If you employ workers in Pennsylvania, you must have workers' compensation insurance -- it's the law.
If you are a new or start up business, or are expanding your current business operation to include employees, it is important to know that by state law you will be required to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
Generally, workers’ compensation insurance coverage is mandatory for all employers who have one or more employees, whether they’re part-time or full-time, including family members.
Coverage ensures medical and wage-loss benefits to employees who are injured during the course of their job. Employers who so provide coverage are protected against lawsuits filed by injured workers.
There are four ways a business can obtain workers' compensation insurance coverage in Pennsylvania:
Purchase a policy through an insurance agent or broker.
Purchase coverage directly from one of the 300+ private sector insurance carriers who write workers' compensation policies. The Consumer Guide to Workers' Compensation Insurance is found on the PA Dept. of Insurance web site.
Apply for self-insurance status. Large, financially-healthy employers that have been operating for three or more years may be interested in securing Bureau of Workers' Compensation approval to individually self-insure their potential liability. Employers may also be eligible for joining a certified group self-insurance fund, if one operates covering their type of business. For information on individual or group self-insurance, contact the Bureau's Self-Insurance Division at 717-783-4476.
Obtain insurance from the State Workers' Insurance Fund (SWIF). Most new businesses have difficulty obtaining workers’ compensation insurance because of their lack of experience. As a state agency, SWIF is required to provide coverage to all businesses, especially those having difficulty obtaining coverage from private sector insurers. General information about SWIF is available on this website.
An application for workers' compensation insurance through SWIF is also available on-line.