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Workers' Comp 101

What is Workers' Compensation Insurance?

Workers' compensation insurance provides no-fault coverage, which, under Utah law, allows employees who are injured on the job to receive the benefits outlined in state statutes regardless of who caused the injury. In return for providing workers' compensation coverage for their employees, employers receive exclusive remedy protections. This means that, in most situations, employees cannot sue employers for damages for workplace injuries.

Coverage is divided into two categories: (1) workers' compensation insurance and (2) employer's liability insurance. Workers' compensation insurance covers medical expenses and reimburses employees for wages lost due to a work-related accident. Employer's liability insurance protects employers from lawsuits brought against them by employees who were injured in job-related incidents. As with all types of insurance, there are some conditions and exclusions to both. 
Who Needs Workers' Compensation Insurance?

Utah law requires that employers who have one or more employees (full-time, part-time, temporary or seasonal) obtain workers' compensation insurance. Employers who hire workers for certain household and agricultural duties should refer to Section 34A-2-103 (4-6) of the Utah Code to determine their requirements. There are other limited exceptions. Officers of corporations are considered employees of the corporation and are required to be covered by workers' compensation insurance. Officers of a corporation may elect to withdraw from the workers' compensation system by purchasing a $50 waiver policy from the Utah Labor Commission. 

What is WCF Insurance?

WCF Insurance has insured Utah employers since 1917. WCF Insurance is a non-profit mutual insurance company managed by a board of directors. WCF Insurance is financed entirely by premium payments from customers and investment income.

WCF Insurance can arrange workers' compensation insurance coverage for Utah employers in other states as well. Coverage is provided by insurance companies doing business outside of Utah. All workers' compensation insurance carriers in Utah, including WCF Insurance, are regulated by the Utah Insurance Department and the Utah Labor Commission.

What is the Utah Insurance Department?

The Utah Insurance Department regulates all companies providing insurance coverage in the state. The Utah Insurance Department approves the premium rating plans used by workers' compensation insurance carriers. Premium rates charged for workers' compensation insurance in Utah are revised annually based on statistical data provided by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).

What is the Utah Labor Commission?

The Utah Labor Commission is the state regulatory agency that adjudicates disputes between injured workers and their employers/insurance carriers. In Utah, less than two percent of claims are litigated. These cases are assigned to an administrative law judge to determine what benefits, if any, an injured worker is entitled. In some cases, employer representatives will be asked to provide testimony and records regarding a claim in adjudication. The Utah Labor Commission is also responsible for ensuring that every Utah employer has workers' compensation insurance or provides coverage through an approved self-funded program.

Click here to learn more about Basic Workers' Compensation Law.

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