Virginia Workers’ Compensation

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What can be covered by Virginia 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 Virginia Workers’ Compensation insurance required?

If you’re a Virginia business owner with more than two employees — either full-time, part-time, subcontractor, seasonal, temporary, minor, trainee, immigrant or working family member — Virginia state law requires you to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

If you hire subcontractor employees, the requirement still applies to your business even if the subcontractor carries their own workers’ compensation coverage.

Virginia requires state coverage for work performed in the state, including temporary work, and it does not have reciprocity with any other states.

Virginia business owners have other rules around workers comp they must follow as well, including:

  • Every employer must keep a record of all injuries or deaths of its employees.
  • Business owners must educate employees on injury reporting before an injury occurs. They should also immediately notify their insurer if there is an injury.
  • Employers must post a workers’ compensation notice at their business indicating their compliance.

Your employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including lost wages, medical benefits, disability and death benefits for workplace-related injuries and illnesses as long as they did not cause an accident intentionally.

Business owners can also benefit from the liability protection of workers’ comp if they experience an injury while on the job with the addition of an owners policy.

Unlike healthcare insurance, business owners cannot share the cost of workers’ compensation insurance in Virginia with employees or deduct the cost from their wages. As a business owner, you are fully responsible for the workers’ comp insurance premium.

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How does Workers’ Comp work in Virginia?

Virginia workers’ compensation insurance helps business owners pay for expenses related to job-related injuries and illness, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Vocational training if the employee is unable to perform his or her previous job
  • Permanent disability benefits
  • Death benefits

Workers’ compensation insurance coverage protects your workers who suffer injuries on the job and protects your business from the financial impact of potential claims.

If one of your employees is injured on the job, you have 10 days to report it to your insurance carrier and the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.

An injured worker can obtain benefits for acute injuries, like a broken leg or wrist, and for injuries that might worsen over time, such as a spinal injury due to repetitive movement on the job.

Several types of workers’ compensation benefits exist in Virginia:

  • Medical benefits for when an employee suffers a temporary disability as a result of a job-related accident, such as a broken leg after a fall. Workers’ comp insurance can help pay for medical expenses and rehabilitation costs.
  • Disability benefits kick in for injuries that have long-term impact, such as lung disease caused by long-term exposure to chemicals at work. In this case, the insurance provider could pay for an impacted employee’s medical expenses now and in the future up to the policy limits.
  • Wage-loss replacement benefits can help if a workplace injury prevents working for a period of time or at the same occupation, such as a back injury that prevents them from performing their regular job. In this case the insurance company pays up to the policy limit for lost wages if the employee has to miss more than seven consecutive days of work.

Workers’ Comp death benefits in Virginia

If an employee dies because of a job-related injury or illness, Virginia workers’ compensation covers:

  • Burial expenses up to $10,000.
  • Reasonable transportation expenses up to $1,000.
  • Compensation to dependents under age 18 or up to age 23 if they’re a full-time student.

Learn more about workers’ compensation coverage.

How much is Virginia Workers’ Compensation?

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 Virginia Workers’ Compensation insurance?

Virginia does not provide a waiver or exemption for a sole proprietor or any other business.

Be aware that in Virginia, you as a business owner or corporate officer count as an employee, as do any family members employed in your business. Seasonal, part-time workers and minors count as employees, too, under Virginia workers’ compensation insurance laws.

An executive officer may reject coverage with proper notice to the employer and the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.

How NEXT helps Virginia 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 Virginia

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 Virginia 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.