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Arkansas Workers’ Compensation insurance

Is Workers’ Compensation insurance required in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, workers’ compensation insurance is required for all businesses with three or more employees.1 This includes full-time and part-time employees and subcontractors.

Workers’ comp — often called workman’s compensation — provides coverage if an employee is injured while on the job. Some of the expenses commonly covered by this type of insurance include:

  • Medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Permanent injury benefits
  • Death benefits

Are there penalties for not having Workers’ Comp coverage?

If you’re an Arkansas business owner who does not have workers’ comp, you may have to pay for medical expenses yourself if you’re injured on the job. You’d also find yourself out of compliance if your business is required to have this type of insurance, which could possibly result in penalties from the Arkansas workers’ compensation laws (and you could potentially face civil lawsuits from injured employees).

Many clients request proof of coverage before signing a contract, so lacking the proper insurance coverage could cost you business, as well.

Who is exempt from Workers’ Compensation insurance in Arkansas?

Businesses with fewer than three employees do not need to fulfill this requirement. However, there are some exceptions within this category.

Arkansas workers’ compensation laws do not apply to the employment of the following types of workers:

  • Agricultural farm labor
  • Domestic help
  • Railroad and maritime workers
  • Employees of religious, nonprofit or charitable organizations
  • Personnel covered by federal law

However, even if you or your workers are exempt from the requirements for workers’ comp in Arkansas, you may want to consider getting coverage. This can help protect you and your business financially after a workplace accident.

Self-insurance for Arkansas workers’ compensation

In order to qualify for self-insurance, businesses must meet a number of requirements, including:

  • Submit a certified audited financial statement
  • Have a net worth of at least $250,000
  • Obtain a securities or surety bond of at least $100,000

Business owners must submit an application to the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. If approved, they will receive a self-insurer certificate which must be renewed annually.

Certificate of non-coverage

Residential contractors may also be exempt from certain requirements for workers’ comp. Arkansas permits these types of contractors to exclude themselves from coverage in their insurance contract if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • Sole proprietor
  • Self-employed employer
  • Partner
  • Officer of a corporation
  • Member of a limited liability company
  • Member of a professional association

Learn more Arkansas general contractor license and insurance requirements.

To receive a certificate of non-coverage, you must apply to the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. If approved, you are only exempted from obtaining coverage for yourself and must still provide workers’ comp coverage for any qualifying employees.2

How does Workers’ Compensation work in Arkansas?

Workers’ comp coverage is the responsibility of the employer and begins from an employee’s first minute on the job. Employees should never have to pay for this insurance or have it taken out of their pay.3

Workers’ compensation insurance helps pay for the costs of work-related injuries to employees and covered business owners, such as:

  • Emergency treatment
  • Medical appointments
  • Hospital care
  • Surgery
  • Prescription drugs
  • Medical supplies and devices
  • Rehabilitation services

Employees must report any injuries to their employer or supervisor immediately or as soon as possible after receiving emergency treatment. Employees are encouraged to report all injuries, even those which don’t require medical attention right away.4

For example, small cuts which do not require stitches could still potentially develop an infection, so it’s important to report the incident at the time it occurs in case medical treatment is needed in the future.

Workers’ Comp income benefits in Arkansas

If an employee becomes temporarily or permanently disabled as the result of a work-related accident, they are eligible for lost wages benefits through workers’ comp. Arkansas law also dictates that funeral costs and survivor benefits are provided in the event of an employee death on the job.

These benefits are managed by the Special Funds Division of workers’ compensation and are determined by an Arkansas workers’ compensation settlement calculator.

Employer responsibilities for Workers’ Compensation insurance

Employers have certain obligations in addition to fulfilling their workers’ comp coverage requirements. These responsibilities include:

  • Display a poster with instructions for employees in the workplace
  • Provide notice of covered medical provider options to employees
  • Send all employee injury reports to their insurance representative
  • Immediately forward any employee medical bills to their insurance provider

Failure to comply with any of these responsibilities or obtain the required workers’ compensation coverage may result in penalties from the state.

What are the rates for Workers’ Compensation in Arkansas?

The cost of workers’ compensation coverage can vary widely from one business to the next. Insurance providers weigh a number of different factors when determining rates, such as:

  • The risk of injury for the tasks that employees perform
  • How many employees a business has
  • Where a business is located within the state
  • A business’s record of insurance claims

How NEXT Insurance helps Arkansas businesses

NEXT Insurance offers easy and affordable workers’ compensation insurance for businesses in Arkansas.

You can complete the entire process of getting a quote and applying for coverage online. It only takes about 10 minutes to enter your information, review your coverage options and get a certificate of insurance.

If you have any questions, our U.S.-based insurance advisors are standing by to help.

Start an instant quote online today.

Other business insurance policies that are important in Arkansas

Workers’ compensation insurance is just one of several insurance policies that most businesses need for financial protection. Here are the other types of insurance you may need to be covered for a variety of common business risks:

General Liability insurance

Just about every business needs general liability insurance, which covers common workplace accidents that affect a third party, such as customer injuries or damages to someone’s property.

Professional Liability insurance (E&O insurance)

Professional liability insurance provides financial protection against claims of professional negligence and can help cover added expenses if you make a mistake at work.

Commercial Auto insurance

If you use vehicles for work, you’ll need commercial auto insurance to cover any potential accident-related costs. This applies for business-owned vehicles as well as personal vehicles you drive for work.

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