New York

Buying workers’ compensation for:

New York

State Fund: Yes (Competitive)
NYSIF is a non-profit agency of the State of New York, consisting of two separate "funds" -- the Workers’ Compensation Fund, created in 1914, insuring employers against occupational injury and disease suffered by their employees, and the Disability Benefits Fund, established in 1949, which insures against disabling off-the-job sickness or injury sustained by employees. NYSIF is a self-supporting insurance carrier that competes with private insurers in the workers’ compensation and disability benefits markets. Operating income is derived solely from insurance premiums and investments. NYSIF is the largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance in New York State.

Insurance Coverage Requirements: Workers’ Compensation is compulsory in New York. Waivers are not permitted.

Who is Required to Purchase Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

Employers must cover the following workers for workers’ compensation insurance:

1. Workers in all employments conducted for-profit. Part-time employees, borrowed employees, leased employees, family members and volunteers working for a for-profit business must also be covered under the Workers’ Compensation Law
2. Employees of counties and municipalities engaged in work defined by the law as "hazardous"
3. Public school teachers, excluding those employed by New York City, and public school aides, including New York City
4. Employees of the State of New York, including some volunteer workers
5. Domestic workers employed forty or more hours per week by the same employer, including full-time sitters or companions, and live-in maids
6. Farm workers whose employer paid $1,200 or more for farm labor in the preceding calendar year
7. Any other worker determined by the Board to be an employee and not specifically excluded from coverage under the WCL
8. All corporate officers if the corporation has more than two officers and/or two stockholders
9. Officers of one-or-two person corporations if there are other individuals in employment. These officers may choose to exclude themselves from coverage
10. Most workers compensated by a nonprofit organization

Volunteer Firefighters and Volunteer Ambulance Workers are provided benefits for death or injuries suffered in the line of duty under the Volunteer Firefighters’ Benefit Law and Volunteer Ambulance Workers’ Benefit Law.

Factors that Impact Coverage

  • You are a sole proprietor, partner or member of an LLC: In New York, you are not required to carry workers’ compensation if you don’t have any employees. If you have employees, you are excluded from coverage but may elect to include yourself.
  • You are a corporate officer: If all company stock is held by one or two corporate officers, they may be exempt from coverage. However, no corporate officers may be excluded if the corporation has more than two corporate officers or shareholders.

Failure to Secure Compensation

Failure to secure workers’ compensation insurance is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $2,500 or imprisonment for up to one year. A second violation of the Law within five years may result in a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000. A third or subsequent violation of the Law within five years may result in a fine of up to $7,500. The Board enforces these penalties against employers for blatant cases of abuse and levies them in addition to penalties for noncompliance of posting laws’, and liabilities and penalties incurred for claims incurred while uninsured (see below).

The Board may impose upon an employer, in addition to all other penalties, a fine of $250 for each 10-day period of noncompliance or 2 percent of the employer’s payroll during the period of noncompliance. The fine of $250 for each 10-day period of noncompliance is the most commonly imposed penalty for noncompliance.

If an employer fails to secure workers’ compensation insurance and a claim occurs, the employer is liable for paying an assessment of $250 for each claim incurred while uninsured plus 15% of the amount awarded (minimum of $1,500--maximum of $5,000) plus the actual award (including both compensation and medical costs) plus any penalties the Board assesses for noncompliance. In cases involving severely injured employees, the medical costs alone could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per injury. If they are a sole proprietor, partner in a partnership, and the President, Secretary and Treasurer of a corporation, they are personally liable for failure to secure workers’ compensation insurance.

C-105.2, Certificate of NYS Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board is revising Form C-105.2, Certificate of New York State Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage. Since Form C-105.2 is a controlled form, it is not available on the Board’s web site. Workers’ compensation insurance carriers, however, have been advised how to obtain revised Form C-105.2. Revised Form C-105.2 (9-07) is effective September 1, 2007. Earlier-dated versions of the form are obsolete and should no longer be issued by insurers or accepted by governmental agencies after that date.

The revised Form C-105.2 (9-07) contains two changes:

  1. Consistent with current underwriting rules, references to demolition on the previous version of Form C-105.2 (12-03) have been deleted.
  2. The period for which Form C-105.2 is valid has been revised to: one year after Form C-105.2 is approved by the insurance carrier or its licensed agent, or until the policy expiration date listed on Form C-105.2, whichever is earlier.

Proof of Coverage is Required

Every employer must post in a conspicuous place or places Notice of Compliance - Workers’ Compensation Law (Form C-105) that the employer has obtained workers’ compensation coverage for his/her/its employees and their dependents as required by law. The C-105 form, Notice of Compliance - Workers’ Compensation Law, informs employees that their employer is in compliance with the Workers’ Compensation Law and of their rights and obligations if they suffer a work related injury or occupational disease. In addition, at the bottom of the form the name, address and telephone number of the licensed insurance carrier, the New York State Insurance Fund, authorized group self-insurer or authorized individual self-insurer is listed. For employers who own or operate horse-drawn or automotive vehicles the notice prescribed by the Board to be posted is the C-105.1 form.

Employers obtain the C-105 or C-105.1 forms from the entity that provides coverage for its employees.

An employer who fails to post the C-105 conspicuously about the employer’s place of business will be fined $250.

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.

Key Resources

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.