Virginia Workers’ Compensation

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

In Virginia, business owners can expect to pay, on average, $0.75 for every $100 of covered payroll. That means, for example, a business with a total annual payroll of $100,000 will pay approximately $750 per year for workers’ compensation insurance, or around $62 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 one of your employees is injured at work or becomes ill because of workplace conditions. Workers’ compensation in Virginia can help pay for their medical bills. The weekly average wage of an employee is used to calculate workers’ compensation benefits. The type of claim determines the exact amount.

The most important thing that workers’ compensation does is offer coverage for your injured employee’s medical treatment. This would include doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, and surgical procedures. Following a return to work, an employee may need ongoing care. Such as follow-up appointments or extra surgeries; workers’ compensation will also cover these medical bills.

Additionally, if the incident causes permanent or temporary disability, the employee will receive compensation in the form of weekly or lump sum payments. If your employee suffers a temporary disability, their injury is preventing them from performing their regular job while they recover. They have a permanent disability if a doctor determines that they will not fully recover from their injury. 

These two classifications fall into two subcategories:

  1. Temporary total disability (TTD) – These payments will be made if your employee is unable to work at all during their recovery.
  2. Temporary partial disability (TPD) – TPD payments will be made if your employee is still able to work, but with certain restrictions, such as requiring lighter duties or fewer hours. Even 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) – If the accident or illness leaves your employee unable to work at all, even after recovery, they will be eligible for PTD payments.
  4. Permanent partial disability (PPD) – If an employee has permanent impairments but is able to work with those impairments, they will be eligible for PPD.


Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits

Under Virginia law, the spouse, children, and other dependents of a Virginia employee who dies as a result of a job-related injury or illness may be eligible for death benefits.

Eligible dependents of an injured worker may receive weekly payments equal to two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage, for up to 500 weeks from the date of injury. Up to $10,000 in burial expenses and $1,000 in transportation expenses will also be covered.


Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation Laws

Virginia requires businesses that employ three or more part-time or full-time employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

Furthermore, businesses that hire contractors to perform regular jobs, or to fulfill a contract, must include those individuals when calculating the number of employees for workers’ compensation purposes.

Self-employed people with no employees and no subcontractors do not need to purchase workers’ compensation insurance in Virginia. Unlike in many other states, sole proprietors are not required to file an exemption or waiver form with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWC).

But, if you are an executive or corporate officer at your company, the state regards you as an employee for workers’ compensation purposes. It does, however, give you the right to refuse insurance coverage. To do this, you must:

  • Have valid workers’ compensation coverage for your company’s other employees.
  • Fill out a Rejection of Coverage form and submit it to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.
  • File a copy of the form with your insurance company.


How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance

In Virginia, you can buy a workers’ compensation insurance policy from a private insurance carrier that is licensed by the state to offer workers’ compensation insurance. 

If you meet certain criteria, you may also be able to self-insure your workers’ compensation claims. This means you will pay any workers’ compensation claims out-of-pocket as they arise, instead of paying a premium and submitting claims to an insurance company. 

In order to be considered for self-insurance, you must:

  • Submit an application
  • Submit audited financial statements for the last three years of your business’s operation
  • Provide a claims run that includes all closed and open claims for the last three policy years
  • Pay a filing fee of $200

If your business is considered high-risk, and you are unable to obtain workers’ compensation insurance through any of the above channels, you can obtain coverage from the Virginia Assigned Risk Market. This is the state’s workers’ compensation insurer of last resort, administered by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).

If you need help finding a policy, Ez’s agents can help sort through all of your options, and find you the best workers’ comp insurance for your business.

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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.


Virginia Workers’ Compensation FAQs

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

Yes, nearly all Virginia employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance. It is a serious offense to violate the Virginia workers’ compensation statute. If you do not comply, you may be fined $250 per day for not maintaining insurance, up to a maximum civil penalty of $50,000.

  • How do workers’ compensation settlements work in Virginia?

Many claims in Virginia’s workers’ compensation system result in settlements. This means that the claim’s parties – you, your injured employee, and your insurer – agree on a lump-sum payment in exchange for the employee (or the employee’s survivors) agreeing to forgo future benefits. Workers’ compensation settlements in Virginia do not require an official hearing before an administrative judge.

Once a settlement is reached, the settlement agreement must be filed with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Division and approved by one of its judges. It must be a written document signed by the injured or ill worker or survivors, a representative of your business, and the insurance company. 

The following information must be included in the settlement application:

    • A petition outlining the terms of the agreement
    • A notarized affidavit stating that the employee (or survivors) understands the terms of the settlement.
    • A medical summary of the employee’s current condition
    • A breakdown of the employee’s legal fees
    • A proposed order of settlement
  • What is the statute of limitations in Virginia?

Employees who are injured in Virginia must file a workers’ compensation claim within two years of the injury. If they discover an injury or illness after the claim deadline, the state will not grant them an extension.


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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