Indiana workers’ compensation laws require most employers to maintain insurance that covers medical payments and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job. However, Indiana is also consistently one of the least expensive states when it comes to purchasing workers’ compensation. Rates range between 9 cents and $6.10 per $100 of payroll.
Getting workers’ compensation insurance doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult. The Hartford was rated as our top workers’ compensation provider because of its competitive rates and extensive industry coverage that exceeds competitors’ policies. Get small business insurance quotes within minutes through the company’s online portal.
Indiana Workers’ Compensation Insurance Providers
Small business insurance companies base workers’ comp premiums on a variety of factors. Indiana workers’ compensation rates vary widely, so you should get multiple quotes. This guide can help you find the right carrier for common industries at the right price. If you are an Indiana small business, here are the top workers’ comp providers to consider.
Top Indiana Workers’ Compensation Insurance Companies
Professional offices and retail services with non-hazardous job duties
Companies with previous claims or work in hazardous industries that need to shop rates
Farms and agriculture companies with outdoor laborers and seasonal workers
Healthcare providers and medical offices with unique disease concerns
Restaurants and fast food franchise owners with odd payroll cycles
The Hartford is the right choice for professional offices or retail locations that have employees who sit at desks or have light stocking duties. The Hartford has a standard policy with broad form coverage that has six extra coverage inclusions for free and extended coverage for less than 3% more on the entire policy.
The Hartford is a national insurance provider of small business insurance including workers’ compensation, general liability, and professional liability. As an innovator in the insurance industry, The Hartford has one of the most robust business owner’s policy (BOP) and workers’ comp programs on the market—all at affordable prices.
CoverWallet is the right workers’ compensation insurance choice for companies that either have a high claims history or work in industries considered to be more hazardous. Because these companies generally experience more claims, they might not be able to get insurance directly through many private insurance carriers. CoverWallet has the solutions.
CoverWallet is an online insurance broker that helps small business owners shop for insurance among major insurance carriers. The advantage of a broker is business owners get access to multiple quotes for various policies (bundled or not) through one quick and simple application process.
The Zenith is the right choice for agriculture and farming businesses where seasonal employees create wide fluctuations in payroll throughout the year. The Zenith has a special program for agribusiness, and understands that the needs of business owners change and workers’ compensation policies need to be adjusted for seasonal employees.
The Zenith is one of the largest commercial insurance companies in the nation based out of Canada. This insurance provider covers a wide variety of business insurance needs and focuses on workers’ compensation.
Travelers Group is the right choice for healthcare providers and medical offices where staff may be exposed to unique risks such as bloodborne pathogens, needles, and physical patient care. This insurance carrier’s extensive network of doctors and nurses makes it a natural choice for anyone in the medical industry.
Travelers Group is the largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance and has a major presence in Indiana. Travelers Group’s area of focus is to process claims in the most efficient way, and the insurer uses its unique ConciergeCLAIM Nurse program to guide injured employees through the claims process while also helping them arrange proper care and get back to work. This process closes claims quickly and keeps costs down.
Employers Group Holdings
Employers Group Holdings is a top provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Indiana. This national carrier specializes in workers’ compensation taking the time to work with business owners to properly classify employee risk. Employers cover a wide range of businesses but is particularly strong for businesses in low- to medium-risk industries.
Employers Group Holdings is the right choice for restaurants and franchises. Food establishments, in particular, see a lot of employee turnover and have many kitchen risk exposures that increase incidents of minor employee injuries. Their depth of experience and contracts with major franchises helps them offer attractive prices on workers’ comp.
What Workers’ Compensation Insurance Is
Small business owners need workers’ compensation insurance to pay for medical care, rehabilitation services, and weekly wages for an employee who suffers a workplace injury or occupational illness. Each state has its own workers’ compensation requirements, but many policies also cover prescription drugs, retraining costs, and death benefits as well.
Employees typically give up the right to sue employers once a workers’ compensation insurance claim is filed. It is still possible for injured employees to sue for gross negligence by the employer.
What Indiana Workers’ Compensation Insurance Covers
Indiana workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect all employees from the costs that follow workplace injuries and illnesses whether they work for public or private employers.
Workers’ compensation insurance coverage and benefits include:
- Medical expenses: Pays for medical care including emergency room, surgeries, prescriptions, and all other necessary medical care prescribed for recovery.
- Rehabilitation expenses: Covers costs of rehabilitation and physical therapy to help an injured employee recuperate.
