There are a few exceptions to this rule, including independent contractors and sole proprietors. However, even if you don’t have employees, workers’ comp offers important benefits for medical treatment and wage replacement after a workplace injury.
If you don’t have workers’ comp insurance, your business could be held financially responsible for any illnesses or injuries that happen to your employees while on the job. You could also face penalties for not complying with state laws.
If there is a workplace injury or illness, your Oklahoma workers’ compensation policy can help pay for:
You can start a free online instant quote with NEXT Insurance to explore options for your business. In just 10 minutes, you can have the workers’ compensation coverage you need to protect your business and proof of coverage with a certificate of insurance (COI). If you need guidance, we have a team of licensed U.S.-based advisors who are ready to help.
While most employees are covered under workers’ compensation, Oklahoma does allow for a few exceptions.
Sole proprietors are not considered employees in Oklahoma, so they aren’t required to get coverage. The same is true for partners in an LLC or officers in an organization who own at least 10% of company capital or stock, respectively.
Independent contractors don’t have to get coverage, and that includes subcontractors. However, if a subcontractor does not have workers’ comp insurance, the primary contractor could be held liable for any work-related injuries.
Oklahoma workers’ compensation laws also have an exception for small family-run businesses. If your business has five employees or less and those employees are all related by blood or marriage, then you aren’t legally required to get coverage.
The Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission also lists the following exemptions:
In 2020 there were more than 1,000 workers’ compensation claims filed in Oklahoma, with over $55 million paid out in compensation and medical benefits, according to the Department of Labor.
No business is completely safe from a potential workplace illness or injury. From companies specializing in construction projects to independent contractors who teach fitness classes, there’s always the potential for an accident.
Even if you think your employees aren’t at risk, accidents can happen. For example, One of your employees could slip on a patch of ice outside of your office and break their arm. If you don’t have Oklahoma workers’ compensation coverage, you could be held financially responsible for the medical and other related expenses that are related to the illness or injury.
Any injured employee must report it or get medical treatment for that injury within 30 days. The statute of limitations on Oklahoma workers’ compensation claims is two years from the date of the injury.
However, best practices generally state that you should inform your insurer of any injuries and file a claim as soon as possible. Your insurance company should be able to take care of the appropriate Oklahoma workers’ compensation forms for you. If the claim is approved, it is processed and the injured or ill employee will receive benefits.
Sometimes an accident can occur that might result in an employee dying while on the job. Oklahoma workers’ compensation regulations allow qualifying dependents to collect death benefits. Typically a spouse, dependent children and non-dependent children who suffer an economic loss, can collect benefits.
Death benefits are paid out in either a lump sum or weekly, up to a maximum set by the state. Funeral expenses might also be covered.
In Oklahoma, rates can vary by industry and profession. Even within your business, it’s not uncommon to have employees who are at different risk levels. The State of Oklahoma will determine specific rates based on a variety of factors. These can include, but aren’t limited to the following:
If you need Oklahoma workers’ compensation coverage, NEXT Insurance can help. We’re 100% dedicated to helping small business owners and self-employed professionals find the right coverage at an affordable price.
You can get a free quote, explore options for your business and purchase coverage with our painless online platform. Our licensed, U.S.-based insurance advisors ready to answer your questions and help you along the way.
There are other types of commercial insurance for Oklahoma small business owners to consider beyond workers’ compensation insurance. These can help protect your business from additional risks:
Any vehicle owned by a business in Oklahoma must have commercial auto insurance. It helps cover expenses if you or your employees are in an accident while operating the vehicle for business purposes.
General liability insurance can help protect your business from common accidents that result in damage to someone else’s property or injuries to someone other than an employee, such as a client or customer.
Professional liability insurance, also called E&O insurance, helps protect your business from accusations of negligence and professional mistakes have hurt someone financially or physically.