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Hawaii Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Is Workers’ Compensation insurance required in Hawaii?

Workers’ compensation insurance is required in Hawaii for businesses with one or more employees. This includes full-time, part-time, permanent and temporary workers.1

By having insurance for workers’ comp, Hawaii employers are protected from the financial liability that can result from employee accidents on the job. In addition, you as the business owner would not be subject to civil actions from employees for work-related injuries and illnesses.

If an employee is injured while at work, Hawaii workers’ comp coverage can help pay for:

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

Who is exempt from Workers’ Compensation insurance in Hawaii?

There are certain types of employment which are excluded from the workers’ compensation coverage requirement in Hawaii, including:

  • Voluntary or unpaid workers for a religious, charitable, education or nonprofit organization
  • Students working for a school, university or college club in return for room, board or tuition
  • Ministers, priests and rabbis
  • Domestic workers earning less than $225 per quarter
  • Domestic workers of public welfare recipients
  • Real estate salespersons and brokers paid solely on a commission basis2

Although employers are not required to have workers’ comp insurance for these excluded employees, they may still decide to obtain coverage to protect their business from potential financial risks.

Workers’ Compensation owner’s coverage

Certain types of business owners are exempt from the insurance requirement according to Hawaii Workers’ Compensation Law, such as:

  • Sole proprietors
  • Partners in a partnership
  • 50% stockholders
  • Some 25% stockholders
  • Some members of limited liability companies3

If you fall into one of these categories, you may still want to consider getting workers’ comp insurance since it could provide coverage if you’re hurt on the job.

For example, if you own a small retail store and fall off a ladder while restocking shelves and injure your back, your recovery takes several weeks. Workers’ comp could help cover your medical expenses and lost wages while your store is closed.

Self-insurance for Hawaii Workers’ Compensation

Hawaii employers have the option to become self-insured, which means that they pay statutory benefits directly to their employees instead of obtaining an insurance policy.

Employers interested in self-insurance must apply to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to prove their solvency and ability to pay benefits. If the application is approved, they must submit a surety bond or approved securities as a deposit.

How does Workers’ Compensation work in Hawaii?

In the event of a work-related injury or illness, certain benefits are provided by insurance for workers’ compensation. Hawaii employees and covered business owners may receive benefits for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Permanent injury
  • Survivor benefits

For example, if one of your employees at your construction company breaks their leg in an on-site accident, workers’ comp insurance could help cover the costs of their medical care and their lost wages while they heal.

Workers’ Comp income benefits in Hawaii

There are several types of workers’ compensation income benefits in Hawaii, including:4

Temporary total disability

The employee is unable to work temporarily due to their injury.

Permanent partial disability

The employee loses certain body parts or functions as a result of their accident.

Permanent total disability

The employee is unable to return to work because of the injury.

Disfigurement

The employee sustains significant scarring, deformity or discoloration as a result of their accident.

In incidents when an employee dies due to a work-related injury or illness, death benefits may be paid to a surviving spouse or dependent children.

Employer responsibilities for Workers’ Compensation insurance

In addition to obtaining the required workers’ comp coverage, employers in Hawaii must:

  • Keep a printed statement explaining benefit rights, claims for benefits and other key information about workers’ compensation in a place that is readily accessible to employees.
  • File a report of injury to the Disability Compensation Division within seven working days of the incident.
  • Provide each injured employee with a copy of the brochure “Highlights of the Hawaii Workers’ Compensation Law” within three working days of their injury.

Hawaii Workers’ Compensation insurance reciprocity

In order to maintain the required insurance for workman’s comp, Hawaii businesses can’t use a policy from another state. Employers are required to obtain their workers’ compensation coverage from a carrier authorized to transact insurance in the state of Hawaii.

Are there penalties for not having Workers’ Comp coverage?

Hawaii employers who do not have the required workers’ compensation insurance may be subject to fines. The penalty for failure to obtain coverage is $100 for each employee for each day without coverage, with a minimum fine of $500.

If an employee gets hurt on the job when you don’t have coverage, you could be subject to serious financial risk. The injured workers may file civil action against you and submit a claim to the state’s division of workers’ compensation.

What are the rates for Workers’ Compensation in Hawaii?

Premiums for Hawaii workers’ compensation insurance can vary significantly based on your industry, your work environment and other factors. Insurance carriers will consider the following when determining the rate for your workers’ comp coverage:

  • The risk of work-related injuries in your industry
  • How many employees you have
  • Where your employees work
  • Past workers’ comp insurance claims

How NEXT Insurance helps Hawaii businesses

At NEXT Insurance, we make it easy to get workers’ compensation insurance designed for small businesses and self-employed workers.

All of our services are available online, and you can get a quote, review coverage options, purchase insurance and download a certificate of insurance in as little as 10 minutes.

Start an instant quote online today.

Need some help figuring out what coverage you need? Our team of licensed insurance advisors is standing by to advise you.

Other business insurance policies that are important in Hawaii

Workers’ compensation insurance is just one of the key types of financial protection you need as a business owner. NEXT can help you build a custom business insurance package that covers all the risks you face as an employer.

To protect your business financially, consider getting the following types of insurance in addition to your workers’ comp coverage:

General Liability insurance

Most businesses need general liability insurance to provide coverage for common work-related mistakes, like accidental damages to someone’s property or customer injuries.

Professional Liability insurance (E&O insurance)

Professional liability insurance provides financial protection if a client or customer accuses you of making a professional mistake that costs them money.

Commercial Auto insurance

Business-owned vehicles and personal vehicles used for work-related activities must be covered by commercial auto insurance. This type of insurance protects your business from unexpected expenses if you are involved in an accident.

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