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Workers' Compensation for New York Businesses

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

According to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board website

“Workers’ compensation is insurance that provides cash benefits and/or medical care for workers who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their job.

Employers pay for this insurance, and shall not require the employee to contribute to the cost of compensation. Weekly cash benefits and medical care are paid by the employer’s insurance carrier, as directed by the Workers’ Compensation Board. The Workers’ Compensation Board is a state agency that processes the claims. If Board intervention is necessary, it will determine whether that insurer will reimburse for cash benefits and/or medical care, and the amounts payable.

In a workers’ compensation case, no one party is determined to be at fault. The amount that a claimant receives is not decreased by his/her carelessness, nor increased by an employer’s fault. However, a worker loses his/her right to workers’ compensation if the injury results solely from his or her intoxication from drugs or alcohol, or from the intent to injure him/herself or someone else.

A claim is paid if the employer or insurance carrier agrees that the injury or illness is work-related. If the employer or insurance carrier disputes the claim, no cash benefits are paid until the workers’ compensation law judge decides who is right. If a worker is not receiving benefits because the employer or insurance carrier is arguing that the injury is not job-related, he or she may be eligible for disability benefits in the meantime. Any payments made under the Disability Program, however, will be subtracted from future workers’ compensation awards.

If you can return to work but your injury prevents you from earning the same wages you once did, you may be entitled to a benefit that will make up two-thirds of the difference. You may also return to work in light or alternate duty before you are fully healed.”

Who is covered by the New York Workers’ Compensation Law?

According to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board website

“Virtually all employers in New York State must provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees (WCL §2 and 3). Employers must post notice of coverage in their place(s) of business (WCL §51). Employers must cover the following workers for workers’ compensation insurance:

1. Workers in all employments conducted for-profit. Part-time employees, borrowed employees, leased employees, family members and volunteers working for a for-profit business must also be covered under the Workers’ Compensation Law.
2.Employees of counties and municipalities engaged in work defined by the law as “hazardous”.
3. Public school teachers, excluding those employed by New York City, and public school aides, including New York City.
4. Employees of the State of New York, including some volunteer workers.
5. Domestic workers employed forty or more hours per week by the same employer, including full-time sitters or companions, and live-in maids.
6. Farm workers
7. Any other worker determined by the Board to be an employee and not specifically excluded from coverage under the WCL.
8. All corporate officers if the corporation has more than two officers and/or two stockholders.
9. Officers of one-or-two person corporations if there are other individuals in employment. These officers may choose to exclude themselves from coverage.
10. Most workers compensated by a nonprofit organization.

Volunteer Firefighters and Volunteer Ambulance Workers are provided benefits for death or injuries suffered in the line of duty under the Volunteer Firefighters’ Benefit Law and Volunteer Ambulance Workers’ Benefit Law.

How do I get workers’ comp for my New York business?

Workers’ compensation insurance in New York can be obtained easily through our free quote service. Once a New York employer obtains workers’ comp insurance or authority to self-insure, the employer is required to post a notice of workers’ compensation insurance advising their employees of the coverage and of the employee’s right to reject this coverage.

New York Statistics*

*2017 business stats provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

4 million

number of New Yorkers employed by small businesses


224,000

number of workplace injuries


7,183,576

acres of farmland


722

miles of subway track


179

state parks


New York 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.