Montana Workers’ Compensation

montana worker's compensation text overlaying image of mountain range If you run a business and have employees, you’ll need to purchase Montana workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, this type of insurance is a requirement in most states, including Montana, 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 Montana, with some exceptions.

In Montana, workers’ compensation insurance will generally cost around $2.01 per $100 of covered payroll. That means, if your company’s total annual payroll is $100,000, you’d pay $2,010 for the year, or around $167 a month for workers’ compensation insurance. These rates can differ, depending on a variety of factors.

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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.


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What’s Covered

If an employee sustains an injury on the job or becomes ill due to workplace conditions, workers’ compensation in Montana 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 Montana 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:

  1. Temporary total disability (TTD) – These payments will be made if your employee is not able to work at all while recuperating.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


Montana’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits

The Montana Workers’ Compensation Act requires that death benefits be paid to dependents if one of your employees passes away as a result of a workplace injury or occupational illness. Beneficiaries will be paid two-thirds of the employee’s weekly wage. These benefits cannot exceed the average weekly wage in the state. However, if the employee leaves no surviving children, a $3,000 lump-sum payment must be made to their parents or anyone else that can prove they were financially dependent on them.


Montana’s Workers’ Compensation Laws

Employers doing business in Montana must follow strict workers’ compensation rules. All businesses with employees legally have to carry workers’ comp insurance unless otherwise exempt. This applies to all businesses, no matter if its employees are full-time, part-time, seasonal, and/or occasional.

Certain employees are exempt, though, from being covered by workers’ compensation insurance, such as:

  • Domestic or household workers
  • Commission-based salespeople in real estate, securities, or insurance
  • Newspaper deliverers
  • Freelance writers who are paid per article
  • Licensed barbers or cosmetologists employed by a cosmetology firm on a contract basis
  • Church ministers or members of religious orders

The following owner types are also exempt from workers’ compensation coverage under Montana Workers’ Compensation Regulation Bureau regulations:

  • Sole proprietors (self-employed)
  • Partners
  • LLC members
  • Corporate officers
  • Family members of sole proprietors who work as employees are exempt as long as the business owner claims them on a federal tax return

All of the above, though, can choose to purchase workers’ compensation. This would be a wise business decision, because your health insurance might not fully cover a work-related injury, leaving you with large medical bills. In addition, health insurance will not cover lost wages.


How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Most businesses in Montana buy private workers’ compensation 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 your company’s high-risk status – for example, if you have a history of a lot of workers’ comp claims – makes it impossible to obtain workers’ compensation insurance through the voluntary market, you can obtain coverage from the Montana State Fund.

The final option for obtaining workers’ compensation insurance is to self-insure your claims. Self-insurance means that your business will pay its own workers’ compensation claims out-of-pocket as they arise, rather than paying a premium and submitting claims to an insurance company. To do this, you will need to apply and meet certain requirements.

For example, to become self-insured (which is generally only available to large businesses), you must first obtain permission from the Montana Workers’ Compensation Regulation Bureau.

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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 also 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 also save you hundreds of dollars a year on coverage.


Montana Workers’ Compensation FAQs

  • Are you required to have workers’ compensation insurance in Montana?

All businesses with employees have to carry workers’ comp insurance in your state unless otherwise exempt. If you do not follow Montana’s workers’ compensation laws, you may be forced to pay twice the amount you would have paid for insurance. The minimum penalty is $200, but if your uninsured period was long, the fine could be significant.

  • How do workers’ compensation settlements work in Montana?

Many workers’ compensation claims in Montana result in settlements. To reach a settlement, the parties involved must reach an agreement on a lump-sum payment amount. In exchange, the employee (or the employee’s survivors) must agree that they will not make a claim for future benefit payments.

Employees who want to accept a lump-sum payment in lieu of future benefits must file an application with the Workers’ Compensation Court. If a settlement cannot be reached, employers and employees must first engage in mediation before filing a Workers’ Compensation Court claim.

  • What is the statute of limitations in Montana?

Your employees must report their injury within 30 days of the incident in order to receive workers’ compensation. The notice should include the date and location of the injury, as well as specifics about the injury. After receiving the first report of injury, the insurer has 30 days to respond to the claim with an approval or denial. 

If one of your employees requires a First Report of Injury (FROI) form, they can obtain one from the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. 


 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 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.

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About The Author:
Cassandra Love

With over a decade of helpful content experience Cassandra has dedicated her career to making sure people have access to relevant, easy to understand, and valuable information. After realizing a huge knowledge gap Cassandra spent years researching and working with health insurance companies to create accessible guides and articles to walk anyone through every aspect of the insurance process.

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