business, you may need general liability insurance.
Coverage and Rates in GeorgiaCurrent legislation being debated in Georgia would determine whether “gig economy” workers would be classified as employees or independent contractors. Under the law, individuals who find work through apps like Uber, Lyft or TaskRabbit, would be considered independent contractors and not eligible for employee benefits like workers’ compensation. Other states, including New York and California, have been going through similar legal battles. Georgia workers’ compensation rates are recommended by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), which most states use as their rating bureau. NCCI collects data on workplace injuries and advises rates based on class code, or industry classification. When seeking a workers’ compensation policy, small business owners can contact a licensed insurance agent or carrier. The insurance carrier calculates the final premium cost based on the set rate, the company’s payroll, its Experience Modifier, and any additional credits or debits based on the company’s workplace safety. If your business is having trouble finding coverage, NCCI also administers Georgia’s assigned risk pool, which will place you with a carrier.
Georgia Work Comp Resources
- Regulated by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation
- Georgia rating bureau & assigned risk pool: NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance)
Here’s What You Need to Get StartedTo 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.
Other TipsIf 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 704-341-2650 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.
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