Nearly every Montana employer is required to provide its employees with workers’ compensation insurance.
The state of Montana imposes stringent workers' compensation rules on employers doing business there. Unless otherwise excluded, employers with employees are required to provide insurance. This applies to all full-time, part-time, seasonal, or occasional employees.
Certain employees are exempt from having workers’ comp insurance, including:
Under the regulations of the Montana Workers’ Compensation Regulation Bureau, the following owner types are exempt from workers’ comp coverage:
However, all of the above may purchase it should they find coverage beneficial.
Family members who work as employees of sole proprietors and partners are exempt as long as the business owner claims them on a federal tax return.
Before hiring an independent contractor in Montana, an employer must check to see if the person has either a state-issued IC Exemption Certificate from the Montana Department of Labor and Industry or proof of having workers’ compensation insurance.
Without this documentation, the business owner may be held financially responsible for any injuries an independent contractor suffers on the job.
Montana business owners can compare quotes and purchase a policy from private insurance companies. (Insureon offers this service with its online insurance marketplace.)
If your firm’s high-risk status makes it impossible to purchase workers’ comp insurance through the voluntary market mentioned above, you can purchase coverage from the Montana State Fund.
The final way to secure workers’ compensation insurance is to self-insure your workers’ comp claims. This means your company will pay for its own workers’ comp claims rather than submit them to an insurance company.
To become self-insured (generally limited to large firms), you must first secure permission from the Montana Workers’ Compensation Regulation Bureau.
The estimated workers’ comp expense for Montana employers is $2.12 per $100 in covered payroll, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance [PDF].
If you fail to comply with Montana’s workers’ comp laws, you may be forced to pay double the amount of what you would have paid for insurance. The minimum such penalty is $200, but if the uninsured period is lengthy, the penalty amount can be substantial.
If one of your employees dies as a result of a workplace injury or occupational disease, the Montana Workers’ Compensation Act requires that death benefits be paid to beneficiaries. Additional information can be obtained from the Montana State Fund.
A workers’ compensation settlement is an agreement between the injured employee, employer, and insurer that resolves a workers’ compensation claim. This benefits both the employee and the employer.
In Montana, many workers’ comp claims end in settlements. This means the parties involved in the case must agree on a lump-sum payment amount. In exchange, the employee (or the employee’s survivors) must agree to the insurer stopping future benefit payments.
Employees who wish to enter into an agreement to take a lump-sum payment in lieu of future benefits must file an application with the Workers’ Compensation Court. If a settlement can’t be reached, employers and employees must first engage in mediation before requesting a hearing with Montana’s Workers’ Compensation Court.
In Montana, employees must file a workers’ comp claim within one year from the injury / illness date or within two years if the employee can prove not knowing about the injury.
If you are ready to explore workers’ comp insurance options for your Montana business, start a free online application today to compare quotes from multiple carriers.