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Hawaii workers’ compensation law

Hawaii law requires every business with employees to have a workers’ compensation insurance policy.

Who needs workers’ compensation insurance in Hawaii?

Every business in Hawaii that has employees must have workers’ compensation insurance. This applies to all types of employees: full-time, part-time, permanent, or temporary.

However, there are several exemptions to Hawaii’s requirements for workers’ comp. Certain business owners, officers, and executives can opt out of coverage, including:

  • Sole proprietors
  • Partners in a business
  • Any corporate officer who owns at least 50% of the business

The above individuals can participate in a firm’s workers’ compensation insurance if they wish to.

Certain employees are also exempt from workers’ comp coverage, including:

  • Voluntary or unpaid workers for a church, charity, school, or nonprofit organization
  • Students working for a school, university, or college club in exchange for room, board, or tuition
  • Authorized ministers, priests, or rabbis
  • Domestic workers making less than $225 each calendar quarter
  • People providing domestic services to public welfare recipients
  • Some 25% stockholders
  • All 50% stockholders
  • Real estate salespersons and brokers compensated totally on the basis of commissions

Employers may decide to voluntarily cover excluded employees.

Members of limited liability companies (LLCs) are not considered company employees. Therefore, they are exempt from workers’ compensation as long as they are a person (and not a business entity) and would stand to receive at least 50% of the LLC’s value if the firm were liquidated or sold.

Compare workers' compensation quotes for Hawaii businesses

What is the average cost of workers’ compensation insurance in Hawaii?

Estimated employer costs for workers’ compensation in Hawaii are $1.67 per $100 in covered payroll, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance [PDF].

How does workers’ comp work in Hawaii?

Hawaii business owners can compare quotes and purchase a policy from private insurance companies. (Insureon offers this service with its online insurance marketplace.) If they’re unable to qualify, they can buy it from the Hawaii Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company (HEMIC), the state’s workers’ compensation insurer of last resort.

Eligible employers can also choose to self-insure their workers’ compensation claims. This means they’ll cover their own workers’ comp medical and rehabilitation expenses rather than submit them to an insurance company.

What are the penalties for not having workers’ comp insurance in Hawaii?

If an employer violates Hawaii’s workers’ compensation law, it will be liable for fines and penalties of up to $100 per employee per day. Companies that fail to provide workers’ comp protection also leave themselves open to employee lawsuits to recover benefits that should have been paid.

Workers’ compensation death benefits in Hawaii

If an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, surviving dependents are eligible to receive death benefits.

In Hawaii, any family member who was financially dependent on the deceased worker can receive cash payments. This includes:

  • A spouse living with the injured worker when the injury occurred or who relied on the person financially
  • An unmarried child younger than 18 or a married child who relies on the worker financially
  • An unmarried child under age 22 who is a full-time student
  • An unmarried child regardless of age who is not financially independent

In Hawaii, the amount of a workers’ comp death benefit depends on which family members are applying for benefits. The total benefits paid for all family members can’t exceed 67% of the injured worker’s average weekly wages.

Death benefits in Hawaii end when a spouse passes away or gets remarried. When a spouse decides to remarry, the person can apply for a lump sum equal to two years of workers’ compensation benefits.

Hawaii workers’ compensation also provides funds toward payment of funeral costs.

Workers’ comp settlements in Hawaii

In Hawaii, workers who get sick or injured on the job often agree to a workers’ compensation settlement. This is a voluntary agreement between the employee and the employer to close out the case in return for the worker receiving a lump-sum payment. A settlement in a workers’ compensation claim resolves the matter fully and permanently.

Every Hawaii workers’ compensation settlement must be approved by the Hawaii Disability Compensation Division.

Workers’ compensation statute of limitations in Hawaii

The statute of limitations for a Hawaii workers’ compensation claim is two years from the date at which an injury becomes apparent and five years from the date the accident caused the injury.

Compare workers’ comp quotes with Insureon

Start a free online application today to compare workers’ compensation insurance quotes for your business from leading U.S. carriers. Insureon’s licensed agents specialize in insurance for numerous Hawaii businesses.

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