Idaho workers’ compensation insurance
Workers' compensation insurance covers the cost of work-related injuries. It's required for all Idaho businesses that have one or more employees.
Who needs workers’ compensation insurance in Idaho?
Each state has different workers’ compensation laws, and in Idaho, workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for all businesses that have employees. This includes full-time, part-time, seasonal, and occasional workers.
Businesses are required to have their workers’ compensation insurance in place before they hire their first employee. In some instances, independent contractors must be included under your workers’ comp coverage.
These requirements are normally determined on a case-by-case basis, and to ensure that your business is in compliance with Idaho law, you must contact the Idaho Industrial Commission (IIC).
Are there any exemptions for workers' comp coverage in Idaho?
Individuals who fall under the workers’ comp exemptions in Idaho include:
- Independent contractors and sole proprietors
- Family members who are employed by a sole proprietor and living in the same household
- Family members of sole proprietors who don’t live under the same roof may also file for an exemption
- Members or partners in a limited liability company (LLC)
- Corporate officers that are also directors and own 10% of the company’s stock
- Employees who are covered under federal workers’ comp
- Domestic or household workers
- Agricultural dusting or spraying pilots
- Associate real estate brokers and real estate salespeople
- Volunteer ski patrollers
- Athletic officials of grades 7-12
- Casual employment that is unrelated to the employer’s normal business
While not required for most of these individuals, sole proprietors and other self-employed businesses should still consider buying this coverage, as it can help provide payment for work-related injury claims that may be denied by your health insurance provider.
How much does workers' compensation insurance cost in Idaho?
How does workers’ comp work in Idaho?
A workers' comp insurance policy helps cover the cost of medical treatment for an employee that suffers an injury on the job or develops an occupational-related disease. It can also provide weekly payments to partially cover lost wages while the injured employee is recovering and unable to work.
Workers' compensation benefits can include:
- The costs of all medical care, including medical bills for emergency treatment and physical rehabilitation
- Partial lost wages during the period where the employee is recovering
- Temporary and permanent disability benefits
For example, if an IT tech or software developer is diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome due to keyboard overuse, your workers' comp policy would pay for their medical treatment, including long-term medication and physical therapy.
Or, if an employee at your IT consulting firm trips in the office stairwell and suffers a concussion, then your workers' comp policy would pay for their ambulance ride and emergency room visit.
To receive compensation for medical expenses, employees must visit a health provider approved by their employer or its insurer.
Most workers' comp policies include employer's liability insurance, which helps cover legal expenses if an employee blames their employer for an injury. However, the exclusive remedy provision in most workers' comp policies prohibits an employee from suing their employer once they accept workers' comp benefits.
How do you buy workers' comp in Idaho?
When it comes to purchasing a workers' compensation policy, Idaho business owners have four different methods to choose from:
- You can buy workers' comp from a private insurer. With TechInsurance's easy online application, you can compare quotes from top-rated insurance companies
- You can buy a policy from the Idaho State Insurance Fund. The state fun accepts some employers who might not be approved to buy through private insurance companies.
- You can apply for self-insurance. Larger employers who meet certain requirements may be eligible to self-insure for workers' compensation coverage.
- You can use the assigned risk pool. Employers who are ineligible for any of the above options are able to acquire insurance through the assigned risk pool.
What are the penalties for not having workers’ compensation insurance in Idaho?
If an employee suffers an injury and their employer does not have the required workers’ comp coverage, the employer could be held liable for all the benefits that normally would have been provided by workers’ comp. Additionally, the employer may receive a 10% penalty for the amount of medical and wage loss benefits, plus any attorney fees incurred by the injured worker.
For the period of noncompliance by the business, there is also a penalty of $2 for each employee per day, or a total of $25 per day, whichever total is higher. The industrial commission of Idaho is permitted to file for an injunction that prohibits an employer from operating their business while they are in violation of the state workers’ comp law. If the situation becomes large enough, some employers may receive criminal misdemeanor penalties, as well.
Workers’ comp settlements in Idaho
A workers’ compensation settlement is an agreement between an employee and the employer that will help resolve a workers’ compensation claim. A settlement in a workers’ compensation claim is a full and final resolution that is meant to help benefit both parties.
Most settlements will close workers’ comp benefits for good, and are usually provided to the employee as a lump sum. Each lump-sum settlement must be approved by the IIC before it is considered legally binding, and it must be determined to be in the best interest for all parties involved.
Occasionally, settlements will allow for medical benefits to remain open, which can be the case if an employee is likely to require any additional or ongoing treatment.
Lump-sum settlements usually include:
- Future medical costs
- Unpaid impairment balance
- Costs for disability related to decreased wage-earning capacity
- Retraining costs
Idaho workers’ compensation law for statute of limitations
If an employee has met all the filing and notice requirements for a workers’ comp claim, the state of Idaho does not have a set statute of limitations on medical benefits, unless the claim was closed with a lump-sum settlement.
An employee is required to make their first report of injury or illness to their employer within 60 days from the date that the discovery of the injury or illness occurred.
However, if any income benefits were paid and discontinued more than four years from the date of the injury, employees have one year from the date of that last payment to file an application for any additional income benefits.