The Complete Guide to Workers’ Comp Insurance in Missouri

Are you a business owner in Missouri?

The Complete Guide to Workers’ Comp Insurance in Missouri

Are you a business owner in Missouri? Then you need to know how workers’ comp (WC) insurance works – and how it affects your company. Below, we explain what you need to know about WC insurance, and how to get workers’ comp insurance quotes in your state.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ comp insurance is a type of commercial insurance policy. It covers the costs and expenses associated with work-related accidents, injuries, and illness. In other words, if an employee is injured at work, or develops a disease like mesothelioma due to workplace asbestos exposure, they can claim through workers’ comp.

  • Workers’ comp insurance can give employees the financial support they need if they’re off work due to illness or injury.
  • The amount of compensation a worker can claim varies considerably – it all depends on the facts of the case.

In many cases, workers’ comp can protect employers from a future personal injury claim, too because the employee can claim through the WC insurance policy rather than filing an injury lawsuit.

What Does Workers’ Comp Cover in Missouri?

Workers’ comp covers a full range of industrial illnesses and injuries. Employees can claim various expenses, including:

  • Funeral costs e.g. burial expenses
  • Lost income (lost wages due to illness or injury)
  • Medical expenses e.g. outpatient appointments, emergency room visits, medication
  • Rehabilitation e.g. treatment from a physical therapist

The family may also claim death benefits if the employee dies due to their injury or sickness.

Is Workers’ Comp Just General Liability Insurance?

No. These policies protect you against claims made by different people.

Your general liability policy protects your business if a third party (such as a customer) makes a claim against your business for property damage or physical injuries. However, your WC policy covers the costs of employee injury or illness.

So, workers’ comp insurance coverage shouldn’t be confused with other plans like general liability or business owners insurance.

Is Workers’ Comp Insurance Legally Required?

In Missouri, most businesses with at least five employees should carry workers’ comp insurance. 

However, if you’re operating in the construction industry, it doesn’t matter how many employees you have, or the basis on which you employ them. You need workers’ comp coverage if you have one or more employees. 

Not sure if you need cover? InsurePro can help.

Who Doesn’t Need Workers’ Comp Insurance in Missouri?

You don’t need workers’ comp for home maids or chauffeurs. If you’re hiring someone on a one-off basis to perform work at your private household, there’s no need to provide WC insurance, either.  

Sole proprietors don’t need WC insurance if they don’t have employees. However, they can take out WC coverage to protect themselves.

Warehouse worker with hi-vis vest slips while trying to stack brown cardboard boxes

Penalties for Not Having Workers’ Comp Insurance in Missouri

You face significant penalties in Missouri if you don’t have workers’ comp insurance when you need it. 

  • Failing to insure your business is a Class A misdemeanor.
  • You can be fined whichever is the highest amount: $50,000 or three times your annual premium.
  • If there’s another violation in the future, it could be considered a Class E felony. 

Even class A misdemeanors can result in jail time in Missouri. To protect yourself and your business, you must ensure that you understand your insurance obligations in the state.

How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost?

In Missouri, every WC insurance quote is different. However, your workers’ comp insurance cost is based on a few factors. 

  • Business class code: “Risk” plays a huge part in determining how much insurance costs. For example, WC insurance usually costs more for a roofing company than an office-based business. So, your assigned class code can influence your WC insurance costs. 
  • Business location: A business in a remote location might pay more for WC cover than, say, a company in a busy metro area. This is because insurers have more competition in busy areas, so they price their plans accordingly.
  • Insurance claims history: Past WC insurance claims can mean it costs a little more to cover your business.
  • Size of payroll: The number of employees you have can affect your WC insurance premiums.

Other factors may be relevant depending on the nature of your business. If you want to buy workers’ comp insurance online, InsurePro can help you estimate the cost.

The Claims Process

The claims process is straightforward.

  • As soon as possible after the incident, an employee must tell their employer about their injury or illness. 
  • The employer then provides details of their insurance policy so that the worker can file a claim with Missouri’s Division of Workers’ Compensation.
  • After the employer learns about the illness or injury, they have 30 days to file the First Report of Injury with the Division. 
  • The claim is processed and will be accepted or denied.

You may wish to get legal advice if you have questions or if the employee hires their own attorney.

No-Fault Claims

WC insurance is a “no-fault” system. In other words, it doesn’t matter who caused the injury – the employee can make a workers’ comp claim. So, even if a worker is partly to blame for their own injury or illness, they can usually still claim workers’ comp if they were harmed on the job

Rejecting Claims

Despite the no-fault system, not every workers’ compensation claim is successful. 

  • WC insurance will not cover every injury. For example, employees injured while engaging in criminal activity won’t be covered. They won’t be covered for self-inflicted or deliberate injuries, either. 
  • You can raise concerns about a false claim with your insurance carrier. Submit any evidence you have to support your position. Your insurer will then decide whether to reject or award the claim. 

Your insurer can explain what to do if you suspect there’s a fraudulent claim. 

Where to Buy Workers’ Comp Insurance

You can get workers’ comp insurance in Missouri through private insurers. At InsurePro, our experienced team can match you with quotes from over 20 providers. We’ll help you find competitive workers’ comp rates for your small business, no matter what industry you’re in. 

Start a policy with InsurePro today!