- Retraining benefits: Handles costs for employees to enroll in retraining programs for new jobs if they’re unable to return to their previous position.
- Lost wages: Covers a weekly income calculated as a percentage of the injured employee’s average weekly wage (AWW).
- Beneficiary expenses: Pays funeral and burial expenses to beneficiaries of an employee who dies as the result of work-related illness or injury.
- Employer liability: Protects an employer from fraudulent claims and pays for the defense of lawsuits arising from workers’ compensation claim conflicts.
Statutory Limits for Indiana Workers’ Compensation Policies
Indiana’s workers’ compensation insurance laws require minimum statutory limits per occurrence and per employee as well as a minimum aggregate policy limit. Minimum policy limits in Indiana are $100,000 per bodily injury by accident, $100,000 per disease by employee, and $500,000 for the policy limit for company aggregates for injury by disease.
For example, let’s assume that the gas containers in the back of a Fort Wayne landscaping truck explode causing three employees to get hurt. One has $150,000 in burn treatment expenses while the other two have minor injuries costing less than $5,000 in medical care each. If the policy only has statutory limits, the landscape owner is underinsured by $50,000 for the employee with the worst injuries.
What Indiana Workers’ Compensation Insurance Doesn’t Cover
Indiana workers’ compensation generally covers most work-related illnesses or injuries. However, Indiana laws give employers an “affirmative action” defense to deny certain claims made against them.
The employer affirmative action defenses are:
- Self-inflicted injuries: Knowingly harming oneself can result in claims denial.
- Employee intoxication: Being intoxicated or on drugs while working is a justified reason to deny workers’ comp claims approval.
- Commission of an offense: Injuries occurring while breaking the law, including traffic offenses lead to claims denial.
- Failure to use a safety appliance: Ignoring and refusing to use safety gear including safety goggles.
- Failure to obey safety rules: Reasonable written and posted safety rules and guides must be followed to make a claim.
- Failure to perform any statutory duty: Following standard statutory rules such as not smoking near gas tanks is required for claims approval.
When denying a workers’ comp claim, Indiana employers bear the burden of proof demonstrating that the employee was violating the rules or law. Employees who engage in horseplay, get hurt off-site, or deviate from driving routes may not be covered for injuries occurring during the workday.
Indiana Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rates
Indiana insurance providers use the same equation that most other states use to determine workers’ compensation costs. The equation factors in the risk of an employee’s duties (work classification), payroll costs, and claims history. When a workers’ comp policy starts, premiums are estimated by multiplying job class codes by forecast payroll cost divided by 100.
The formula for determining Indiana workers’ compensation rates is:
Premium = Payroll Per $100 x Classification Code Rate x Experience Modification Rating
Consider a small solar installation company in South Bend that has 10 employees. The breakdown of employees is one office clerk (class code: 8810) who makes $35,000/year, one electrician (class code: 5140) making $50,000 annually, and a crew of installers (class code: 5537) with total payroll of $300,000.
The base Indiana workers’ compensation rates for this business would include:
Clerk: $0.09 x $350 = $31.50
Electrician: $1.24 x $500 = $620
Solar installation crew: $2.14 x $3,000 = $6,420
The experience modification rate (ERM) takes a factor multiplied to the product of payroll and job class based on the number of claims a company has in the policy year. While an EMR is directly affected by claims history, Indiana rules don’t begin to apply an EMR until at least $5,000 in aggregate premium is generated in the previous two years with an average of $2,500 in premium extending beyond two years.
The workers’ compensation insurance carrier then applies any relevant discounts or experience modifications based on the employer’s loss history and the insurer’s specific underwriting guidelines. Actual rates vary among insurance carriers contingent on the type of business risk they are most comfortable underwriting.
Indiana Workers’ Compensation Rates
As a small business owner, you can get a baseline starting point for Indiana workers’ compensation rates by understanding how different types of job cost more. The more risk a job entails, the greater the chances of injury. The result is a higher baseline rate that can increase based on location and claims history.
Sample Indiana WC Rates By Industry
5140 Electrical Work
7720 Security Guards
8017 Retail Store
8835 Home Health Care
5537 Solar Energy Contractor
Individual employee workers’ compensation insurance rates additionally vary based on the employer’s business experience and claims history. Rates are also contingent on the amount of coverage selected. A baseline policy starts with $100,000 of coverage per employee. To double or triple coverage, employers can expect to pay 2%-3% more in total premium. Indiana law also allows carriers to offer deductibles ranging from $500 to $5,000 on workers’ comp policies to offset costs.
