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In Kansas, businesses with a gross annual payroll of more than $20,000 must have workers’ compensation insurance.1 All payroll, whether paid in Kansas or elsewhere, must be included when determining whether an employer must have workers’ comp coverage.2
At businesses where workers’ comp is required, full-time, part-time, seasonal, adult and minor employees must be covered.
Kansas workers’ compensation laws are designed to help protect both employees and employers.
Workers have peace of mind knowing their expenses will be covered in the event of a workplace injury or illness, while business owners can pay reasonable premiums for financial protection rather than being at risk for large, unexpected expenses if an accident occurs.
Generally, workers’ comp insurance covers the following expenses related to a work injury or illness:
Certain types of employees are exempt from the requirement for workers’ comp, also known as workman’s comp, coverage. These employment categories include:
In some cases, business owners are exempt from coverage even though they must still provide insurance for their employees if their payroll exceeds $20,000. This includes the following types of owners:
Although coverage for themselves isn’t required by law, many of these business owners still choose to get workers’ compensation insurance to minimize their financial risk.
For example, workers’ comp could cover medical expenses and lost wages if an independent hair stylist slips on a wet floor at work and injures their wrist, limiting their ability to work for several weeks during recovery.
Employers have the option to self-insure instead of obtaining a workers’ compensation insurance policy if they can demonstrate their financial ability to pay for any claims that may occur.
Applicants for self-insurance must submit a surety bond or letter of credit to the Kansas Division of Workers’ Compensation in order to qualify.4
Employees in Kansas who work for employers with workers’ compensation insurance receive benefits to cover most costs of work-related injuries, such as:
Here’s an example of how workers’ comp might be applied in a real-world situation. Imagine that you own a cleaning company, and one of your employees falls and hits their head while loading a floor waxing machine into their work vehicle.
Workers’ comp insurance would cover the costs of emergency transportation and care if they need to be rushed to the hospital, the costs of their follow-up medical care and the income they’ll miss until their doctor gives an approval to return to work.
In addition to coverage for medical treatments, workers’ comp also helps to cover lost wages for qualifying Kansas employees. This includes the following types of disability compensation benefits:
The employee is unable to obtain any type of substantial, gainful employment due to their injury while recovering.
The employee’s injury permanently prevents them from obtaining substantial, gainful employment.
The employee sustains complete or partial loss of a use of a body part, such as an arm.
The employee sustains complete or partial disability not covered by the above category, such as the loss of use of feet or eyes.
Survivor benefits are also made available when a covered employee’s injury results in death. This includes compensation to whole or partial dependents or heirs as well as burial expenses up to $10,000.
It’s important for business owners to understand their responsibilities when it comes to coverage for workers’ comp. Kansas employers must comply with the states’ Workers’ Compensation Act by doing the following:5
Employers can face serious penalties for failing to comply with Kansas workers’ compensation laws. Penalties may include:
Failure to secure workers’ compensation: Twice the annual premium or $25,000 (whichever is greater)
Failure to file accident reports with 28 days: $250 for each violation
Insurance carriers look at a number of different things when setting costs (also known as premiums) for workers’ compensation. Kansas employers can expect the following factors to influence their workers’ comp insurance rates:
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Workers’ compensation insurance is just one of several types of insurance that most small businesses need. It’s important to have sufficient coverage to make sure you are protected from all the risks you face every day as a business owner.
Most Kansas employers should also include the following in their business insurance package:
You’ll need general liability insurance to protect your business from common mistakes or accidents that can occur in your industry, like an injury to a customer or damages to someone’s property.
Professional liability insurance helps cover the costs if you make a mistake on the job and need to fix it. It also provides financial protection against claims of professional negligence.
If you use vehicles for work, make sure you have commercial auto insurance. This insurance protects your business from unexpected expenses if you or an employee is involved in an accident.