What Is a Workers’ Comp Ghost Policy?

So you don’t have any employees, but you’ve been asked by a potential client to provide proof of workers’ compensation coverage. Uh…now what?

It sounds odd, but this is a common occurrence for some business owners, particularly independent contractors. It’s easy to wonder why you should spend the money on a workers’ comp policy that doesn’t cover anyone. But there’s a relatively simple answer to this problem: a workers’ comp ghost policy.

What Is a Workers’ Comp Ghost Policy?

A workers’ comp ghost policy is an affordable type of workers’ compensation insurance specifically designed for independent contractors who don’t have any employees but require proof of workers’ comp coverage for their state’s legal requirements or client requests.

What Does a Workers’ Comp Ghost Policy Cover?

Essentially, a workers’ comp ghost policy offers no real insurance coverage — it simply acts as proof of workers’ compensation insurance for clients who request it or states that legally require it. For clients and state governments, workers’ comp ghost policies ensure that if the independent contractor hires an employee, they will be able to provide the required workers’ comp coverage.

An example of this would be if an independent subcontractor were chosen to take on a construction project but had to provide proof of workers’ compensation coverage in order to secure the job. The general contractor would want to protect their business by ensuring that they would not be held liable for any on-the-job injuries in the event the subcontractor hired additional help for the project, but the subcontractor may not want to spend the money for a full workers’ comp policy.

In this case, a workers’ comp ghost policy is the ideal choice, as it provides the protection the client wants at a price the subcontractor can afford.

Who Should Get a Workers’ Comp Ghost Policy?

Workers’ comp ghost policies are only for independent contractors who work completely independently and have their own liability insurance but are required either by state law or the client’s request to provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance.

It’s very important to remember that if an independent contractor with a workers’ comp ghost policy hires an employee, the policy does not offer any real coverage in the event of a workplace injury. Any and all hired employees should provide their own liability insurance coverage.

Are Workers’ Comp Ghost Policies Accepted in All States?

Each state has its own laws and regulations regarding workers’ comp insurance. Not all states have workers’ comp ghost policies available, so it’s important to check with your local workers’ comp department to determine if ghost policies are accepted in your state.

Cerity — Easy, Affordable Workers’ Comp

At Cerity, we understand that independent contractors need to have the workers’ comp coverage required by their state and their clients. That’s why we offer a faster, more affordable, and more flexible way to get a variety of workers’ comp policies. Our innovative online quote tool provides instant quotes and immediate coverage so business owners can get their desired level of coverage quickly and easily. To get a free quote online, visit our workers’ comp quote tool today.

Instant Workers’ Comp Quote

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Learning Center Resources


  • Top Workers’ Comp Questions
  • Small Business Resources
  • Workplace Safety Tips