Workers’ Compensation Insurance in New Hampshire
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New Hampshire workers’ compensation law

New Hampshire law requires every employer in the state to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. The responsibility for obtaining this coverage falls upon employers.

Who needs workers’ comp insurance in New Hampshire?

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.

Who in New Hampshire is not required to have workers’ comp insurance?

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:

  • Sole proprietorships
  • Limited liability companies (LLCs)
  • Corporations with no more than three corporate officers and no employees other than those officers

A limited number of employee types are exempt from coverage, including:

  • Railroad employees involved in interstate commerce whose rights are defined under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act
  • Direct sellers
  • Qualified real estate brokers, agents, or appraisers
  • Individuals who provide services related to the residential placement of disabled people
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Do New Hampshire business owners need to be included in workers’ comp coverage?

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.

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’ comp coverage for those employees.

Are independent contractors required to have workers’ comp coverage in New Hampshire?

No, as long as they can prove they are independent contractors. This involves meeting the criteria defined in the New Hampshire workers’ compensation statute (RSA 281-A:2 VI). The criteria are:

  • Having a federal employer identification number or Social Security number
  • Having control and discretion over how the work is performed
  • Having control over when the work is done
  • Hiring and paying one’s assistants
  • Holding oneself out as an independent business and being properly registered as a business with the state of New Hampshire
  • Being responsible for the satisfactory completion of the project and subject to penalties if the work is not completed properly
  • Not being required to work exclusively for the employer

How does workers’ comp work in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire 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 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 with the New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation Division. You must also:

  • Provide a financial guarantee such as a surety bond
  • Purchase excess insurance coverage for claims that exceed your guarantee amount

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

Estimated employer costs for workers' compensation in New Hampshire are $1.03 per $100 covered in payroll.

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

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.

Workers’ compensation death benefits in New Hampshire 

If a worker dies from a work-related accident or illness, the employer’s workers’ comp death benefits will pay for:

  • Burial expenses not to exceed $10,000
  • Weekly compensation to the deceased employee’s surviving dependents

Workers’ comp settlements in New Hampshire

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 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.

Workers’ compensation statute of limitations in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, employees must file a workers’ comp claim within two years from the injury / illness date. 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 he or she becomes aware of the problem (or should have become aware by virtue of reasonable diligence).

Compare free workers’ comp quotes with Insureon

If you are ready to explore workers’ comp insurance options for your New Hampshire business, start a free online application today to compare quotes from multiple carriers.

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