part 4 in a 4-part series on church plant insurance issues:
Church Workers Comp Insurance is mandatory in many states, but not all of them. Best not get caught without it if it’s required.
First, a basic primer on Workers Comp Insurance:
No More Lawsuits
Back in the day, if someone got hurt on the job, they sued their employer. Beginning over 100 years ago, and legislated state by state, employers were required to carry insurance to cover workplace injury, and employees gave up their right to sue their employer. If you’re a grammar nazi, it’s really Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
In every case I can think of, non-clergy employees of a church must be covered by church workers comp insurance. So if you’re got an admin or janitor on staff, you’d better sign up. But in several states, churches aren’t required to cover pastors (though often there’s a provision for the pastor to opt in voluntarily).
Private or Public?
Every state has some kind of government oversight, but who the insurance actually comes from is a different matter. In most states, the church workers comp comes from any insurance carrier. So contact your church insurance agent first and ask. But according to www.workcompconsultant.com, there are 4 states where the government itself is the insurer (OH, ND, WA, & WY).
How Much does it Cost?
Your premium is based on your gross payroll. When you ask for a quote, they’ll ask you to add up what everyone gets paid, and your premium will be a percentage of that total. I don’t see it vary much from insurer to insurer, but the cost will be very different state to state.
Don’t forget to contact your insurance agent if you add or lose staff! The change in payroll will change your premium. You can’t just set this up and then forget about it. Maybe set a reminder to review your coverage at least once a year so you don’t forget?
– – –
Rather than trying to keep up with changes in all 50 states, I’ll just tell you that you need to ask around and find out if your church plant is required to carry workers comp insurance. Start with your insurance agent; they should be able to get you a quote or point you in the right direction.