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Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Is Workers’ Compensation insurance required in Mississippi?

All Mississippi employers with five or more employees must have workers’ compensation insurance. If you’re an employer with less than five employees, workers’ comp is not mandatory. However, you may choose to provide it voluntarily.1

Workers’ compensation insurance can help you avoid unexpected, out-of-pocket expenses for an injury. So even if you’re not required by law to have it, this insurance can help protect your business finances over the long run.

If you or an employee is injured on the job, a Mississippi workers’ compensation policy can help cover the following expenses:

  • Emergency treatment
  • Medical bills
  • Wage loss
  • Death benefits

Who is exempt from Workers’ Compensation insurance in Mississippi?

The following types of employees are exempt from Mississippi’s workers’ compensation requirements:

  • Domestic and farm labor
  • Employees of non-profit fraternal, charitable, religious or cultural organizations

Independent contractors are typically exempt as well. However, there are some exceptions for employees of subcontractors.

Federal employees and certain transportation and maritime employees are covered by federal compensation laws.

Workers’ Compensation owner’s coverage

Employers may elect to be exempt from MS workers’ comp requirements if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • Sole proprietors
  • Partners in a partnership
  • Employees with at least 15% of the stock of their corporate employer

These individuals must submit a voluntary agreement in writing in order to be exempt from coverage, and they will not be counted toward the total number of workers when determining whether the employer reaches the mandatory coverage threshold of five employees.2

Self-insurance for Mississippi Workers’ Compensation

If an employer with five or more employees wishes to be exempt from Mississippi workers’ comp coverage requirements, they may apply to become self-insured.

The employer’s application must demonstrate their financial ability to pay all compensation required by MS workers’ compensation law.

Two or more employers may pool their liabilities to form a self-insured group as long as their self-insurance applications are all approved by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission and they are members of the same association or trade group.3

How does Workers’ Comp work in Mississippi?

There are a number of benefits which are covered by workers’ compensation. Mississippi employees who are injured or become ill on the job may receive help paying for the following:4

  • Medical services and supplies
  • Hospital and nursing services
  • Prescription medications
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation services
  • Mileage for out-of-town medical appointments
  • Lost wages
  • Permanent injury
  • Survivor benefits

For example, if one of the servers at your catering company gets burned by a hot dish, workers’ compensation insurance can pay for their medical expenses and help cover their lost wages while they recover.

Workers’ Comp income benefits in Mississippi

With workman’s comp, MS employees receive income benefits when their injury causes a loss of wages either temporarily or permanently. The following are the four main categories for workers’ compensation income benefits in Mississippi:4

Temporary total disability

The injury results in the employee being completely unable to work, but the disability is not expected to be permanent.

Temporary partial disability

The employee can return to work with temporary restrictions, but will be unable to earn the same wages as they did prior to the injury.

Permanent partial disability

After they have reached maximum medical improvement from their injury, the employee is left with a permanent partial disability.

Permanent total disability

The employee sustains an injury that results in a permanent disability that involves the total amputation or loss of use of certain body parts and/or makes them unable to return to any type of reasonable employment for which they have education, training or experience.

In the event of an employee death on the job, workers’ comp will make payments to the surviving spouse and dependents. Reasonable funeral expenses up to $5,000 are also covered.

Employer responsibilities for Workers’ Compensation insurance

All employers who are subject to the Mississippi workers’ compensation insurance requirement must post a Notice of Coverage poster in the workplace. This poster must feature the following information:5

  • The insurance carrier name and contact information
  • The dates that the insurance policy is in effect
  • Where to submit workers’ comp claims
  • Who to report injuries to within the company

Employers are also required to make a report of any injury involving a covered employee and notify their insurance company and/or the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Mississippi Workers’ Compensation insurance reciprocity

If an employee is injured while outside the state of Mississippi, their coverage will generally apply as long as they were hired or regularly employed in Mississippi and their work outside the state was temporary in nature (less than six months).

If a non-resident of Mississippi is injured within the state while on a temporary job assignment, workers’ comp coverage will apply only if the situation meets all three of the following requirements:

  • The employer has provided coverage for the employee under the laws of another state
  • The other state recognizes Mississippi’s extraterritorial provisions
  • The workers’ compensation law for the other state exempts Mississippi claimants and employers from its application

Are there penalties for not having Workers’ Comp coverage?

Employers who are required by state law to obtain workers’ compensation insurance but fail to do so may face statutory criminal and civil penalties. If an employee is injured while the employer is uninsured, that employee may file a suit against their employer.

Failure to file a report of an injury in a timely manner may result in a $100 fine. A 10% penalty may be imposed if compensation benefits are not paid on time.

What are the rates for Workers’ Compensation in Mississippi?

The cost of workers’ compensation premiums can vary significantly from one employer to the next. Insurance carriers will generally look at the following factors to determine your individual insurance rates:

  • Exposure to risks in your industry
  • The number of employees at your business
  • Your total payroll
  • The location of your business
  • Your claims and coverage history

How NEXT Insurance helps Mississippi businesses

At NEXT Insurance, we specialize in workers’ compensation insurance for small businesses and self-employed workers.

We make it easy to get a quote, review coverage options, purchase insurance and receive your certificate of insurance in only about 10 minutes. And with our online services, you can do everything from a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Start an instant quote online today.

If you have any questions during the process, our licensed U.S.-based insurance advisors are standing by to assist you.

Other business insurance policies that are important in Mississippi

Workers’ compensation insurance provides important protections for employers, but it doesn’t cover all of the potential risks you face as a business owner. Your insurance package should include additional policies to make sure you have comprehensive coverage.

Most Mississippi businesses also consider these insurance options:

General Liability insurance

General liability insurance provides coverage for common mistakes or accidents that can occur in your line of work, like a customer injury or damages to someone’s property.

Professional Liability insurance (E&O insurance)

Professional liability insurance provides financial protection if a customer makes a claim against you for professional mistakes or negligence.

Commercial Auto insurance

If you or your employees drive for work, you’ll need commercial auto insurance to get coverage for accident-related expenses. Business-owned vehicles and personal vehicles that are used for work must both be covered.

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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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