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Louisiana Workers’ Compensation insurance

Is Workers’ Compensation insurance required in Louisiana?

Workers’ compensation insurance is required for all Louisiana employers with one or more employees. This includes full-time, part-time and seasonal workers as well as employees who are minors.1

Subcontractors and independent contractors may also be considered employees if they are performing substantial manual labor or are involved in the pursuit of the employer’s business. Employers should inquire with their insurance carrier if they are not sure whether these types of workers must be covered.

In Louisiana, workers’ compensation insurance entitles workers to certain benefits if they are injured on the job, including:

  • Medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Death benefits

Who is exempt from Workers’ Compensation insurance in Louisiana?

There are a limited number of exceptions to the requirements for workers’ compensation. Louisiana laws do not require coverage for the following types of employees:

  • Domestic employees
  • Public officials
  • Most volunteer workers
  • Most real estate salespeople
  • Unpaid officers and directors of certain non-profit organizations

Workers’ Compensation owner’s coverage

Business owners in Louisiana may not have to carry workers’ compensation insurance for themselves if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • The business is owned by a single individual with no employees or subcontractors and is not a corporation.
  • The business is a partnership according to Louisiana law and has no employees or subcontractors.
  • The business is a corporation owned by one or two people, and those individuals own all of the stock, hold all the offices of the corporation and have no employees or subcontractors.2

Even if you don’t need to have workers’ comp coverage according to these exemptions, you may find that some clients require you to have it in order to meet the obligations of your contract.

Self-insurance for Louisiana Workers’ Compensation

Employers may apply to the Louisiana Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration if they wish to self-insure, which means that they agree to pay workers’ comp benefits directly to their employees.3 A self-insurance application must include the following:

  • Evidence that the business is currently in compliance with workers’ compensation laws
  • Three years of audited financial statements
  • Three years of workers’ comp loss runs
  • $100 application fee

If the application is approved, the employer will be required to post security in an amount determined by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration.

How does Workers’ Comp work in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, workers’ comp covers physical injuries as well as occupational diseases. Certain mental injuries which result from a physical injury or from sudden, extreme stress related to their employment are also covered.

The following types of benefits may be paid directly to the employee:

  • Medical expenses
  • Retraining
  • Lost wage
  • Temporary and permanent disability benefits
  • Survivor benefits

For example, if an employee is injured while moving a piece of machinery on the job, workers’ compensation insurance would pay for the medical expenses they accrue as well as lost wages during the time they have to take off to recover.

Workers’ Comp income benefits in Louisiana

There are several types of workers’ compensation income benefits in Louisiana:

Temporary total disability

The employee suffers an injury that causes them to be unable to work until they reach a certain level of recovery.

Permanent total disability

The employee’s injury limits their ability to perform any type of work on a permanent basis.

Supplemental earnings benefits

The employee is able to return to work, but is unable to earn at least 90% of their pre-injury wage.

When an employee dies within two years of the last treatment as the result of any job-related accident, their surviving spouse and/or dependents may be entitled to death benefits. A one-time benefit may be paid to each surviving parent if the employee has no surviving dependents. Additionally, workers’ comp will cover reasonable burial expenses up to $8,500.

Employer responsibilities for Workers’ Compensation insurance

In addition to getting the required insurance, business owners have a few other important responsibilities related to workers’ comp. Louisiana employers must report any injury or death to their insurer within 10 days.

They must also post a notice in a convenient and conspicuous location in their workplace which includes the following information:

  • Reporting instructions for occupational injury or disease
  • How to file a formal claim
  • Contact information for the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration
  • Contact information for the employer, employer representative and insurance company4

Louisiana Workers’ Compensation insurance reciprocity

Any employees hired in Louisiana must be covered by a policy from an insurance company authorized to conduct business in Louisiana. If out-of-state employees work within Louisiana, their out-of-state employer can cover them with a policy from their home state as long as that coverage extends to operations in Louisiana.

Are there penalties for not having Workers’ Comp coverage?

Employers can be fined up to $250 per employee for first violations and $500 per employee for subsequent violations for failure to carry workman’s comp insurance. Louisiana businesses may also be charged with criminal violations for certain offenses, like willful failure to provide workers’ comp or providing false information to reduce insurance premiums.

If an employer is found to be in violation of laws for workers’ comp in Louisiana, they may be served an injunction which prevents them from doing further business until the matter is resolved.

What are the rates for Workers’ Compensation in Louisiana?

There are varying rates for workers’ compensation. Louisiana insurance carriers typically look at the following factors to determine an employer’s premiums:

  • The risk of worker injuries in the employer’s industry
  • The total number of employees on their payroll
  • The location where they do business
  • Their insurance claims history for workers’ comp

How NEXT Insurance helps Louisiana businesses

NEXT provides affordable workers’ compensation insurance designed for small businesses, self-employed and sole proprietors.

It’s easy to get a quote, review coverage options, purchase insurance and receive your certificate of insurance online — all in just 10 minutes or so.

Start an instant quote online today.

Other business insurance policies that are important in Louisiana

Your workers’ compensation insurance provides important protections for your business. But to minimize your risk, you’ll need to add a few other policies to your Louisiana business insurance package.

Some of the most common insurance options for Louisiana businesses include:

General Liability insurance

General liability insurance protects employers from some of the most common business risks, like property damage or bodily injury to a third party.

Professional Liability insurance (E&O insurance)

Professional liability insurance can help you cover the costs of a lawsuit if a client claims that you made a mistake in the course of your work.

Commercial Auto insurance

Commercial auto insurance protects you and your employees if you have to drive for work. If an accident occurs, this insurance can help cover related costs, such as property damage, medical bills and rental reimbursement.

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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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