As a competitive state, employers have the option of shopping around to get the best coverage for the best price. If you don’t have the time to shop for policies, you can also use a workers’ compensation insurance broker to compare quotes from multiple carriers. CoverWallet has access to top insurance carriers to offer multiple quotes through one fast, easy, no-obligation quote process.
Indiana Workers’ Compensation Audit Requirements
Every insurance carrier conducts annual workers’ compensation audits to make sure employers pay the right amount of premium. These audits aren’t required by law, but are instead required by providers before a policy is renewed. Audits may show that an employer either paid too much or too little premium and rectifies it by either refunding overages or billing for shortages before policy renewal.
The audit recalculates the estimated premium used to start the policy using the same calculation as before. However, now the insurer knows how many workers were hired and fired over the life of the policy. Once it plugs the accurate payroll numbers into the equation, it can charge the appropriate premium.
During premium audits, insurers typically review an employer’s payroll records for the previous year starting approximately two months before renewal. Once payroll is confirmed, employee job duties and any claims are reviewed to complete the audit of the previous premium year and set the renewal rate. Small business owners can save a lot of extra work and headache by choosing a carrier and payroll processor that work together on an integrated platform.
Indiana Workers’ Compensation Insurance Laws
Every Indiana employer must maintain valid workers’ compensation insurance or be subject to penalties and potential legal actions. Even though workers’ comp is mandatory in most situations, certain workers are named exceptions.
Employees who are named exemptions in Indiana workers’ compensation laws include:
- Household employees
- Farm laborers
- Casual workers
- Licensed real estate professionals
- Railroad workers
- Employees covered by federal law
Employers who hire subcontractors must obtain a certificate of insurance (COI) from the subcontractor for any work valued at more than $1,000. If the subcontractor does not have insurance, the hiring party is responsible for workers’ compensation coverage on that person.
Indiana Workers’ Compensation Insurance Exemptions
Employers in Indiana who have at least one part-time employee are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. There are some exemptions to this rule. For instance, directors, officers, and majority-owners of companies are often exempt from workers’ compensation requirements in Indiana.
Indiana Workers’ Compensation Self Insurance Requirements
There is also an option for self-insurance in Indiana. Companies seeking to self-insure workers’ compensation coverage in Indiana must complete an application that includes company financial history and showing a surety bond of at least $500,000 to cover claims.
Even though workers’ comp insurance is compulsory in Indiana, the state allows private and self-insurance options. Indiana workers’ compensation laws allow extraterritorial coverage meaning it allows reciprocity for temporary workers from Indiana working temporarily in other states and vice versa. Reciprocity is contingent on other states offering reciprocity as well.
Indiana Workers’ Compensation Requirements
To ensure that employees know their rights and can report an injury or file a claim, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development requires that notices be posted at an employer’s office or at job sites. The Workers’ Compensation Notice poster must be in a conspicuous place where employees typically convene.
Employers who fail to properly post this notice are guilty of a misdemeanor and may be subject to civil penalties up to $50 per violation.
Indiana Workers’ Compensation Insurance Deadlines
Indiana workers’ compensation insurance law makes it illegal to discriminate against employees filing a workers’ compensation claim. Employers are subject to penalties and civil action for improperly terminating employees who file claims.
Several key deadlines for Indiana workers’ compensation insurance include:
- Employee’s report of injury: Employer must be notified immediately with written notice of work-related injuries incidents within 30-days.
- Employer’s response: Employer must allow for compensation of temporary disability starting on day eight of the disability with the first installment due 14 days after the disability begins.
- Deadline to reject: Liability must be determined within 30 days of notice or an extension of another 30 days can be obtained from the workers’ compensation board.
- Statute of limitations: Employee can provide written notice of the incident and has two years to file a claim.
Indiana Workers’ Compensation Penalties for Non-compliance
According to Indiana law, it is a Class A criminal offense to not have workers’ compensation from the minute an employee starts. Failing to follow Indiana workers’ compensation laws can lead to penalties beyond being responsible for any employee injuries, compensation, and reasonable attorney’s fees.
Some potential consequences of failing to follow Indiana workers’ comp laws include:
- Fines: Indiana insurance board may collect fines up to $10,000
- Compensation: Not to exceed double the compensation owed to the injured party
- Medical expenses: All expenses for injury including emergency, doctors, and rehabilitation services
- Attorney fees: Reasonable attorney’s fees for an injured party to get representation needed for remuneration
- Cease of business: Employers will receive a business cessation letter until compliance with laws is proven
Enforcement of the laws varies from county to county in Indiana. The Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana has the ability to refer the employer to a county prosecutor for legal action.
