If you run a business and have employees, you’ll need to purchase Missouri workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, this type of insurance is a requirement in most states, including Missouri, with some exceptions. It helps pay your employees’ medical bills if they sustain an injury on the job. And limits your liability for workplace accidents, is a requirement in most states, including Missouri, with some exceptions.
Workers’ compensation insurance in Missouri will generally cost around $1.19 per $100 of covered payroll. That means, for example, if your business has a total annual payroll of $100,000, you will pay $1,190 for workers’ compensation insurance per year, or around $99 a month. These rates can vary, though, depending on a number of factors.
One of the biggest factors in determining your rates for workers’ compensation insurance is your employees’ risk, or the likelihood of a workplace injury occurring at your business. To assist insurers in determining risk exposure, and to get the best rates for your business, you can use a variety of workers’ compensation class codes. This is important because it costs more to insure certain employees. For example, office employees may have lower workers’ compensation costs than those who work outside of your office and face more risks.
If an employee sustains an injury on the job or becomes ill due to workplace conditions, workers’ compensation in Missouri will help them with their medical bills. The average weekly wage of the employee determines the workers’ compensation benefits. The amount depends on the type of claim.
In general, workers’ compensation in Missouri covers:
- Accidents and injuries – If your employee needs medical attention, workers’ compensation will cover any medical expenses from a workplace injury.
- Illness – If an employee becomes sick from exposure to allergens or other hazardous materials at work, they can also receive workers’ comp benefits to help pay for treatment.
- Repetitive injury – It’s not just accidents that are covered: treatment for repetitive injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, are also covered by workers’ compensation.
- Ongoing care – If your employee still has medical needs as a direct result of their accident or illness, even after they return to work, they can get benefits for ongoing care. This includes additional doctor’s appointments or additional surgeries.
In addition, if their accident or illness results in permanent or temporary disability, your employee will receive weekly or lump sum payments. If they have a temporary disability, their injury prevents your employee from performing their job. But they can return to work as normal once they recover. If a doctor diagnoses them with an injury from which they will not fully recover, they have a permanent disability.
These categories fall into the following classifications:
- Temporary total disability (TTD) – These payments will be made if your employee is not able to work at all while recuperating.
- Temporary partial disability (TPD) – TPD payments will be made if your employee can still work, but only with certain limitations, such as needing to perform lighter duties or work fewer hours. If your company does not provide work that meets these requirements, the employee may still be eligible for these payments.
- Permanent total disability (PTD) – Employees who are unable to work due to an accident or illness, even after they have recovered as much as they are likely to, will be eligible for PTD payments.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) – Employees who have permanent difficulties but can work with them will be eligible for PPD.
Missouri’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
Certain family members may be eligible for death benefits if an employee passes away as a result of a work-related injury or illness. In Missouri, this includes weekly payments covering a portion of the deceased employee’s income, as well as up to $5,000 for funeral and burial expenses.
Family members who are eligible include:
- The spouse of the deceased worker
- Children under the age of 18 (or a stepchild claimed as a dependent for federal tax purposes)
- Children under the age of 22 (if going to school full-time or on active duty in the U.S. military)
- Any child, regardless of age, who is unable to work due to a physical or mental disability
Dependent family members of the deceased worker will receive death benefits calculated on the basis of the employee’s pre-injury weekly pay. This amount cannot, though, exceed 67% of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage, subject to the state’s minimum and maximum benefit amounts.
Benefits will be paid until the surviving spouse dies or marries again. If this occurs, the spouse will receive a final lump-sum payment equal to two years’ worth of benefit payments.
Missouri’s Workers’ Compensation Laws
In Missouri, if a business has at least five employees, it must have workers’ compensation insurance. Members of a limited liability company and corporate officers are included. Construction companies, too, require coverage if they have at least one employee.
