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Workers' Compensation for Hawaii Businesses

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

According to the Hawaii state website:

The employees’ safety and well being on the job are important to the employers. However, accidents and illnesses can arise from work and when they do, the employees are covered under the WC law. The Hawaii WC law was enacted in 1915, and its purpose was to provide wage loss compensation and medical care to those employees who suffer a work-related injury. The WC law in essence requires the employer to provide certain benefits without regard to the fault of the employer and prohibits an employee from filing civil action against the employer for work-related injuries or illnesses. Any employer, other than those excluded (section 386-1), having one or more employees, full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary, is required to provide WC coverage for its employees.

The statutory “presumption” places on the employer the burden of producing substantial evidence to the contrary to rebut a claim for a covered work injury.

In the event of a work injury, you should immediately report the injury to your supervisor/employer. Your employer should then file an “Employer’s Report of Industrial Injury” (WC-1) to this Division within 7 working days. The employer can also file the report if the employer believes the injury is not work-related.

Because of the potential costs of a WC claim, most employers purchase insurance from insurance carriers authorized to transact WC in Hawaii. The employer is prohibited from requiring the employee to contribute towards the WC insurance premiums. The alternative would be for the employer to become self-insured and pay statutory benefits directly to the injured employee. Self-insured employers must furnish proof of financial solvency and ability to pay benefits and must be approved by the director.

Each employer shall post and maintain in places readily accessible to employees a printed statement concerning benefit rights, claims for benefits, and such other matters relating to the administration of the workers’ compensation law. Each employer shall furnish within three working days of notice of injury to each injured employee a copy of the brochure, Highlights of the Hawaii Workers’ Compensation Law.

What are the benefits for injured employees covered under the Hawaii Workers’ Compensation Law?

According to the Hawaii state website:

Benefits for injured employees include the following:

  • Medical benefits-all medical treatment which includes surgical and hospital services and supplies related to the injury. The injured employee is entitled to choose the treating physician.
  • Temporary total disability benefits-wage loss benefits paid as long as certified disabled from work by a treating physician.
  • Permanent partial disability benefits-payments due an employee when an injury results in a percentage loss of use of specified portions or functions of the body.
  • Permanent total disability benefits-payments due an employee if the injured employee cannot return to work because of the injury.
  • Disfigurement-payments due an employee for scars as a result of laceration or surgery, can include deformity and discoloration.
  • Death-payments due to a surviving spouse and dependent children in work-related death cases.
  • Vocational rehabilitation-if unable to return to usual occupation, injured employee may receive career counseling, testing, training, and job placement.

Hawaii Statistics*

*2017 business stats provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

271,340

number of Hawaii residents employed by small businesses


15,700

number of workplace injuries


480,000

size in acres of Parker Ranch, the largest contiguous U.S. ranch


900

coffee farms


49 million

lbs of macadamia nuts harvested annually


Hawaii 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.