Failure to report an injury is a Class C infraction and could result in fines up to $20,000 per incident. Insurance carriers who fail to report injuries may be required to pay the fines and see license suspension to conduct business in Indiana.
How to File an Indiana Workers’ Compensation Claim
The injured party, the employer, and the insurance company have to adhere to specific timelines in order to comply with Indiana state law and ensure the proper processing of workers’ comp claims. Failure to follow these steps can lead to an employee forfeiting coverage for a work-related illness or injury. Employers who fail to follow these steps can be held liable for workplace injuries and face penalties and potential prosecution.
The steps for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Indiana include:
- Employee seeks medical attention and notifies employer of the incident immediately
- Employee must give notice to the employer within 30 days of the injury or illness discovery
- Employers complete the Employer’s Report of Injury
- Employer files a claim with their insurance carrier and also report with the state and awaits a work restriction report from the employee’s physician
- Employer and insurance carrier have 30 days to approve or deny the claim but may obtain an extension up to 60 days by the workers’ compensation board if liability is still being investigated
- Employer refrains from unduly firing an employee who has filed a workers’ compensation claim
- Employer offers regular, modified, or alternative work once the employee’s doctor approves
Employers must provide temporary disability payments based on the average weekly wage (AWW) calculation which is approximately ⅔ of the standard weekly income. If the employee is unable to work at all, the employer receives these payments until they’ve recovered or for a maximum of 500 weeks. Employees who return for partial duty can receive temporary disability payments for up to 300 weeks. Once these benefits are exhausted, permanent disability and impairment benefits are considered.
Tips on Getting Indiana Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Most small business owners getting workers’ compensation insurance for the first time only see the requirement and don’t take the time to truly understand what they need and how to protect their own interests. Learning how to lower premiums, reduce claims, and work with insurance agents helps business owners save money.
Some tips on getting Indiana workers’ compensation insurance are:
1. Implement Safety Protocol Programs
Workers’ compensation rates go up as your claims history shows more frequent or costly claims. Many private insurance companies provide discounts for companies that demonstrate a proactive approach to employee safety. You may be able to save on workers’ compensation insurance costs by writing and issuing a safety plan, regularly training employees, and placing safety warnings where appropriate.
2. Confirm Employee Classification
One of the critical factors in determining workers’ compensation rates is how employee work duties are classified. Don’t assume that an insurance agent or underwriter is the best person to define exactly what your employees do based on a job title. Engage in conversations with them and provide insurers with detailed job descriptions to make sure employees are rated properly.
3. Participate in Workers’ Comp Audits
Small business owners who merely send in the requested paperwork from a workers’ comp audit run the risk of not having the data interpreted correctly. Talk to the auditor to confirm that owners are not included in payroll data, employees are properly classified, and the claims history is accurate.
Indiana Workers’ Compensation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Many questions arise surrounding workers’ compensation insurance. If you still have questions after reading this article, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Indiana workers’ comp.
How is the average weekly wage calculated?
Lost wages for injured employees in workers’ compensation claims uses a calculation called the average weekly wage. The AWW takes the monthly wage times 12 and then divides that by 52 weeks in the year. Multiply that result by two-thirds (66.66%) to determine the workers’ compensation weekly rate.
Do sole proprietors have to get workers’ comp in Indiana?
Sole proprietors are excluded from workers’ compensation coverage requirements in Indiana, but may opt for to be included. If they elect to be on the policy, coverage for lost wages has a range of $750 to $3,600 per week. Partners, and LLC members are treated in the same fashion as sole proprietors.
What happens if I can’t get private workers’ comp insurance?
Indiana has what is called an “assigned risk pool” that all Indiana workers’ compensation providers must become members of via the Indiana Compensation Rating Bureau. Those who are not able to get a workers’ comp policy through a private company are able to get it through the assigned risk pool where the risk is shared among all member insurance companies.
Indiana workers’ compensation insurance pays for medical expenses and lost wages of employees who get sick or injured as a result of their work. While minimum workers’ compensation insurance coverage is mandatory in Indiana, employers are often well served by including additional coverage to help employees recover and get back to work faster.
Consider The Hartford if you are looking for a small business insurance company to help meet your workers’ compensation insurance needs. The Hartford offers competitive rates with exceptional coverage. Get a fast, no-obligation online quote.