The State of New Hampshire requires every employer to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. This policy covers the cost of medical treatment for work-related injuries.
New Hampshire imposes stringent workers’ compensation insurance rules on employers operating in the state. Unless otherwise excluded, employers are required to provide insurance for all their full-time or part-time employees, including family members.
New Hampshire strives to maintain near-universal workers’ comp coverage. This means that every employer in the state must provide workers’ comp insurance, except for:
A limited number of employee types are exempt from coverage, including:
It depends on the type of business you have.
Sole proprietors, partners, and self-employed individuals are exempt from buying workers’ comp insurance for themselves. However, they may purchase it if desired. Given the high cost of medical expenses, that can be a smart business decision, especially for high-risk professions.
Sole proprietors who operate as subcontractors under a general contractor, but who have no employees, may need to buy insurance if required to do so by their general contractor.
Officers of a corporation or members of an LLC are exempt as long as their business entity has three or fewer executives or members. However, once a fourth executive or LLC member joins the business, workers’ compensation insurance is required.
Entities with employees, regardless of the number of executives or members, must have workers’ compensation coverage for those employees.
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.
When an employee suffers a workplace injury or develops an occupational disease, workers' compensation insurance provides reimbursement for medical bills, from emergency care to medication and physical rehabilitation. It also provides weekly disability payments while the employee recovers.
Workers' compensation benefits for injured workers in New Hampshire include:
Policies usually include 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.
For more information, visit the New Hampshire Department of Labor (DOL) Workers Compensation Division.
New Hampshire employers can compare quotes and purchase a workers' comp 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 an insurance policy through the voluntary market mentioned above, you can purchase coverage from the New Hampshire assigned risk pool.
The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) manages New Hampshire’s assigned risk insurance pool, serving as the state’s workers’ comp provider of last resort.
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, you must first file an application [PDF] with the New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation Division. You must also:
Violating New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation statute is a serious concern. If you fail to provide required coverage to your employees, you may be liable for a one-time fine of $2,500 and a fine of $100 per employee for each day you failed to provide coverage.
The state may also suspend your ability to conduct business in the state if you remain noncompliant with its workers’ comp requirements.
If an employee dies from a work-related accident or illness, the employer’s workers’ comp death benefits will pay for:
In New Hampshire, many workers’ comp claims end in settlements. This means the parties to the claim – the injured employee, the company, and the insurer – must agree on a lump-sum payment. In return, the employee (or the employee’s survivors) agree to a suspension of future benefit payments.
Employees who wish to enter into an agreement to take a lump-sum payment in lieu of future benefits must secure the permission of the New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation Division.
In New Hampshire, employees must file a workers’ comp claim within two years from the date of injury or illness.
In cases in which an occupational injury or illness emerged slowly and the employee didn’t immediately notice it, the person must file a claim as soon as they become aware of the problem (or should have become aware by virtue of reasonable diligence).
If you are ready to explore workers’ comp options for your New Hampshire business, start a free online application today to compare quotes from top-rated insurance carriers.