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Who Needs Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Business owners must make numerous considerations to ensure that their companies are on track for success. But hiring attentive workers – and keeping them safe – can’t be overvalued. It is critical to select a good workers’ comp plan to protect your workers and your business. But how can you be sure that your business actually needs workers’ compensation insurance?

Read on to learn more about who needs workers’ comp insurance coverage – and why your business could be at risk without it.

Workers’ compensation coverage requirements vary depending on one’s business location and business type. However, in Oklahoma, most businesses are required to carry work comp coverage because – regardless of the type of work you’re performing – there are inherent risks that must be shielded against to protect one’s workers and business in the event of an injury.

Workers’ compensation insurance protects businesses and employees in the following ways:

When you secure workers’ compensation insurance for your business, you gain access to the support system that you need in the event of an injury. Additionally, the coverage protects against financial losses and lawsuits that could be devastating to your business if a worker is injured on the job. Your workers’ compensation provider can offer injured workers benefits such as the partial replacement of lost wages in the event of an injury. This is critical for small businesses, as the organization would then not be liable to provide such reimbursement.

When you provide quality workers’ compensation coverage for your employees, you demonstrate your commitment to keeping your workplace safe and invest in supporting your workforce. However, certain business types are not required by law to carry workers’ compensation coverage in Oklahoma.

Read on to learn more about a few business types that can qualify for a workers’ comp coverage exemption:

Family Businesses

Oklahoma family businesses with five or fewer employees – all with familial ties – can qualify for an exemption from carrying workers’ compensation insurance. Qualifying family members can include parents, siblings, or children of the policyholder (or 50% or more owner of the policyholder’s business). Other qualifying relatives can include grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, and half-siblings of the policyholder (or 50% owner of the policyholder’s business).

Self-Employed Workers & Independent Contractors

In the state of Oklahoma, when you work completely by yourself, there isn’t a requirement to carry workers’ comp. However, independent contractors – sometimes referred to as self-employed workers – can obtain workers’ compensation coverage for protection against costs associated with injuries sustained while conducting business.

Oklahoma independent contractors can also qualify for this exemption. However, many choose to carry coverage anyway to protect against exposure to high-risk work environments.

Truck Drivers

In instances where Oklahoma truck drivers have complete ownership of their vehicles, it isn’t a state requirement to carry workers’ comp. This exemption can also apply to tow truck drivers. However, leased trucks typically disqualify businesses from utilizing the exemption.

Agriculture & Farming Businesses

Oklahoma agriculture businesses are not required to have workers’ comp if they made less than $100,000 in the previous year. Farming and domestic workers who earned less than $50,000 in the prior calendar year can qualify for this exemption.

Exemptions & Workers’ Comp Protection

Workers’ compensation insurance isn’t a luxury – it’s necessary for businesses of many shapes and sizes. Without proper workers’ compensation coverage, your business could be violating laws that are established to prevent potentially costly legal exposure. Although a few business types aren’t required to carry work comp policies, the benefits can be incredibly valuable – and some Oklahoma business owners choose to have coverage anyway.

A savvy business owner should consider that if their business is not protected by a workers’ comp policy, there is potential liability regarding employee injuries resulting in lawsuits. This can result in a devastating financial loss that could cripple the business and limit one’s ability to aid injured workers adequately.

To get more detailed information on Oklahoma business exemptions for workers’ compensation coverage, visit: Oklahoma State Courts Network

Ready to Get Protected?

CompSource Mutual offers added benefits to its policyholders like free resources to help them create safety programs customized to their unique business needs. Plus, our robust team of CompSource safety consultants supports business owners with answers to questions, personalized resources, and more. Learn more about free safety help from CompSource.

Need help deciding what’s right for your business?
As Oklahoma’s leading provider of workers’ comp coverage for more than 85 years, we’re ready to help. We have expertise in the industries that keep Oklahoma running and can get you coverage that makes sense at a fair price.

Contact us at 800-347-3862 or request a quote to get started.


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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