Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Minnesota
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Minnesota workers' compensation insurance

Minnesota law requires every business to provide workers’ compensation insurance to its employees, with few exceptions. This policy pays for medical care and provides disability benefits for workers injured on the job.

Who needs workers’ comp insurance in Minnesota?

All businesses with employees must provide workers’ compensation insurance in Minnesota. This requirement holds true even if a business only has one employee who works part-time.

Which employees are exempt from workers’ compensation insurance in Minnesota?

Although nearly all Minnesota employees must be covered by employer-provided workers’ compensation insurance, some worker categories are exempt. These include:

  • Household employees in a private home who are making less than $1,000 over a three-month time span
  • Farm workers who don’t exceed certain income thresholds, as well as the farmer / employer’s immediate family members (spouse, parent, or child)
  • Casual employees not working in normal operations of the business or working just once or infrequently, not permanently or regularly

Do Minnesota business owners need to be covered by workers’ compensation?

Even if you're a sole proprietor, it's a good idea to carry workers' comp coverage. If you're injured on the job, there's a chance your health insurance provider could deny the claim, leaving you with expensive medical bills.

However, Minnesota business owners aren't required by law to carry workers’ compensation coverage, including:

The following requirements apply to the prior exceptions:

For sole proprietors, immediate family members of the owner can also be excluded from the workers’ comp plan. Once a non-immediate family member is hired, you must provide workers’ comp coverage.

For partnerships, workers’ comp coverage isn’t necessary when every worker is a partner or an immediate family member of a partner.

For corporate officers, you must own 25% or more of a closely held corporation with 10 or fewer employees and less than 22,880 hours of payroll in the prior year. A spouse, parent, or child of a corporate officer is exempt. However, employees who are more distantly related to an officer may file a written exclusion request.

For LLC members, the requirements are similar to those for corporate officers of closely held corporations.

If you are one of the above exempt individuals, you can still elect to participate in your firm’s workers’ compensation plan. Having full insurance protection is a wise financial decision, especially if you work in a risky industry.

How much does workers' compensation insurance cost in Minnesota?

Male business owner calculating number of employees and other factors

Estimated employer rates for workers’ compensation in Minnesota are $0.99 per $100 in covered payroll. Your cost is based on a number of factors, including:

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

How does workers' compensation work in Minnesota?

Workers' compensation covers the cost of medical treatment and provides wage-loss benefits for employees who are injured on the job or who develop an occupational disease.

Most policies include employer's liability insurance, which helps 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 if they accept workers' comp benefits.

Workers' compensation benefits for injured workers in Minnesota include:

  • Temporary total disability benefits (TTD)
  • Temporary partial disability benefits (TPD)
  • Permanent total disability benefits (PTD)
  • Permanent partial disability benefits (PPD)
  • Medical benefits (surgery, prescriptions, physical therapy, and other medical expenses)
  • Vocational rehabilitation services
  • Death benefits for fatal injuries

For details, visit the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) page on workers' compensation.

How is workers' comp purchased in Minnesota?

Minnesota business owners can compare quotes and purchase a policy from private insurance companies. Insureon offers this service with its online insurance marketplace.

If a business is unable to qualify for insurance from a private company, a business owner can buy it from the state’s assigned risk residual market, the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Assigned Risk Plan. This is the insurance plan of last resort for high-risk Minnesota employers.

Minnesota employers also have the ability to self-insure their workers’ compensation claims. This means they’ll pay for their own workers’ comp medical and rehabilitation costs rather than submit them to their workers’ comp insurer.

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

If you fail to meet Minnesota workers’ comp insurance requirements, you may be ordered to not hire employees until you secure insurance.

You also may be ordered to pay a fine of up to $1,000 per employee / per week in which you failed to provide workers’ compensation insurance.

If one of your employees suffers a job-related injury or illness during the time you lacked insurance, you may be ordered to pay the person’s workers’ comp benefits back to the state, along with a penalty of 65% of those benefits.

Other penalties may apply, as well.

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Workers’ compensation death benefits in Minnesota 

If an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, certain family members may be eligible for death benefits. These include weekly payments to cover part of the deceased employee’s income, along with funeral and burial costs.

Eligible family members include:

  • The worker’s spouse (unless that person was voluntarily living independently of the deceased worker at the time of the incident)
  • A child under age 18 (or 25 if going to school full time)
  • A disabled adult child who can’t support him or herself

Other eligible family members include those the deceased worker supported financially: parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, or brothers and sisters.

The deceased worker’s family will receive death benefits equal to no more than 67% of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage, an amount that can’t exceed the maximum set by law each year.

Minnesota law also provides for annual cost of living adjustments to workers’ comp benefits, starting on the third anniversary.

Minnesota workers' compensation law for settlements

A workers’ compensation settlement is an agreement between the involved parties that will resolve a workers’ compensation claim. This benefits both the employee and the employer. A settlement in a Minnesota workers’ compensation claim falls into two categories:

To-date settlements resolve the case up to the settlement date, but leave open the possibility of further action after the settlement date.

Full and final settlements close the case completely, but may leave open the right to continue submitting medical claims.

All settlements are subject to the approval of a workers’ compensation judge at the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings.

Workers’ compensation statute of limitations in Minnesota

The statute of limitations for workers’ comp claims in Minnesota is three years from the date of injury or illness as long as the employer filed a First Report of Injury with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

If the employer didn’t file this report, the statute of limitations is six years from the incident date.

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If you are ready to buy a workers’ compensation policy for your Minnesota business, start a free online application today to compare quotes from multiple carriers.

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