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Workers' Compensation for Colorado Businesses

What are the laws that govern workers’ compensation insurance in Colorado?

According to the Colorado.gov website:

Workers’ compensation coverage provides employers and employees with medical care, death benefits, and lost wages for work-related injuries. In general, Colorado law requires that all employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, certain exceptions to this requirement may include: a sole proprietor or any general working partner; a corporate officer; or a member of a limited liability company.

The Colorado Division of Insurance DOES NOT have jurisdiction over individual Workers’ Compensation Claims. The Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation (CDWC), part of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, is the state agency responsible for administering and enforcing workers’ compensation law in Colorado. The Division of Insurance is responsible for monitoring the financial condition of the insurance industry, overseeing the Classification Appeals Board which handles classification and experience modification disputes, approving the annual NCCI loss cost filing, reviewing rate and form filings submitted by individual insurers, and handling complaints regarding rate or premium-related issues.

The Colorado.gov website provides the following additional information:

All public and private employers in Colorado, with limited exceptions, must provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees if one or more full- or part-time persons are employed. A person hired to perform services for pay is presumed by law to be an employee. This includes all persons elected or appointed to public sector service and all persons appointed or hired by private employers for remuneration. There are a few exemptions to this definition.

Workers’ compensation insurance coverage is paid by the employer. Employers purchase insurance coverage through a commercial insurance carrier or, if qualified, through self-insurance programs. No portion of the premium may be deducted from an employee’s wages.

In Colorado, there are three ways in which an employer may obtain workers’ compensation coverage:

Commercial Insurance;
Self-Funding (Individual); or
Self-Funding (Groups and/or Pools)
To learn more about self-insurance, please visit the Self-Insurance page.

Employer Requirements:
1. Obtain and maintain workers’ compensation insurance
2. Display a Notice to Employer of Injury poster at all times
3. Keep a record of all lost time injuries and occupational diseases
4. Report lost time injuries by filing the Employer’s First Report of Injury with the insurer within 10 days (insurer sends form to Division)
5. File a Supplemental Report of Accident form with the insurer upon an employee’s return to work or termination from employment

Colorado Statistics*

*2017 business stats provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

2,244,897

number of Colorado residents employed by small businesses


1,700,000

businesses in Colorado where workplace accidents can take place


14,258 feet

height of the highest road in the U.S., Mt. Evans


9,600

miles of streams


26,000

average number of cars that pass through the Eisenhower Tunnel each day


Colorado Businesses We Cover with Workers' Comp Insurance

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Food & Beverage

Bars, Bistros, Cafeterias/Buffets, Candy Stores, Caterers, Coffee Shops, Doughnut Shops, Fast Casual, Fast Food, Fine Dining, Health Supplement Stores, Juice Shops, Tea Houses, Taverns and Nightclubs

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Tech Services

Data Processing, Ecommerce, Hosting, Graphic Design, Network Installation/Repair, Office Machine Installation/Repair, Programming, Strategy & Management Consulting Services, and Software/Web Development (includes SOLOpreneuers!)

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Legal Services

Athlete/Actor/Entertainer Agents, Court Reporters, Lawyers & Attorneys at Law, Notaries and Transcription

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General Retail

Bakeries, Beer/Wine/Liquor Stores, Butcher/Meat Markets, Convenience Stores/Gas Stations, Discount Stores, Fish, Seafood, Fruit & Vegetable Markets, Grocery Stores, Laundromats, Pet Stores, Pharmacies/Drug Stores, Specialty Food Stores

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Educational Services

Computer Training, Cosmetology/Barber Schools, Exam Preparation/Tutoring, Fine Art Schools, Language Schools, Libraries/Archives, Management Training, Professional Training, & Translation/Interpretation Services

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Manufacturing

Microbreweries (less than 15,000 barrels produced per year) & Wine Making (no growing or production of grapes/fruit)

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Personal Services

Barber Shops/Salons, Cemeteries/Mausoleums, Crematoriums, Funeral Homes, Interior Design, Pet Kennels/Groomers, Photography/Photofinishing, Gyms, Nail Salons, Self-Storage, Tanning Salons, Tattoo/Piercing, and Wedding/Event Planners

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Clothing Retail

Bridal Stores, Clothing Stores, Dry Cleaners, Formal Wear/Costume Rentals, Luggage & Leather Goods Stores, Shoe Retail/Repair, and Tailor Shops

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Personal Product Retail

Art Galleries/Stores, Auto Parts, Beauty/Cosmetics, Bike Stores, Bookstores, Camera/Photo Supplies, Cell Phone Retail/Repair, Computer Stores, Jewelry Stores, Musical Instruments, Sporting Goods , Tobacco/Vaping & Video Games

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Medical Professions

Blood Banks, Dental Labs, Dentists/Orthodontists, GP/Medical Specialists, Kidney Dialysis Centers, Medical Diagnostics & Testing, and Veterinarians

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Architecture & Engineering Services

Architects & Drafting, Engineering, Surveyors, & Window Treatment Stores (we do not cover construction contractors or trucking companies)

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Financial Services

Accounting, Auditors, Banks/Credit Unions, Bookkeeping, Collection Agencies, Financial Advisors/Trust Companies, Mortgage & Loan Brokers, Payroll Services, Tax Preparation, Title & Title Insurance

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Scientific Services

Scientific Research & Development/Consulting, Technical Consulting, & Environmental Consulting

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Office, Home, & Garden

Hearing Aid Stores, Hobby/Craft/Art Stores, Gift/Novelty Stores, Florists, Floor Covering Stores, Mailing/Packaging Stores, Models/Toy/Games, Office Supplies, Optical Stores, Paint/Wallpaper Stores, Perfume Stores, Plumbing & Taxidermists

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Therapeutic Services

Acupuncture, Chiropractors, Mental Health Practitioners, and Physical & Occupational Therapy

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Explore commonly asked questions about business type, industry and state.

To put it simply, your business is covered. Just like that.In most cases, all of your employees are covered by workers' compensation insurance, including subcontractors (given they provide you a Certificate of Insurance). However, a Certificate of Insurance (COI) isn't a guarantee of coverage (policy may have cancelled since issuance). You should request periodic COIs throughout the contract.
Workers' compensation insurance provides all state required benefits, including reasonable and necessary medical treatment and wage replacement, for employees injured in the course and scope of employment.
In most states, it’s required for small business owners to obtain workers’ compensation coverage. In the event that an employee is injured in the course and scope of your employment, workers' compensation insurance protects you from costly lawsuits and provides state required compensation for the employee, including lost wages and medical expenses.
The estimated premium is based on estimated payroll (at the beginning of the policy). The final premium is based on actual payroll (at the end of the policy) for the policy period (usually 12 months). In the event your payroll changes, we'll work with you on adjusting your policy.
Yes, the workers' compensation policy covers all of your employees. Significant changes to your payroll should be reported to Cerity. This will help mitigate having a large additional premium due at the end of your policy period.
Cerity is a data-services company that is a licensed insurance producer that provides comprehensive workers' compensation insurance for American businesses. In less than five minutes, a small business owner can have a quote and can be protected as soon as the next day. In other words, your business is covered. Just like that. We are backed by Employers Holdings, Inc., a workers' comp industry veteran of over 100 years, EHI is reimagining how to purchase workers compensation insurance.
You do not need any documents to apply - we told you it was simple! All you need to obtain a quote is tell us a few quick things about your business and we should be able to get you a quote.