Washington, D.C. workers’ compensation insurance
Workers' compensation insurance covers the cost of work-related injuries. It's required for all Washington, D.C. businesses that have employees.
Who needs workers' compensation in Washington, D.C.?
Each state has different workers’ compensation laws, and in Washington, D.C., workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for all employers with one or more employees, including part-time or seasonal workers.
The workers' comp insurance offered in Washington, D.C. is no-fault coverage, meaning that an injured employee would be covered regardless of whether fault lies with the employer or the employee for the injury.
No-fault coverage is designed for two reasons:
- To provide complete coverage for any employee that suffers a work-related injury or illness
- To allow employers to avoid lawsuits for any injuries to workers
Do D.C. business owners need to carry workers’ compensation?
According to the workers' compensation requirements in the nation's capital., sole proprietors and independent contractors with no employees are not required to carry workers' compensation. However, we strongly encourage you to buy workers’ comp insurance, even though it's only required for employees.
Your personal health insurance company might deny a claim if they determine it is for a job-related injury. That would leave you paying medical bills out of pocket, which could be even harder if you're out of work while recovering.
Workers' compensation would pay for your medical care, and also supply partial wages for the time you lost while unable to work.
How much does workers' compensation coverage cost in Washington, D.C.?
Estimated employer rates for workers’ compensation in Washington, D.C. are $0.59 per $100 in covered payroll.
Your workers' comp cost is calculated based on a few factors, including:
- Number of employees
- Coverage limits
- Annual payroll
- Claims history
- Industry and risk factors
How does workers' comp work in Washington, D.C.?
Workers’ compensation benefits can cover medical expenses resulting from a workplace injury. It can also cover partial wage replacement equal to two-thirds of their average weekly wage if the employee is unable to work.
Workers’ compensation insurance in Washington, D.C. can include coverage for:
- Medical benefits to pay for surgery, tests, and other medical treatment
- Temporary total disability benefits
- Permanent total disability benefits
- Temporary partial disability benefits
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation services if the employee is unable to return to their former work
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 bills, 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.
Injured employees can visit a medical provider of their choice for treatment, but may not change physicians without approval, according to D.C. Employee's Rights and Obligations [PDF] guidelines.
How to buy workers' compensation coverage in Washington, D.C.
Small businesses can purchase workers' comp insurance policies from any private insurance carrier that is licensed to operate the District of Columbia.
With TechInsurance's easy online application, you can compare quotes from top-rated insurance companies.
Do D.C. workers' comp policies protect against lawsuits?
Workers' compensation insurance usually includes employer's liability insurance. This coverage helps pay for legal expenses if an employee blames their employer for an injury or occupational disease.
In addition to this policy, the exclusive remedy provision in most Washington, D.C. workers' comp policies prohibits an employee from suing their employer once they accept workers' comp benefits.
What are the penalties for not having workers’ comp in Washington, D.C.?
If employers in Washington, D.C. fail to provide workers' comp coverage, they could face severe penalties [PDF].
Employers who do not secure workers' comp could be fined between $1,000 and $10,000. In addition to the company itself, officers of a corporation could also be held personally liable.
It is required that employers report any work injury to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). If the employer fails to report these incidents, they could face a penalty of up to $1,000.
Any additional violations of the workers’ compensation laws could potentially result in misdemeanor charges, fines, or imprisonment for up to one year.
Workers’ compensation settlements in the capital city
Workers’ compensation settlements are agreements between the injured worker, employer, and the insurer to resolve a workers' compensation claim.
Most workers’ comp claims in Washington, D.C. come in the form of a lump sum. Occasionally, the insurance company will agree to a structured settlement, which pays out benefits in installments over a set period of time. Acceptance of a structured settlement typically prevents the worker from claiming future benefits for wage loss and permanent disability, but it would not prevent claims for future medical treatment.
The District of Columbia Office of Workers’ Compensation is responsible for approving agreed upon settlements.
District of Columbia workers’ compensation statute of limitations
In Washington, D.C., the workers’ compensation statute of limitations is one year from the date of injury, or the date when the injured person reasonably should have been aware that the injury was related to the workplace.
Get free quotes and compare policies with TechInsurance
If you are ready to explore workers’ compensation coverage options for your Washington, D.C. 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.