MoneyGeek assessed workers' compensation insurance providers in California, considering factors such as affordability, customer satisfaction, financial stability and online quoting. The Hartford ranked as the top option in the state.
In California, every business, irrespective of employee count, must have workers' compensation insurance to protect against financial and legal liabilities. This insurance covers medical costs, lost wages and possible legal actions stemming from work-related injuries or illnesses.
Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in California
Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in California
The Hartford is California’s best worker’s compensation insurance provider, according to MoneyGeek’s rankings. Policyholders can get quality service from this provider for around $91 a month. Based on MoneyGeek’s analysis, the insurer scores 98 out of 100, signifying good overall performance.
How was this MoneyGeek score calculated?
- The most affordable insurance option in California at $91
- High financial stability
- Low complaint rate
Companies can go to The Hartford for the cheapest workers’ compensation insurance in the state. It offers different characteristics and features that make it worthy of the top spot. Apart from its affordability, the insurer offers good customer satisfaction. The company manages to strike a balance between competitive pricing and customer service. You can get a quote reasonably quickly, taking just over two minutes to give you an estimate of your monthly premiums. This is neither the slowest nor the fastest estimate time of the insurers we evaluated.
- Average monthly cost of $169
- Great customer service
- Financially stable
- Good customer service
biBERK insurance offers good customer service and a decent online quotes process, but it doesn't meet the affordability demands of many small businesses in today's climate. It's a good option for business owners looking for a dependable provider, as seen in its good performance in handling complaints. This shows a strong commitment to meeting the evolving demands of today’s employers and employees. It is also financially stable, meaning it should be able to pay out eligible claims.
- Average cost of $173 monthly
- Great customer service
- Financially stable
Nationwide can be a great alternative insurer. It is among the top three companies that employers in California could review if they need workers’ compensation insurance. The company scores well in terms of customer satisfaction and financial stability. However, it is less affordable when compared to other insurers, and its online quote process is slower than other insurers we reviewed.
- Average cost of $167 monthly
- The best online quote performance
The strongest quality of Pie is that it has the fastest quote process out of all the insurers we reviewed. It also has the second-lowest rate of $167 per month. Companies can rely on the provider for accessible rates and online tools. However, its weaknesses include high complaints, which may impact customer experience and satisfaction in the long run, and low financial stability, which could impact its ability to pay claims.
- Premiums run an average of $234 per month
- Fast quotes
- Reasonably financially stable
Thimble provides a simple process for receiving quotes and purchasing insurance. The online quote process is fast and convenient. However, these qualities come with a price. For California residents, the premium of this insurer can get as expensive as $234, which is twice as much as The Hartford’s employee insurance. It also has the second lowest complaint performance and is average in terms of financial stability.
Cheapest Workers’ Compensation Insurance in California
The Hartford stands out as the most affordable workers’ comp insurance company in California, offering an average monthly premium of around $91. This rate is based on businesses with 20 employees and a substantial $1,250,000 in annual payroll costs. Keep in mind that employee count and payroll have a considerable impact on insurance costs.
In addition to being the cheapest provider in the market, The Hartford also excels across various aspects according to our evaluation criteria. It has strong financial stability and a low complaint index, reflecting its reliability in claims management and customer satisfaction. This comes in handy in situations where a fast response is necessary. The Hartford can generally process quotes in a reasonably timely manner, which helps in delivering a smooth transaction for potential clients.
We assessed companies based on their average monthly cost to identify the most affordable insurer available. Our rates may not directly correspond to your actual ones, and the most cost-effective company for you could differ depending on other factors.
The table below presents the annual and monthly costs for insuring a business with approximately 20 employees for all the companies we have examined in California.
Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Micro Businesses in California
In California, The Hartford stands out as the leading option for businesses with five employees, offering a competitive monthly premium of approximately $45. This premium is calculated based on an annual payroll amount of $312,500. Generally, a business with one to nine employees is categorized as a micro business. While employee count influences workers' compensation insurance costs, payroll tends to have a more substantial effect on premiums.
A balance between affordability and high-quality service can be crucial for micro businesses since they often operate with limited budgets and need to allocate resources wisely. By choosing an insurance provider like The Hartford that offers both competitive pricing and dependable service, small businesses could receive adequate coverage and support without straining their finances. This can help them protect their employees and assets while still having the capacity to invest in growth opportunities, ultimately contributing to the long-term success of their business.
Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Midsize Businesses in California
The Hartford can also be an ideal option for enterprises with 100 employees, providing an attractive monthly premium of $472. This rate is based on an annual payroll sum of $6,250,000. Although the employee count factors into workers' compensation insurance costs, payroll tends to have a greater impact on premiums.
The Hartford's focus on affordability is particularly beneficial for larger businesses that need comprehensive coverage without breaking the bank. Through cost-effective insurance solutions, The Hartford can enable these California businesses to redirect saved resources towards growth, innovation and other critical aspects of their operations. Moreover, the provider’s strong financial position indicates that the insurer has the necessary assets and reserves to cover potential liabilities.
How Much Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance in California?
The average monthly cost of workers' compensation insurance in California for a business with 20 employees is $167. This figure is just one dollar below the national average of $168. As a business owner, it's essential to understand how these costs can impact your company and the importance of choosing the right coverage.
This figure corresponds to a plan with a $1 million total policy limit, $1 million per accident limit and $1 million per employee limit. The total policy limit refers to the maximum amount the insurer will pay for all claims during the policy period. The per accident limit is the maximum amount the insurer would cover for a single incident, while the per employee limit represents the maximum coverage for each individual employee.
The table below provides you with a clear picture of the average costs for businesses with five, 20 and 100 employees. This can help you choose the best coverage for your business.
How was this cost calculated?
Factors That Impact Workers’ Compensation Costs in California
The cost of workers' compensation insurance varies for each business, depending on several factors that influence coverage costs.
Businesses are typically charged a rate for every $100 of payroll. A business with high payroll costs would pay a higher premium than a business with lower payroll costs. The average premium index rate in California for 2022 is $2.26 per $100 of payroll, ranking third nationwide.
Number of employees
Companies with a large number of employees face a higher risk of employee injury, which can increase insurance premiums.
Employee class code
A class code signifies the type of work employees carry out. This code determines the rate charged for every $100 of payroll. High-risk industries like construction, mining and manufacturing typically have higher rates compared to lower-risk sectors such as consulting, accounting and software development.
A history of workers' compensation claims can lead to a higher premium. Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 349,100 total recordable non-fatal cases for private industry in California in 2021. At the national level, there were over 2.6 million total recordable non-fatal cases for private industry.
Do You Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance in California?
Workers' comp insurance in California provides coverage for expenses arising from employees sustaining injuries or illnesses in the course of their employment with your company. All businesses in the state are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Sole proprietors, partners and corporate officers who fully own a corporation can choose to be excluded from this insurance.
In California, employers who fail to provide legally required workers' compensation insurance or fail to comply with workers' comp laws may face the following penalties:
- A fine of at least $10,000 or imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year, or both.
- Penalties of up to $100,000 for illegally uninsured employers.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover in California?
Workers' compensation insurance provides vital benefits to employees experiencing work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage usually encompasses medical care, disability benefits, lost wages and more for impacted workers. It helps injured employees obtain essential medical treatment, wage replacement benefits and vocational rehabilitation, among other advantages.
The employer, as the policyholder, is responsible for obtaining workers' compensation insurance. This not only safeguards their employees but also defends the business against potential legal claims associated with workplace injuries or illnesses. It is crucial in fostering a secure and safe work environment for both employers and employees.
Workers’ Comp Resources for Employees in California
The Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) oversees the management of workers' compensation claims and offers administrative and judicial services to help resolve disputes arising from claims for workers' compensation benefits.
Employees who want to receive workers’ compensation benefits need to file a form to send to their employer. The employer will then fill out their portion of the form and send it to their insurance company.
DWC's mission revolves around reducing the negative effects of work-related injuries on California employees and employers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation Insurance in California
We provide some information that answers commonly asked questions about workers’ comp insurance in California.
About Melissa Wylie
- Oregon.gov. "2020 Workers’ compensation premium index rates." Accessed May 30, 2023.
- State of California Department of Industrial Relations. "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Workers' Compensation for Employers." Accessed May 30, 2023.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities." Accessed May 30, 2023.