Colorado Workers’ Compensation insurance

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Is Workers’ Compensation insurance required in Colorado?

Colorado state law requires businesses with at least one employee and anyone who works on a construction site to have workers’ compensation insurance. However, there are a few exceptions to this general requirement, which will explain below.

Regardless of how many employees you have, workers’ compensation insurance provides important financial protection for business owners and their employees if there is a workplace accident. If you don’t have any coverage — or if you have a lapse in your insurance — your business could be responsible for significant medical expenses and you could face penalties from the state. 

If you or one of your employees are injured while working, Colorado workers’ compensation coverage can help pay for:

  • Emergency treatment
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Death benefits

In addition to maintaining active workers’ comp coverage for businesses with employees, the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation also has a few additional requirements for employers:

  • Posting signage that explains what workers should do if they are injured at work
  • Keeping up-to-date records of all lost-time injuries and occupational diseases
  • Reporting any lost time injuries to your insurer within 10 days
  • Filing a supplemental accident report form once your injured employee returns to work or is terminated and submit it to your insurer

In Colorado, with limited exceptions, construction workers’ are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. Construction business owners working on a construction site are required to have coverage for themselves. They must also provide workers’ compensation insurance if they hire independent contractors that do not have their own coverage.

Businesses can prove they have coverage with a certificate of insurance (COI) form.

Next Insurance specializes in offering a seamless and painless way to find business insurance, including workers’ compensation, for thousands of different types of businesses. 

Start a free online instant quote (the process only takes about 10 minutes) or keep reading to learn more.


Who is exempt from Workers’ Compensation insurance in Colorado?

Sole proprietors and independent contractors who do not work in construction are not required to have workers’ compensation coverage. 

However, independent contractors must sign and notarize a workers’ compensation waiver in Colorado and provide it to any companies they choose to work with as proof of exemption.

Additionally, under certain circumstances, business partners, corporate officers or members of a limited liability company (LLC) might not have to have coverage. 

There are several other exemptions for specific business types, including:

  • Real estate agents and real estate brokers who work on commission
  • Providers of casual repairs or maintenance work that costs under $2,000 in one calendar year
  • Certain part-time domestic work that is done for a homeowner
  • People who volunteer time or services to ski area operators


What types of businesses buy Workers’ Comp in Colorado?

Regardless of the industry, virtually every type of business can benefit from workers’ compensation coverage, even independent contractors.

Accidents can happen anywhere, from a construction site to a coffee shop. That’s why many employers who tend to have a lower risk of accidents at work still have coverage. 

For example, your employee with a desk job could slip and fall in a wet entryway or develop carpal tunnel syndrome. If you don’t have coverage, you could be responsible for medical expenses related to those accidents or injuries. 


How does Workers’ Compensation work in Colorado?

More than 20,000 workers’ compensation claims are filed in Colorado in any given year, According to the Department of Labor.

Coverage provides an essential safeguard for you and your employees if there is a workplace accident, and it can help ease the financial burden on your company if there is a work-related injury. 

For example, you own an HVAC business with a handful of employees. One day, one of your employees slips and twists his knee. Once he visits the hospital, it turns out he’s torn a ligament and won’t be able to work for two months and he files a claim. Through your workers’ compensation insurance, your coverage can help pay your worker’s medical expenses and lost wages up to your policy limit.

Workers’ comp benefits can equal up to two-thirds of the average weekly wage they were receiving on the date of the injury, up to a maximum amount set by the state.


Workers’ Comp death benefits in Colorado

If an employee dies on the job, Colorado workers’ compensation laws allow the deceased’s dependents to receive death benefits. The amount is calculated at approximately two-thirds of the workers’ average weekly wages at the time of death. The state sets a maximum amount which changes on a yearly basis.

The Division of Workers’ Compensation in Colorado classifies dependents as:

  • A spouse who was living with the deceased worker at the time of the worker’s death
  • Any children under the age of 18, or children under the age of 21 if they are full-time students
  • If there is not a spouse or dependent child, then other family members, including parents or adult children of the deceased, can file a claim that they relied upon the worker’s income


How much does Workers’ Compensation insurance cost in Colorado?

You might be curious about how much is workers’ compensation in Colorado? The answer varies.

The risk of a job-related injury is different for every industry, which can be a factor in determining costs. Each business also has different employees who face different risks. For example, a receptionist is not as likely to get injured as an inspector who is out in the field every day.  

There are a few other factors that can influence the price of workers’ comp coverage, including:

  • The number of employees at your business
  • Your insurance claims history
  • The locations where you do business


How to apply for Workers' Compensation insurance in Colorado

Next Insurance can help you figure out your coverage needs no matter what type of business you own. Our streamlined process allows you to get a quote, buy the coverage you need and get a certificate of insurance in about 10 minutes.

Answer just a few questions and you can get a free instant quote online. If you have any questions, our team of licensed U.S.-based insurance providers is ready to help.

Start your online instant quote today.

Other business insurance policies that are important in Colorado

While workers’ compensation insurance is an important requirement for businesses in Colorado, there are other types of insurance you might want to consider too.

General Liability insurance

General liability insurance helps protect your business from common accidents or mistakes that can happen in your industry. Examples include property damage or injury to a customer. 

Professional Liability insurance (E&O insurance)

Professional liability insurance helps provide coverage against financial claims of professional negligence or mistakes.

Commercial Auto insurance

In Colorado, there are a variety of requirements for commercial auto insurance. If you are using your company vehicles to carry property or people, you will need to comply with specific coverage requirements. This coverage can help cover some expenses if you are involved in an accident.


How do I get a Certificate of Insurance?
We provide you unlimited certificates of insurance, free of charge. Once you've purchased a policy, log in to our website to get proof of insurance or add an Additional Insured. In most cases, you'll get your certificate within minutes. Otherwise, we'll email it within one business day.
How does Live Certificate work?
When you login to your account at the Next Insurance website, you’ll see an option to “Share Proof”. Clicking that will give you an option to either put in an email address and have us send your certificate, or copy a link which you can send to anyone you like that will take them to your Live Certificate.
Can I add to or change my coverage?
If you’ve expanded your business and need coverage for more kinds of work, please let us know! An agent will go over your new operations and next steps with you and in most cases, we’ll be able to set you up with a new policy on the same day (so there will be no gaps in your coverage). Unfortunately though, we can’t remove any exclusions from the policy. So if you see your operations listed in our exclusions section, we’re very sorry, but our policy isn’t going to be the right fit for you just yet.
What does medical payment and personal injury protection cover?
“Medical payments” coverage reimburses you for your own medical bills in the event of an accident.  Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is similar and can also cover lost wages and other expenses which vary by state.
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