Workers’ Compensation Iowa

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What can be covered by Iowa Workers’ Compensation insurance?

Medical expenses

Medical expenses

Like exams, treatment and rehabilitation.
Lost wages

Lost wages

For employee recovery after a work injury.


To teach injured employees new skills if needed.
Permanent injury

Permanent injury

Benefits for employees who can no longer work due to injury.

Table of Contents

Is Iowa Workers’ Compensation insurance required?

According to the state law of the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation, Iowa workers’ compensation insurance is required for all employers in the state unless they meet one of a few limited exemptions.

Employers are also required to file a First Report of Injury within four days of notice or knowledge of a work injury (not counting Sundays and legal holidays) if the worker has a temporary disability for more than three days.

In addition, employers may also be required to submit a Subsequent Report of Injury and/or additional paperwork for medical reports, etc. as described in the Duties And Responsibilities Of Employers,Insurance Carriers And Self-Insured Employers handbook.

Employers in Iowa are also required to:

  • Provide a statement of earnings upon request.
  • Pay interest if weekly benefits are delayed.
  • Furnish copies of medical records relevant to a claim when requested.
  • Pay lost wages for treatment after an employee returns to work following a workers’ comp injury.

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How does Workers’ Comp work in Iowa?

Workers’ compensation insurance helps protect your business from the financial loss of work-related injuries and illnesses. More specifically, workers’ comp coverage can help cover the following for your employees:

  • Medical costs, including emergency treatment.
  • Ongoing medical bills.
  • Lost wages because of the injury or illness.
  • Death benefits for the dependents of workers who die as a result of a workplace injury or illness.

Employees have 90 days to report a work-related illness or injury from the date of the accident to be eligible for benefits.

It is the employer’s responsibility to report the incident to their insurance provider as soon as possible to avoid any problems with the claim.

Your insurance company will approve or deny the claim based on eligibility.

Criminal and civil penalties can be imposed on employers who violate the mandatory Iowa workers’ comp insurance law.

Employers who operate without insurance illegally expose their business to the financial risk of an injured employee who sues the employer for the full cost of medical bills, lost wages and more.

Learn more about workers’ compensation coverage.

How much is Workers’ Compensation in Iowa?

Workers’ compensation costs vary across industries. Factors that influence price include:

  • The number of employees and the type of work they do.
  • Your total payroll.
  • Your insurance claims history.
  • The locations where you do business.

Get a free instant quote in about 10 minutes from NEXT to see your workers’ comp insurance costs.

Who is exempt from Iowa Workers’ Comp insurance?

While workers’ compensation coverage is recommended for most businesses, not all workers are required by law to carry it. Exemptions include:

  • Sole proprietors, partners and members of a limited liability company (LLC).
  • Independent contractors.
  • Some close family members of the employer, including a spouse, children, parents, brothers and sisters.
  • Some agricultural workers making less than $1,500 annually.
  • Some domestic and casual employees making less than $1,500 annually.

For specific guidance on exemptions and insurance coverage, contact a Workers’ Compensation Compliance Administrator.

Even in the case of an exemption, employers can opt into coverage to be protected from unexpected costs if your employee gets hurt at work, including lost wages and medical expenses. Without it, you could be held liable for covering those expenses out of pocket.

How NEXT helps Iowa small business owners

NEXT offers an easy way to get a free workers’ compensation insurance quote, purchase coverage and instantly share a certificate of insurance in about 10 minutes.

NEXT strives to resolve every claim quickly. Learn more about our claims process and how our claims advocates will work with you after an employee injury.

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Other important small business insurance policies in Iowa

Workers’ compensation insurance provides many important protections, but you’ll need additional coverage to protect from all the risks your small business can face.
Many Iowa small businesses also consider:
General Liability
General Liability insurance

General liability insurance protects your business from common mistakes or accidents, such as customer injury or damages to someone’s property.

Commercial Auto
Commercial Auto insurance

If you or your employees drive vehicles for work, you probably need commercial auto insurance. This provides coverage for accident-related expenses in a business-owned vehicle or a personal vehicle being used for work purposes.

Commercial Property
Commercial Property insurance

Commercial property insurance can provide financial help if your business structures, goods, gear or inventory are damaged or destroyed by a covered event.

Errors & Omissions
Professional Liability insurance

Professional liability insurance, also called errors & omissions insurance, provides financial protection against claims of professional mistakes and negligence.

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* To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten, not all applicants may qualify. Individual rates and savings vary and are subject to change. Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only.
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Issuance of coverage is subject to underwriting. Not available in all states. Please see the policy for full terms, conditions and exclusions. Coverage examples are for illustrative purposes only. Your policy documents govern, terms and exclusions apply. Coverage is dependent on actual facts and circumstances giving rise to a claim. Next Insurance, Inc. and/or its affiliates is an insurance agency licensed to sell certain insurance products and may receive compensation from insurance companies for such sales. Policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the issuing insurance company. Refer to Legal Notices section for additional information.

Any starting prices or premiums represented before an actual customer quote are not guaranteed and are representations of existing premiums of active policies as of December 6, 2023. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten, not all applicants may qualify. Individual rates and savings vary and are subject to change. Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only.