Missouri Work Comp Requirements — Frequently Asked Questions

Worker’s compensation insurance is one of the most confusing topics for business owners. Who is supposed to have work comp coverage and who isn’t? If I just have one employee do I need to get it?  To help shed some light on this confusing topic, we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions and answers regarding worker’s comp requirements in Missouri.

What is the purpose of Work Comp Statute in the first place? 

  • Several years ago, prior to making work comp mandatory, injured workers had to take their employers to court to resolve injury claims. Clearly, this was a less than ideal situation. By creating the Missouri Work Comp Statute, making work comp a requirement, it reduced the employee/employer friction and complexity when workplace injuries occur.

What does a Missouri Workers’ Compensation insurance policy cover?

  • Medical payments and loss of income to the employee injured in workplace
  • It also protects the employer from employee lawsuits due to the injury since an employee cannot sue the employer for liability

Who is required to carry work comp coverage in Missouri?

  • Any employer with one or more part-time or full-time employees in the construction industry that erects, demolishes, alters or repairs
  • Any employer with five or more part-time or full-time employees

Who is considered an employer?

  • Any person who hires an employee
  • Anyone using the service of another for pay

Who is an employee?

  • Any person hired
  • All executives
  • All minors regardless if they are of legal age
  • If in the construction industry, a subcontractor or independent contractor is considered an employee for work comp purposes. Therefore, the employer is liable for a subcontractors (and their employees) injury if that subcontractor does not carry work comp coverage

Who is exempt from providing Workers’ Compensation Coverage per the Missouri Compensation Statute?

  • Employment of farm labor
  • A person employed to do work under the control and directions from someone in a private home, (e.g. occasional labor around the house, chauffeur, etc…)
  • Commission-only real estate agents and outside sales people if a written contract is in place (as defined in section 3508 of Title 26 United States Code)
  • Volunteers of a tax exempt organization that are not paid wages who provide services on a charitable and voluntary basis (and operates under the standards of section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code
  • Sports officials, contest workers or adjudicators for interscholastic activities programs or similar amateur youth programs who are not otherwise employed by the sponsor of the event
  • State, county or municipality employment of inmates or state mental facility residents

What Happens If You Don’t Carry Work Comp Coverage (And You’re Supposed To by Law)

  • It is a criminal offense to operate a business without having the required insurance and exposes an employer to civil liability. Failure to provide workers’ compensation when you are required to do so will result in a minimum fine of $50,000 and potential legal suits for failure to fulfill legal obligation.

What Happens If You Are an Employer and You Are Not  Required To Purchase Work Comp?  

  • Even if you don’t meet the minimum employee requirement you can still be liable for employee injury. Therefore, it is recommended that all employers purchase workers’ compensation despite your legal obligation to do  because the work comp statute protects employers and employees alike
  • Having a work comp policy will give you protection from suits if an employee gets hurt regardless of employee minimums. Without it, you are opening yourself up to employee lawsuits that can’t be covered any other way than a work comp policy

Disclaimer

Edge Insurance attempts to simplify the complicated for those who read our content by writing less formally at times. The downside is we cut words out that could be included in our blog posts, comments and other communication methods. So please contact us if you have additional work comp questions or talk to your current agent regarding your specific business needs.

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Rusty Brett Edge Insurance

Rusty Brett

Rusty began his insurance career with Gallaher Insurance in 1996. Over his career he served on the Missouri Young Agents committee, earned his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation and helped grow Gallaher Insurance to become one of the largest agencies in Missouri. In 2012, he launched Edge Insurance, based in Columbia MO. Gallaher Insurance and Edge Insurance remain sister agencies sharing similar goals of protecting our client’s assets to the best of our ability and providing amazing service.

Author: Rusty Brett

Rusty began his insurance career with Gallaher Insurance in 1996. Over his career he served on the Missouri Young Agents committee, earned his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation and helped grow Gallaher Insurance to become one of the largest agencies in Missouri. In 2012, he launched Edge Insurance, based in Columbia MO. Gallaher Insurance and Edge Insurance remain sister agencies sharing similar goals of protecting our client’s assets to the best of our ability and providing amazing service.

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