Buying workers’ compensation for:


State Fund: Yes, Competitive. The State Insurance Fund was created by the Idaho Legislature in 1917 as part of the Workers’ Compensation Act. This act created the State Insurance Fund for the purpose of providing a reliable source of workers compensation insurance for Idaho employers and to provide security for the payment of benefits to covered workers. The law provides for the State Insurance Fund to be self-supporting from premium and investment earnings. The State Insurance Fund is not tax-supported and the State of Idaho is not liable for any indebtedness incurred by the Fund. The State Insurance Fund has no regulatory or enforcement powers.

Insurance Coverage Requirements: Workers’ Compensation is compulsory in Idaho, waivers are not permitted.

Who is Required to Purchase Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

Employers with one or more full-time, part-time, seasonal, or occasional employees are required to maintain a workers’ compensation policy unless specifically exempt from the law. Workers’ Compensation is required to be in place when the first employee is hired. Employment that may be exempt from required coverage includes:

  • Household domestic service.
  • Employment of family members living in the employer’s household (applies only to sole proprietorships).
  • Employment in a business that is not carried on by the employer for the sake of pecuniary gain. (An example would be a homeowner who is building his own home and who hires workers to assist in building the home.)
  • The owner of a sole proprietorship; working members of a partnership or limited liability company; or individuals who are corporate officers, and who own at least 10% of the stock and who are directors, if the corporation has directors.
  • Employment covered under Federal Workers’ Compensation Laws.
  • Pilots of agricultural spraying or dusting planes (under certain conditions).
  • Associate real estate brokers and real estate salespersons when paid solely by commission.
  • Volunteer ski patrollers.
  • Officials of athletic contests in secondary schools only (grades 7-12 inclusive or any combination thereof).
  • Casual employment or work which occurs occasionally or at irregular times and which is not related to the type of business conducted by the employer.
  • Employment as an outworker. (Defined as a person to whom materials are furnished to be treated in any way at a location not under the control of the employer. An example would be a worker who receives mass mailing materials from the employer and assembles them at home.)
  • Certain family member employees of a sole proprietor employer who do not reside in the same household as the employer may file an election for exemption with the Industrial Commission.

Even though they may be exempt under the law, owners, corporate officers, board members, and others may elect to have workers’ compensation coverage on themselves. They must file an IC-52 form with the Industrial Commission when electing coverage or revoking that election of coverage.

The state of Idaho has signed agreements with several states in the region that allow Idaho employers to maintain Idaho workers’ compensation coverage for employees working across state lines. These are known as reciprocal agreements.

The Industrial Commission can issue an extraterritorial certificate for Idaho employers. You can request this by email. Call the Industrial Commission at 208-334-6000 and ask for Employer Compliance.

Factors that Impact Coverage

  • You are a sole proprietor or partner: In Idaho, you are excluded from coverage but have the option to include yourself.
  • You are a corporate officer that owns at least 10% or member of an LLC: Idaho excludes you from coverage, but you have the option to include yourself.

Failure to Secure Compensation

If an employee is injured and the employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance in effect at the time of the injury, they can be personally liable for all benefits, including medical and wage loss, provided under the Workers’ Compensation Law. An uninsured employer may also be liable for a penalty of 10% of the amount of medical and wage loss benefits as well as attorney fees if an attorney represents the injured worker.

In addition, employers who operate without workers’ compensation insurance, can be liable for a penalty of $2.00 per day per employee or $25.00 per day, whichever amount is greater. The Workers’ Compensation Law authorizes the Industrial Commission to file a lawsuit in district court to obtain an injunction prohibiting the employer from operating the business while in violation of the Workers’ Compensation Law.

Operating a business without workers’ compensation insurance is a misdemeanor under Idaho law and the employer may be subject to criminal penalties.

Proof of Coverage is Required

Idaho law requires that every employer who has complied with section 72-301 [has obtained workers’ compensation insurance] must post and maintain in a conspicuous place or places in and about his place or places of business typewritten or printed notices in form prescribed by the commission, stating the fact that he has complied with the law as to securing the payment of compensation to his employees and their dependents in accordance with the provisions of this law. Such notice must contain the name and address of the surety, if any, with which the employer has secured payment of compensation.

An employer who fails to post and keep such notice conspicuously displayed is guilty of a misdemeanor.

The Industrial Commission does not provide this poster. You can obtain this poster from the company that sold you your workers’ compensation insurance. However, below are examples for employers who have not received copies from their insurer.

There are no firm rules on exactly what this notice must look like. It is normally printed on an orange or salmon card stock so that it will be noticed.

Independent Contractors

Mistakenly classifying an employee as an independent contractor can result in significant fines and penalties.

View 20 factors used by the IRS and our independent contractor questionnaire to determine whether you have enough control over a worker to be an employer.

Other Tips

If your insured employs workers in multiple states or your insured’s employees are temporarily working out-of-state, they need to purchase insurance for all the states where their workers are located, according to each state’s laws. Call 1-800-476-2948 and let us walk you through it.

The nature of your insured’s business, number of employees being covered and past coverage and claims are all factors in how much their premium will cost.