If you run a business and have employees, you’ll need to purchase Oklahoma workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, this type of insurance is a requirement in most states, including Oklahoma, with some exceptions. It helps pay your employees’ medical bills if they sustain an injury on the job. It also limits your liability for workplace accidents, is a requirement in most states, including Oklahoma, with some exceptions.
In Oklahoma, business owners can expect to pay, on average, $1.26 for every $100 of covered payroll. That means, for example, a business with a total annual payroll of $100,000 will pay approximately $1,260 per year for workers’ compensation insurance, or around $105 a month. This is only a rough estimate, since factors such as your location, the different rates for staffing types (laborers vs office workers), and your claims history can all have a significant impact on your rates.
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 Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma 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.
Oklahoma’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
If one of your employees dies as a result of a work-related illness or injury, your workers’ compensation insurer is required to pay death benefits to the employee’s survivors. This entails paying benefits to a worker’s surviving spouse and/or other dependents. Survivors of deceased employees who were not financially dependent, but suffered a financial loss may also be eligible for a lump-sum payment.
Death benefits are determined by state law on a predetermined schedule. Benefits include lump-sum payments, ongoing weekly payments, and funeral expenses.
Oklahoma’s Workers’ Compensation Laws
Almost every employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance in Oklahoma.
Certain types of employees, businesses, and business owners in your state may be exempt from workers’ compensation coverage in certain circumstances, such as:
- People who are self-employed (sole proprietors)
- Members of a limited liability company (LLC) who own at least 10% of the capital
- Members of a partnership
- Stockholders in a business who own at least 10% of capital
- Family businesses with five or fewer family-related employees
In addition, independent contractors are not considered employees and are not covered by workers’ compensation. Oklahoma uses a complex, multipart test to determine whether a worker is a contractor or an employee. The government considers the following factors:
- The contract’s nature
- The degree to which the principal employer has control over the work
- Whether the individual works in a specific occupation or runs a business for others
- Whether the individual works under supervision or on their own
If your employee is considered an independent contractor based on the above criteria, you will not be required to cover them with workers’ compensation under Oklahoma law, but you can choose to cover them anyway. Even if your employees are exempt, it’s a good idea to consider getting workers’ compensation, because coverage gaps can expose your business to liability lawsuits.
How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If you’re looking for workers’ compensation insurance in Oklahoma, you should start by looking into private insurance policies. Agents at EZ can assist you in comparing insurers and policies to find the best coverage for you.
If your business is high-risk, and you are unable to obtain workers’ compensation insurance through the private market, you can obtain coverage through the Oklahoma assigned risk market.
If your business meets certain criteria, you may be able to self-insure your workers’ compensation claims. This means you will pay your own workers’ compensation claims out-of-pocket as they arise, rather than paying a premium and submitting claims to an insurance carrier.
To be eligible for self-insurance, you must first apply to the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission for an Individual Own Risk Employer Permit.
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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.
Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Are you required to have workers’ compensation insurance in Oklahoma?
Almost all employers in Oklahoma must have workers’ comp insurance. If you allow your coverage to lapse by failing to pay premiums or failing to submit a payroll report on time, you can face the following penalties:
- A $1,000 fine for each day your employees were/are not covered by workers’ compensation
- Possible civil litigation from injured workers
- A court-ordered closure of your business due to failure to provide coverage or pay the resulting penalties
How do workers’ compensation settlements work in Oklahoma?
Many workers’ compensation claims in Oklahoma end in settlements. This means that all parties involved – you, your injured employee, and your workers’ compensation insurer – must agree on a lump-sum payment in exchange for the employee (or the employee’s survivors) agreeing to waive future payments.
Additionally, workers’ compensation settlements in Oklahoma have complex rules, and a workers’ compensation judge must approve the settlements.
- What is the statute of limitations in Oklahoma?
Employees in Oklahoma must file a workers’ compensation claim within two years of one of three dates: the date of injury or death, the date of payment of any compensation or wages in lieu of compensation, or the start date of authorized medical care.
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. All of our services are completely free so check your quotes today!
If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3538. You will speak 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.