#WCWBLAST Vol. 4: Navigating Monopolistic States in Workers’ Compensation Insurance

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Greetings, Jeremy from Ochsner Insurance here with your WCW Blast, where we unpack the ins and outs of workers’ compensation every Work Comp Wednesday. Today’s topic might sound like a game of Monopoly, but trust me, it’s all about navigating monopolistic states in workers’ compensation insurance.

Understanding Monopolistic States

Monopolistic states—North Dakota, Ohio, Washington, and Wyoming—require businesses to purchase workers’ compensation insurance exclusively from the state. This means you can’t shop around with different insurers like you would in other states. However, here’s the kicker: in these states, employers’ liability coverage (part two of workers’ comp) isn’t included, leaving a critical gap.

Addressing the Employer’s Liability Gap

So, what do you do about this gap in coverage? Well, you’ll need to add it to your general liability policy to ensure you’re protected in case of lawsuits related to unsafe work environments or other employee-related issues. It’s a simple tweak that could save you a lot of headaches down the line.  Don’t fall into the Gap, get the that gap and other coverage gaps covered!

Navigating Employee Locations

Now, let’s talk about the scenario where your business is based outside a monopolistic state, but you have employees working or residing in one. Take, for example, a Colorado-based company with workers consistently commuting to Washington for work. In this case, you’ll need to purchase a policy from the Washington state organization to cover those employees specifically.  You can still have your other employees outside of the monopolistic states covered by a private insurance, workers’ compensation policy, purchased through an independent insurance broker, of course.

Advantages and Considerations

Here’s the good news: if your company is domiciled outside a monopolistic state and you have employees working elsewhere, you have more flexibility. You can still have a single workers’ comp policy covering all employees not based in or consistently working in a monopolistic state. This offers you an advantage in managing your insurance needs.

Conversely, if you’re based in a monopolistic state like Washington but have employees working in neighboring states, you’ll need to explore your options. You must purchase coverage from the state fund for the monopolistic state employees and you have many options for a private insurer through an independent broker, like Ochsner Insurance, to cover those employees in non-monopolistic states.

Conclusion: Simplifying Monopolistic State Regulations

In summary, navigating monopolistic states in workers’ compensation insurance requires a clear understanding of state regulations and diligent policy management. Whether you’re based in or outside a monopolistic state, ensuring proper coverage for all employees is essential to protect your business and mitigate risks.

Remember, when it comes to workers’ compensation, knowledge is power. Stay informed, stay compliant, and stay tuned for more insights from Ochsner Insurance to help you navigate the complex world of insurance with confidence. Until next time, here’s to your success and prosperity!

Thanks for tuning in to another WCW Blast. Keep watching for more valuable tips and information to empower your business.

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