North Dakota Workers’ Compensation

north dakota worker's compensation text overlaying image of the badlands If you run a business and have employees, you’ll need to purchase North Dakota workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, this type of insurance is a requirement in most states, including North Dakota, 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 North Dakota, with some exceptions. 

In North Dakota, business owners can expect to pay, on average, $1.28 for every $100 of covered payroll. That means a business with a total annual payroll of $100,000 will pay approximately $1,280 per year for workers’ compensation insurance, or around $106 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.

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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 North Dakota 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 North Dakota 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.
  4. Permanent partial disability (PPD) – Employees who have permanent difficulties but can work with them will be eligible for PPD.


North Dakota’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits

If an employee dies as a result of a work accident or illness, North Dakota’s Workforce Safety and Insurance will cover funeral expenses up to $10,000. In addition, spouses and dependents qualify for two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage. The surviving spouse will also be awarded a one-time payment of $2,500, plus $800 for each dependent child.

If the employee doesn’t have a spouse or dependents, a lump sum of $15,000 will be distributed to their other survivors. Benefits will vary depending on whether the employee had a spouse, children, or other survivors.


North Dakota’s Workers’ Compensation Laws

Most businesses in North Dakota must have workers’ compensation insurance before hiring their first employee. Certain types of North Dakota employees, though, are exempt from needing coverage. This includes the following:

  • Licensed real estate brokers and agents who have signed written agreements designating them as independent contractors
  • Farm and ranch employees
  • Domestic workers
  • Employees in a religious establishment
  • Independent contractors
  • Employees of the federal government and the railroads
  • Newspaper delivery personnel who have a written agreement designating them as independent contractors

Independent contractors are not required to be covered by workers’ compensation if they can demonstrate their status as independent. The burden of proof is on the person claiming independent contractor status.

If North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance determines that a person is exempt from workers’ compensation due to being an independent contractor, the decision is valid for one year.

Employers or independent contractors seeking an exemption should contact WSI and request an “Independent Contractor Verification Application.”


How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance

North Dakota is a monopolistic state when it comes to workers’ comp. This means that employers must obtain workers’ compensation insurance through North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance (WSI). Business owners in the state cannot get workers’ compensation through a private insurance company.

In general, obtaining workers’ compensation insurance through a state fund means that your policy will not cover employer liability. As a result, an employee can sue you for workplace injuries or illnesses in your state.

To safeguard yourself against such lawsuits, you can purchase a separate general liability policy or a business owner’s policy, which will bundle commercial property and general liability into one policy.

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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.


North Dakota Workers’ Compensation FAQs

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

Almost all employees working in the state must be covered by workers’ comp insurance. If you fail to carry the required coverage, you will be responsible for all of the premiums you should have paid during the uninsured period.

In addition, you could face a $10,000 one-time penalty plus an additional $100 per day of noncompliance. You may also be served with a state-issued cease and desist order requiring you to stop work until you obtain coverage.

  • How do workers’ compensation settlements work in North Dakota?

Many workers’ compensation claims in North Dakota result in settlements. This means that the claim’s parties agree on a lump-sum payment in exchange for the employee (or the employee’s survivors) forgoing future payments.

Because North Dakota has a monopolistic workers’ compensation fund, all settlements must be approved by the state rather than a private insurer. The state is willing to consider alternative arrangements, such as closing an employee’s disability claim while keeping future medical benefits open. Another option is to convert future benefits into a structured settlement, which is essentially an annuity-like arrangement in which employees receive payments over time.

  • What is the statute of limitations in North Dakota?

Employees in North Dakota must file a workers’ compensation claim within two years of the date of injury. This is the first date that any reasonable person would have recognized a workplace injury occurred.


Why Use EZ

We do everything in our power to make shopping for workers’ compensation insurance as easy and stress-free as possible. And we give each of our customers our undivided attention. As soon as you fill out our form, you will receive instant, free quotes from your dedicated agent. Who will give you personalized service and will work to understand your needs. We want to ensure that you get the best coverage at the best price. Our services are completely free so check out your quotes today!

If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3538. You will speak to 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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