Mississippi workers’ compensation insurance
Workers' compensation insurance covers the cost of work-related injuries. It's required for all Mississippi businesses that have five or more employees.
Who needs workers’ compensation in Mississippi?
Although the vast majority of Mississippi employees must be covered by workers’ compensation insurance, some worker categories are exempt, including:
- Domestic workers
- Farm laborers
- Employees of nonprofit fraternal, charitable, religious, or cultural organizations
- Federal workers
- Various transportation and maritime employees covered by federal workers’ comp insurance
Although not required to provide workers’ comp protection to the above workers, employers may do so voluntarily.
Do Mississippi business owners need to carry workers’ compensation?
In most cases, you have to include yourself in your company’s workers’ comp insurance plan. The exceptions are if:
- You’re a sole proprietor
- You're an independent contractor
- You’re part of a partnership that owns or manages your firm
- You are a corporate officer who owns 15% or more of corporate stock
If any of those situations apply, you can still opt to participate in your firm’s workers’ comp policy. This is usually a wise decision since your health insurance provider could deny a claim for an injury that's related to your work, leaving you with expensive medical bills.
Members of a Mississippi limited liability company (LLC) are treated the same as sole proprietors and partnerships for workers’ compensation purposes.
How much does workers' compensation coverage cost in Mississippi?
How does workers’ compensation work in Mississippi?
When an employee experiences a work injury or develops an occupational disease, workers' compensation insurance covers their medical treatment. It also provides disability benefits of up to two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage while they cannot work.
Workers' compensation benefits [PDF] for injured workers in Mississippi include:
- Medical benefits (all medical bills related to the injury, from emergency treatment to physical rehabilitation)
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Permanent total disability benefits
- Temporary partial disability benefits
- Temporary total disability benefits
- Vocational training
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 care, 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.
Policies usually include employer's liability insurance, which can help cover legal expenses if an employee blames their employer for an injury. However, the exclusive remedy [PDF] provision in most workers' comp policies prohibits an employee from suing their employer if they accept workers' comp benefits.
The Mississippi Workers' Compensation Act provides no-fault coverage. That means regardless of who was at fault for the injury, workers won't end up paying for medical services or lose out on wages due to impairment.
How to buy workers' compensation coverage in Mississippi
Mississippi business owners can compare quotes and purchase a policy from private insurance companies. TechInsurance offers this service with its online insurance marketplace.
If they’re unable to qualify, they can buy it from Mississippi’s assigned risk residual market. The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) administers this insurance plan of last resort for high-risk state employers.
Mississippi employers also have the ability to self-insure [PDF] their workers’ compensation claims. This means they’ll cover their own workers’ comp medical and rehabilitation costs rather than put them through their insurance.
What are the penalties for not having workers’ comp in Mississippi?
If you fail to provide workers’ comp coverage as mandated by state law, you may face penalties, including a fine of up to $1,000, up to a year in jail, or both. Corporate officers may be forced to pay for an injured employee’s workers’ comp benefit out of their own pockets.
Workers’ compensation settlements in Mississippi
A workers’ compensation settlement is an agreement between the parties that will resolve a workers’ compensation claim. This benefits both the employee and the employer. A settlement in a workers’ compensation claim is a full and final resolution.
Settlements aren’t mandatory for employees. However, if the worker has reached maximum medical recovery or will not need additional treatment, they can agree to accept a lump sum in exchange for closing the claim.
All settlements are subject to the approval of the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission (MWCC). A licensed Mississippi attorney must be retained by the employer / carrier to prepare the proper paperwork and present the settlement to the commission.
Workers’ compensation statute of limitations in Mississippi
In the state of Mississippi, employees are required to report workplace injuries within 30 days.
Regardless of whether notice was received, if no payment of compensation (other than medical treatment) is made and no application for benefits is filed with the commission within two years from the date of the injury, the right to compensation expires.
Get free quotes and compare policies with TechInsurance
If you are ready to explore workers’ compensation coverage options for your Mississippi business, TechInsurance can help small business owners compare business insurance policy quotes with one easy online application. Start an application today to find the right insurance coverage at the most affordable price for your business.