West Virginia Workers’ Compensation

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

In West Virginia, business owners can expect to pay, on average, $1.41 for every $100 of covered payroll. That means, for example, a business with a total annual payroll of $100,000 will pay approximately $1,410 per year for workers’ compensation insurance, or around $117 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 West 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.


West Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits

In West Virginia, if an employee dies as a result of a work injury or illness, surviving dependents may be entitled to death benefits.

Survivors will receive death benefits depending on their relationship to the worker. Those eligible for benefits include:

  • The surviving spouse of the worker
  • Children under the age of 18 (or under age 25 if the child is a full-time student)
  • Disabled children of any age

If there are no survivors who meet those criteria, the benefits can go to the worker’s surviving parents if they were financially dependent on the worker. If no surviving parents exist, benefits go to dependent grandchildren and/or siblings. 

When a deceased employee had no dependents, death benefits will only cover medical bills and funeral costs.

Surviving dependents will be entitled to two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly earnings at the time of the injury. Dependents will share that benefit, with the proportions of the shared benefits varying depending on the circumstances.

Workers’ compensation also covers funeral expenses of up to $7,000.


West Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation Laws

In general, all businesses with employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in West Virginia. But there are a few exceptions to West Virginia’s workers’ compensation laws. For example, you are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for:

  • Fewer than three employees who work temporary jobs lasting no more than ten days per quarter
  • Five or fewer agricultural workers
  • Domestic workers
  • Church employees
  • Athletes in professional sports
  • Temporary state employees 
  • Emergency service volunteers
  • Longshore and harbor workers

In West Virginia, self-employed and independent contractors are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. But if you are in this category, you might want to buy coverage to protect yourself from the potentially high costs of a work-related injury. Your healthcare plan might not fully cover work-related injuries, and it will never cover lost wages, which workers’ comp often does.


How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance

In West Virginia, you can buy a workers’ compensation insurance policy from a private insurance carrier that has a state license to offer workers’ compensation insurance. 

If your business is high-risk, and you are unable to obtain workers’ compensation coverage from a private insurance carrier, you may have to go through the Residual Market, and purchase what is known as an “Assigned Risk Plan.” These plans often have higher rates than policies on the private market. The National Council on Compensation Insurance administers the Assigned Risk Plan in West Virginia.

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.


West Virginia Workers’ Compensation FAQs

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

Yes, nearly all West Virginia employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you fail to provide records and information about your workers’ compensation coverage, you may be fined $500 or more for the first offense, and up to $25,000 for subsequent offenses. Repeat offenders face imprisonment for up to two years.

If you fail to pay workers’ compensation premiums, a late penalty of 10% of the calculated premium, plus interest, will be imposed. This fee will range between $50 and $500. A stop-work order may also be issued, preventing you from continuing to do business in West Virginia.

  • How do workers’ compensation settlements work in West Virginia?

A workers’ compensation settlement is considered a complete and final resolution in your state. When a settlement agreement is reached, your employee no longer has the right to sue you or your insurer for the injury. 

Most injured workers will not settle a claim until they have reached maximum medical improvement, meaning that their condition is stable and unlikely to worsen.

The settlement amount will be determined by the severity and nature of the injury.

  • What is the statute of limitations in West Virginia?

Workers’ compensation claims in West Virginia must be filed within:

    • 6 months of the date of the injury, or 
    • 3 years of the employee’s last exposure to the hazardous condition that caused the illness, or 
    • 3 years from the date of diagnosis of a work-related condition.

If an employee fails to meet the six-month deadline, they may lose their right to benefits.


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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