Some types of employees are exempt from the state’s workers’ compensation requirements, including:
- Farm workers
- Domestic workers
- Some real estate agents
- Direct vendors
- Owner-operators of commercial motor vehicles (commercial truckers)
Even if your business has fewer than five employees or does not require coverage, you should think about carrying a policy for peace of mind. Without workers’ compensation, your business would have to pay for an injured employee’s medical care out-of-pocket. Not only that, but your company faces the risk of employee lawsuits if they are injured or become ill on the job.
How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Most businesses in Missouri buy private insurance from an insurance company in the state. EZ’s agents can help you compare insurers and policies to find the best coverage for you.
If you are unable to qualify for a private workers’ compensation policy, you can purchase one from the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Assigned Risk Plan, the state’s assigned risk residual market. Here you can get a last resort insurance policy if you are unable to find standard coverage because of your high-risk status (for example, if you have had a high number of previous claims).
You can also self-insure your workers’ compensation claims. This means you will pay for your own workers’ compensation medical and rehabilitation costs out-of-pocket as they arise, rather than paying a premium and submitting claims to an insurer. Doing this also means you will be directly liable for any lawsuits filed against you by injured or sick employees.
If you want to self-insure, you will have to apply to do so and meet certain requirements. For example, you must first be certified by the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation to become self-insured, either as an individual employer or as part of an employer group.
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How to Get the Most Savings
The majority of the cost of workers’ compensation comes from factors beyond your control. However, there are still ways to save. Implementing a safety program is a great way to reduce workplace injuries and claims, which will lower your premiums. So regardless of your industry, it is important to have safety and standard operating procedures in place. Employees who have safety training are less vulnerable to injuries, lowering your workers’ compensation costs.
It is also a good idea to regularly review your claims history. Evaluating your claims history on a regular basis can help you identify and correct patterns. You might discover that certain aspects of your business operations are frequently causing claims. This allows you to adjust the operation to make it safer. You can save money by keeping an eye on potentially dangerous operations.
Correctly classifying your employees is one of the most effective ways to save money. When you apply for your workers’ compensation policy, you will classify each of your employees depending on their job’s risk. And this risk classification influences the cost of your workers’ compensation. For example, you might pay less to insure an office worker than you would a manual laborer. It’s also important to correctly classify your employees because you may receive a fine if you fail to do so.
Begin a free online application today to compare workers’ compensation insurance quotes for your small business from leading U.S. insurers. EZ’s agents specialize in insurance for a wide range of small businesses. Working with our agents can save you hundreds of dollars a year on coverage.
Missouri Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Are you required to have workers’ compensation insurance in Missouri?
Yes, almost every business needs to have workers’ compensation insurance in your state. If you fail to carry workers’ compensation, you may face a misdemeanor charge. In addition, if you are found to be in violation of workers’ compensation laws, you may face a fine of three times the workers’ compensation premium you should have paid, up to a maximum of $50,000.
You will also be responsible for paying for injured employees’ medical or rehabilitation expenses. If you are caught operating your business without workers’ compensation for a second time, you could face felony charges.
How do workers’ compensation settlements work in Missouri?
When an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of their job, the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation can help. They ensure that injured workers receive the benefits required by workers’ compensation law. The division’s judges have the authority to approve workers’ compensation settlements and to issue awards related to an injured worker’s benefits.
What is the statute of limitations in Missouri?
The statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims in Missouri is two years from the date of injury, or one year from the last workers’ comp payment.
Why Use EZ
If you’re looking for workers’ compensation insurance, come to EZ. We pride ourselves on doing everything we can to give you an easy and stress-free shopping experience. We give our customers our full attention and offer fully personalized service and fast results. As soon as you fill out our form, you will receive free quotes from one of our agents, who will understand your needs right from the start. We want to ensure that you make the best decision and get the best coverage for the best price. Our services are completely free so check out your personalized quotes today!
If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3538. You will connect with a local insurance agent who can answer all of your questions, and help you find the workers’ compensation policy that works best for your business.