Are Independent Contractors Covered By Workers' Comp?

Every business owner is required to carry workers' compensation for employees. They don't, however, have to carry this coverage for independent contractors. Which are you? Understanding the rules can ensure you're protected if you're injured at work. 

Are you an Independent Contractor or an Employee? 

Before you can decide if you're covered by an employer's workers' comp, you have to know if you're considered an employee or an independent contractor. 

Independent contractors: 
- Control how and when the job is done and by whom
- Receive payment by the job 
- Must pay their own taxes
- Provide all equipment necessary to complete the job
- May work for several companies simultaneously
- Are responsible to obtain any training
- Pay for licenses and other documents needed to work
- Can sue a business for work-related injuries that occur while on the job at their facility


- Completes a job according to directions and method given by an employer
- Receive hourly or salaried wages 
- Understand that taxes are taken out of their paychecks 
- Complete jobs with equipment provided by the employer
- Typically works exclusively for one company
- Receive training from their employer
- Receive licenses and other work-related documents from employer
- Give up the right to sue the employer for injuries sustained while at work 

What are the Consequences of not Carrying Adequate Workers' Comp Coverage?

Employers may sometimes classify legitimate employees as independent contractors. They may be confused about the law or trying to get out of paying expensive workers' comp insurance or extra taxes. However, disobeying the law can result in fines and penalties that could affect an employer's ability to stay in business. 

How do Independent Contractors Get Workers' Comp? 

Because they're self-employed, independent contractors usually rely on their health insurance to pay for injuries that occur on the job. They can also purchase their own workers' comp insurance policy and receive a Certificate of Insurance that proves they're covered if they get hurt while on a job.

If you're an employee, double check your workers' compensation benefit. Make sure it's current and that it covers you if you're injured at work. If you're an independent contractor, purchase workers' comp coverage today. You can't afford to be without it. 

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