Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Idaho
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Idaho workers' compensation insurance

Idaho law requires every business with one employee or more to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This policy covers medical expenses when an employee is injured on the job.

Who needs workers’ comp insurance in Idaho?

Idaho businesses with employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Sole proprietors should also consider buying this coverage, as it can pay for work-related injury claims that might be denied by your health insurance provider.

Full-time, part-time, seasonal, and occasional workers all must be covered under Idaho state law. A business is required to have its workers’ comp insurance in place before the first employee is hired.

In some circumstances, independent contractors must be included under your workers’ compensation coverage. The requirements are determined on a case-by-case basis, and you must contact the Idaho Industrial Commission (IIC) to ensure that your business is in compliance with Idaho law.

Does Idaho have any exemptions for workers' compensation coverage?

Exemptions from workers’ compensation requirements in Idaho include:

  • Sole proprietors and independent contractors
  • Family members employed by a sole proprietor and living in the same household
  • Some family members of sole proprietors who don’t live in the same household may file for an exemption
  • Partners or members of a limited liability company (LLC)
  • Corporate officers who own 10% of the company’s stock and who are also directors
  • Employees covered under federal workers’ compensation
  • Household or domestic workers
  • Pilots of agricultural dusting or spraying planes
  • Associate real estate brokers and real estate salesmen
  • Volunteer ski patrollers
  • Athletic officials for grades 7 to 12
  • Irregular, casual employment that is unrelated to the employer’s normal business
  • Outworkers

How much does workers' compensation insurance cost in Idaho?

A small business owner calculating their workers' comp insurance payments

The average cost of workers’ compensation in Idaho is $33 per month.

Your workers' comp premium is calculated based on a few factors, including:

  • Payroll
  • Location
  • Number of employees
  • Industry and risk factors
  • Coverage limits
  • Claims history

How can Idaho business owners save money on workers' comp?

To save money on workers' comp insurance, it's important to make sure you classify your employees correctly. Employees with desk jobs or other jobs with a low risk of injury cost less to insure. This also helps you avoid misclassification fines.

In some cases, small business owners can choose to buy pay-as-you-go workers' compensation. This type of workers' comp policy has a low upfront premium, and lets you make payments based on your actual payroll instead of estimated payroll. It's useful for businesses that hire seasonal help or have fluctuating numbers of employees.

Finally, a documented safety program can help lower workers' comp costs. A safer workplace means fewer accidents, which helps keep your premium low.

How does workers' compensation work in Idaho?

Workers' compensation insurance covers the cost of medical treatment for employees who are injured on the job or who develop an occupational disease. It can also provide weekly payments while the employee is recovering and unable to work.

Workers' compensation benefits include:

  • The cost of all medical care, from emergency treatment to physical rehabilitation
  • Partial lost wages while the employee recovers
  • Temporary and permanent disability benefits
  • Death benefits for fatal incidents

Policies usually come with employer's liability insurance, which can help cover legal expenses if an employee blames their employer for an injury. However, the exclusive remedy provision in most workers' comp policies prohibits an employee from suing their employer once they accept workers' comp benefits.

How do you buy workers' compensation in Idaho?

Business owners in Idaho have four choices when it comes to buying a workers' compensation policy.

  • Private insurance companies. Apply for insurance from a private carrier. Fill out Insureon's easy online application to compare quotes from top-rated providers.
  • The Idaho State Insurance Fund. Get insured through the state fund, which accepts some employers who might not be accepted by private insurers.
  • Self-insurance. Large employers who meet certain requirements may be able to self-insure for workers' comp.
  • The assigned risk pool. Employers who are ineligible for the above can get insurance through the assigned risk pool.

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

If an employee is injured at work and the employer does not have the required workers’ compensation coverage, the employer could be held personally liable for all benefits that would have been provided by workers’ compensation insurance. In addition, there could be a 10% penalty for the amount of medical and wage loss benefits, plus attorney fees incurred by the injured worker.

There’s also a penalty of $2 for each employee per day or $25 per day, whichever is higher, for the period of noncompliance. The IIC is permitted to file for an injunction that prohibits the employer from operating the business while in violation of the law. There can be criminal misdemeanor penalties, as well.

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Workers’ compensation death benefits in Idaho

If an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, death benefits can be awarded to surviving dependents.

The surviving spouse can receive benefits for 500 weeks, unless they remarry within that time. Up to three dependent children can receive benefits until they reach 18 years old. Other family members, such as parents, siblings, grandparents, or grandchildren, could be eligible to receive benefits if they were financially dependent on the deceased worker.

Some funeral expenses can be paid if the death occurred within four years of the injury or disease.

Workers’ comp settlements in Idaho

A workers’ compensation settlement is an agreement between the parties that will resolve your workers’ compensation claim. This can benefit both the employee and the employer. A settlement in a workers’ compensation claim is a full and final resolution.

Most settlements close benefits forever, and they are provided in a lump sum. Every lump-sum settlement must be approved by the IIC before it is considered legally binding, and it must be in the best interest of all parties.

Some settlements allow for medical benefits to remain open, which is sometimes the case if the employee is likely to require additional or ongoing treatment.

A lump-sum settlement usually includes:

  • Future medical costs
  • Unpaid impairment balance
  • Costs for disability related to decreased wage-earning capacity
  • Retraining costs

Idaho workers’ compensation law for statute of limitations

The State of Idaho does not have a statute of limitations on medical benefits if the employee has met filing and notice requirements, unless the claim was closed with a lump-sum settlement.

The employee is required to report any job-related injury or illness to the employer within 60 days of the date of the injury or discovery of the illness.

However, if income benefits were paid and discontinued more than four years from the date of the injury, the employee has one year from the date of the last payment to file an application for additional income benefits.

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Start a free online application today to compare workers’ compensation insurance quotes for your small business from leading U.S. insurers. Insureon’s licensed agents specialize in insurance for a wide variety of professions in Idaho.

Updated: February 6, 2024
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