Kansas law requires employers to maintain workers’ compensation insurance if they have at least $20,000 in payroll a year. This no-fault insurance protects employees who get injured while performing work-related duties. In Kansas, workers’ compensation insurance costs an average of 99 cents for every $100 of a business’ payroll.
Because costs vary, business owners should get at least a few quotes to compare before buying workers’ compensation. However, researching different carriers and completing multiple applications is time-consuming. CommercialInsurance.net makes it easy by having you complete one simple application and then doing the shopping for you. By partnering with more than 200 carriers and brokers, CommercialInsurance.net can usually get a carrier’s best deal on workers’ compensation.
What Are Kansas Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirements?
Workers’ compensation requirements in Kansas are simple. It doesn’t matter if you are in the public or private sector, you need to have workers’ compensation insurance if you have more than $20,000 in payroll. While workers’ comp laws vary by state, Kansas’ law stands out because the requirement is based on the amount of payroll rather than the number of workers.
Kansas state law defines an employee as anyone who has entered into an employment agreement or who works under a contract for service or apprenticeship with an employer. This definition includes:
- Interns and apprentices
- Full-time and part-time employees
- Seasonal workers
Employees who get injured or ill due to work-related duties receive benefits regardless of who’s at fault because Kansas is a “no-fault” state for workers’ compensation. In exchange for providing these benefits, typically through a workers’ comp policy, Kansas employers are protected from most of the lawsuits an injured employee might file for work-related injuries and illnesses.
Who Doesn’t Need Workers’ Comp Insurance in Kansas?
While requirements vary by state, Kansas does have some exceptions to the rule of who is required to have workers’ compensation. While employers don’t have to offer coverage for these exempt employees, they can protect themselves from claims and lawsuits by obtaining coverage.
Exempt employees in Kansas include:
- Certain agricultural workers
- Realtors working as independent contractors
- Most owner-operator vehicle drivers with their own occupational accident insurance
- Firefighters in a firefighters’ relief association that has waived coverage
- Partners in partnership and limited liability company (LLC) members
Sole proprietors and independent contractors are not often required to have coverage for themselves, so they can obtain a self-employed workers’ compensation policy. Many employers and employees can elect to in or out of workers’ comp by submitting the appropriate form to the Kansas Department of Labor Workers’ Compensation Division.
Where Can I Obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Kansas?
There are three ways for employers to obtain workers’ comp insurance in Kansas. The first is through a licensed insurance carrier authorized to do business in the state. The second is to self-insure, which means the employer takes on the responsibility of processing claims and paying benefits to injured workers. Lastly, employers can enter into a group self-insure program administered by the Kansas Department of Insurance.
Top Kansas Workers’ Compensation Insurance Companies
CommercialInsurance.net is a leading online marketplace that specializes in all things business insurance. Its people understand what your company needs and can shop your risk among more than 200 partners with one simple application. Once it identifies the best workers’ comp option for your company, a representative connects you directly with an individual who can get you covered immediately.
The Hartford has been providing insurance for more than 100 years and is considered a premier commercial insurance carrier. It has a robust workers’ comp policy for Kansas employers that adds value without increasing the cost. Ask about the additional coverages, such as extended reporting times, that don’t cost extra with The Hartford but require more money with its competition.
Liberty Mutual is a national insurance carrier that has both personal lines and commercial policies. Enjoy the convenience of having all your policies in one place with an underwriting team that pays special attention to the risks your business faces every day. Its detailed underwriting of industries helps them customize policies for the best protection.
Chubb is known as a business insurance expert with offices around the world. Kansas employers can benefit from the experience Chubb brings to the table and will enjoy how quickly most insurance policies can be underwritten for most small businesses. When it comes to workers’ comp claims, Chubb stands above the rest by employing nurses as case managers to expedite the right medical attention to save everyone time and money.
Cerity is a small business insurance disrupter who wants to help business owners get insurance faster than they can just about anywhere else. With month-to-month pricing, small business owners won’t be surprised by large audit bills. On top of that, you can have proof of insurance within minutes of completing your application when you’re in a jam.
Can Businesses Self-insure in Kansas?
Kansas businesses can self-insure, but the requirements favor midsize to large businesses. To self-insure, you must:
- Have at least 100 employees (interstate or intrastate)
- Have been in business for no less than five years
- Demonstrate financial strength and liquidity
- Have a minimum workers’ compensation premium of $250,000 to $300,000 prior to the experience modification rate (EMR) being applied
As you can see, the requirements are stringent enough to exclude most new and small businesses. Most small business employers get insurance from the private insurance market.
How Much Does Kansas Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost?
According to The National Academy of Social Insurance, the average rate in Kansas is 99 cents for every $100 of payroll a company has. The higher your payroll, the more your insurance costs. This average, however, is across all industries. Rates can be significantly more for riskier occupations.
Sample Kansas Workers’ Compensation Rates by Class Code
Industry Class Code
5183 Plumbing Contractors
7225 Towing Company
8742 Sales Professional
8810 Clerical - Office
8824 Nursing Home
8831 Animal Shelters
9063 Fitness Center
Kansas Workers’ Compensation Cost Example
Business owners who talk to other business owners are often surprised to find that workers’ compensation rates vary widely among businesses and industries. To determine the premium, an insurance company uses the following equation that considers the job risk, amount of payroll spent, and claims history:
(Payroll / $100) x Job Class x Experience Modification Rate
To understand how this works better, let’s look at an example of a Topeka fitness center that has 10 fitness trainers and three front desk clerks. The payroll for all of the trainers is $450,000, and the front desk workers’ payroll is $125,000. If we use the job classification rate in the table above, the trainers’ rate (class code 9063) is 46 cents per $100 of payroll. The clerks’ rate (class code 8810) is only 7 cents per $100.
