6 Workers’ Comp Insurance for Self-Employed: A Comprehensive Guide

6 Workers' Comp Insurance for Self-Employed: A Comprehensive Guide

In the dynamic landscape of self-employment, safeguarding one’s livelihood against unforeseen circumstances is not just prudent but often mandatory.

Workers’ compensation insurance stands as a bulwark that protects your business while facilitating the recovery of injured employees.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the nuances of workers’ comp insurance premiums in New York and spotlight the top six providers in the sector, helping self-employed individuals navigate the best options available.


In the realm of self-employment, where every day comes with its set of challenges, having a safety net like workers’ compensation insurance is not just a legal requisite but a business necessity.

It serves a dual purpose: shielding the business from financial setbacks and ensuring the well-being of the self-employed individual in case of work-related injuries or illnesses.

Let’s embark on this informative journey, unraveling the intricacies of workers’ comp insurance for the self-employed.

How is Workers’ Comp Premium Calculated in NY?

Understanding the premium calculation for workers’ comp insurance is pivotal in budgeting and financial planning for self-employed individuals.

In New York, like in many other states, the premium is a derivative of a meticulous formula that considers various factors including the nature of the business (class code) and the total payroll.

A popular option that has been gaining traction is the pay-as-you-go model, which aligns the premium with real-time payroll data, ensuring more accurate payments. This model stands in contrast to estimated annual payroll methods, offering a more flexible approach to premium payments.

Moreover, at the end of the policy period, a premium or payroll audit is conducted to reconcile any discrepancies in the estimated and actual payroll, adhering to many state regulations that mandate this process.

This segment of the insurance journey is crucial in maintaining transparency and fostering a trustworthy relationship between the insurer and the insured.

6 Workers’ Comp Insurance for Self-Employed

As we venture deeper, let us scrutinize the top six providers in the workers’ comp insurance landscape, each bringing a unique set of offerings to the table.

1. The Hartford

A veteran in the insurance sector, The Hartford, with its A+ (Superior) AM Best rating, stands as a reliable choice for small businesses.

The provider shines with its online quoting system and a plethora of services aimed at reducing injury risks and facilitating a smooth return to work post-recovery.

The Hartford’s pay-as-you-go billing system and a robust online portal for claim management add to its appeal, despite a few hiccups in the online policy purchase process.

2. Next Insurance

Tailoring solutions for small businesses, especially in the construction and retail industries, Next Insurance offers a seamless app experience for claim filing and policy management.

The provider, with an A- (Excellent) AM Best rating, offers up to 10% savings on bundling workers’ comp with other coverages, although it falls slightly short in the customer satisfaction department.

3. Chubb Insurance

Chubb Insurance, boasting an A++ (Superior) AM Best rating, is the go-to option for businesses prioritizing medical management. The provider maintains a comprehensive network for medical services, albeit with a more traditional approach to quote procurement and premium audits.

4. Nationwide

Nationwide, with its A+ (Superior) AM Best rating, offers a rich repository of resources including a state-by-state claims toolkit. The provider also offers a 24/7 nurse hotline, enhancing its service portfolio despite a somewhat underdeveloped digital experience.

5. Thimble

Thimble emerges as a frontrunner in policy management, offering intuitive platforms for quick quote generation and policy alterations. Collaborating with top-rated carriers, Thimble presents a flexible and affordable solution, albeit with limited details on specific programs.

6. Simply Business

Catering predominantly to microbusinesses and e-commerce platforms, Simply Business facilitates quick online quotes and policy purchases. Owned by Travelers with an A++ (Superior) AM Best rating, it offers a streamlined solution for small businesses, albeit with limited policy management options.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Workers’ Comp Insurance for Self-employed Individuals:

Do self-employed individuals need to have workers’ comp insurance?

While workers’ comp insurance is generally optional for self-employed individuals, it is highly recommended, especially for those working in high-risk industries.

In certain states and under specific contractual obligations, having this insurance might be a requirement. It is essential to check the specific regulations in your state and the requirements in your business contracts to determine if you need to have workers’ comp insurance.

How is the premium for workers’ comp insurance calculated?

The premium for workers’ comp insurance is calculated based on various factors including the state you are operating in, your annual payroll, your claims history, and your job classification.

The job classification is determined based on the risk levels associated with the daily tasks involved in your job. The premium can also be influenced by your experience modification rate (EMR), which is a representation of your claims history.

It is important to note that different insurance carriers might evaluate your claims history differently, leading to variations in the quoted premiums.

Can self-employed individuals opt out of workers’ comp insurance?

Yes, self-employed individuals, including business owners, independent contractors, and freelancers, generally have the option to opt out of workers’ comp insurance unless it is stipulated in a contract or required by state law.

In some cases, they might need to file a waiver with the workers’ compensation board to officially opt out.

However, even if it is not a requirement, having workers’ comp insurance is recommended due to the coverage benefits it offers, including medical and partial wage coverage in case of work-related injuries.


As we reach the culmination of this guide, it is evident that the landscape of workers’ comp insurance for self-employed individuals is rich with options, each with its unique set of offerings.

Whether it is the robust network of Chubb Insurance or the flexible solutions of Thimble, the choice hinges on individual business requisites and preferences.

In conclusion, while navigating the complex terrain of workers’ comp insurance, it is imperative to align with a provider that not only meets the legal mandates but also resonates with the unique needs and dynamics of your business.

Armed with this comprehensive guide, self-employed individuals are now equipped to make informed decisions, steering their business towards a future that is secure and prosperous.

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