Next, we plug these numbers into the equation to get an estimate for each class code. For now, we’ll assume the company’s EMR is 1, meaning it’s a new business that doesn’t have any claims history yet. An EMR of 1 has no effect on the company’s premium.
Fitness Trainers: ($450,000 / $100) x 46 cents x 1 = $2,070
Desk Clerks: ($125,000 / $100) x 7 cents x 1 = $87.50
When we add the two together to get the total estimate: $2,070 + $87.50 = $2,157.50. This estimate could go up or down depending on the business’ EMR that is assigned based on the claims history.
Kansas Workers’ Compensation Insurance Audits
In Kansas, every workers’ compensation insurance policy is audited every year because the premium is based on a payroll estimate. Business owners can project payroll but can’t be certain of events that may change it, such as overtime, time off, new hires, or terminations. This means the insurance company has to perform a premium audit to reconcile the projected payroll with actual numbers.
When the premium was overestimated, business owners pleasantly get a refund check. Unfortunately, if the premium is underestimated, business owners will need to pay the difference. This actual payroll value is then used to project the next year of premium.
What Does Workers’ Comp Insurance in Kansas Cover?
Kansas workers’ compensation insurance pays the cost of medical care and covers lost wages for employees injured in the course and scope of their work. Policies pay the following benefits:
- Medical: Workers’ comp covers treatments deemed medically necessary after a workplace injury, including emergency room care, doctors’ visits, medication, and rehabilitation as well as mileage for treatments. The employer or insurance carrier selects the physician.
- Disability payments: Injured employers are entitled to two-thirds of their gross average weekly wage with a maximum benefit of 75% of the state’s average weekly wage, with the employee receiving the lesser of the two amounts. The weekly maximum benefit for injuries occurring between July 2020 and June 2021 is $687, and the minimum is $25 per week.
- Death benefits: Dependent beneficiaries of an employee who dies from a workplace injury are eligible for benefits equal to disability payments but not to exceed $300,000 plus pay up to $5,000 for funeral costs
Disability payments are not paid for the first seven calendar days off of work. For those who are away from work for 21 consecutive days or more, benefits are paid retroactively from day one.
Kansas Workers’ Compensation Coverage Example
Ben works for an art gallery. While hanging paintings for a new exhibit, he accidentally drops a hammer on his toe. He notifies his employer of his accident and goes to the emergency room to have an X-ray taken. The X-ray shows Ben has a broken big toe, so the doctor puts him in a boot for six weeks.
The boot allows Ben to walk, so he can return to work within a couple of days. Because he is not off work for more than seven days, he receives no lost disability payments. However, his employer’s workers’ comp pays all of his medical bills.
What Are the Penalties for Not Having Workers’ Comp Insurance in Kansas?
Kansas takes compliance with workers’ compensation laws seriously. Failure to maintain valid insurance can result in the employer not only being responsible for the employee’s medical care and lost wages but also opens the employer up to being sued for civil damages greater than what a workers’ comp policy would have paid.
Employers who intentionally fail to provide the proper coverage are guilty of a class A misdemeanor and face a civil penalty of twice the business’ annual workers’ comp premium or $25,000, whichever is greater. Plus, the state can shut down a business for noncompliance.
How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Kansas?
When employees are injured on the job, the most important thing to do is get them medical attention immediately to prevent further injury. The law encourages employees to notify employers immediately, but their claim may be denied if they fail to report within the following timelines for their particular situations:
- 20 days from the date of the accident or onset of an injury from repetitive trauma
- 20 days from the date medical treatment is sought if they are currently working for the same employer
- 10 days after their final date of employment if they are seeking benefits from a former employer
Notice can be oral or written and must include the time, date, and place of the injury as well as the name of the person injured and particulars of the incident.
Once notified, the employer needs to report the incident to their insurer quickly enough to give the insurer enough time to file an accident report with the Workers’ Compensation Board within 28 days. This report must be filed electronically through the Kansas Electronic Data Interchange. The employer must also give the worker or the workers’ dependents information about workers’ comp benefits using Form K-WC 27-A.
During the claim, it is common for employees to receive additional paperwork for doctor’s updates and progress reports. These should be complied with attentively as they have their own deadlines associated with each. Failure to return them on time could result in a claim being denied or closed early.
Kansas Workers’ Compensation Insurance Deadlines
There are three important deadlines to keep in mind when filing workers’ compensation. Two have to do with the employee’s notice and one with the employer properly notifying the state.
Employees have 20 days from the day they get medical attention to notify employers of the incident. They have a maximum of 200 days to file a claim.
Employers must file an Accident Report with the state within 28 days.
Kansas Workers’ Compensation Insurance Resources
- Contact Information
- Key Forms
- Information for Injured Employees (Form K-WC 27-A)
- Workers’ Compensation Rights and Responsibilities Notice (Form K-WC 40-A)
- Helpful Guides
Kansas laws are clear about employers needing to carry valid workers’ compensation insurance. Coverage is nearly universally required across the state. Without it, employers are subject to penalties and fines—even business closure.
Take the work out of getting a workers’ comp policy and use an online marketplace that makes it easy. CommercialInsurance.net is a marketplace where you will be paired with the best insurance provider for your needs. It’s partnered with more than 200 insurance carriers, brokers, and agencies to bring affordable workers’ compensation to small business owners. Get a free quote in minutes.