North Dakota

Buying workers’ compensation for:

North Dakota

State Fund: North Dakota is a monopolistic state. It has a state-operated insurance fund where businesses are required to buy workers’ compensation insurance from the state. Private insurers cannot operate in this monopolistic fund state. Self Insurance is not permitted.

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

Who is Required to Purchase Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

North Dakota Law, with limited exceptions, requires all employers to secure workers’ compensation insurance to cover their full-time, part-time, seasonal, or occasional employees prior to hiring.


  • Licensed real estate brokers subject to certain criteria.
  • Farm and ranch labor, certain custom operations, household domestic workers, and employees engaged in the operation and maintenance of a place of worship.
  • Independent contractors - to be considered an independent contractor, you may need to complete an Independent Contractor Verification Application provided by the North Dakota Department of Labor. Upon the approval of the Department of Labor or WSI, you would then be exempt under the workers’ compensation statutes.
  • Federal and railroad employees.
  • Children of the employer(s) who are under the age of 22 are not required to be covered. (NOTE: Children aged 22 and older who are receiving compensation for employment must be reported as an employee.)
  • Newspaper delivery personnel subject to certain criteria.

Factors that Impact Coverage

  • You are a sole proprietor, partner, corporate officer or member of an LLC: North Dakota excludes you from coverage, but you have the option to include yourself.
  • You are an independent contractor: You are exempt from coverage after completing an Independent Contractor Verification Application.
  • You are a general contractor: You are responsible for securing coverage and paying premiums for subcontractors until they have obtained their own coverage.

Failure to Secure Compensation

If an employer has employees working for them at this time and they do not have a WSI policy, they are uninsured in the state of North Dakota. Since employers are required, by law, to cover their workers against injuries, they will be required to pay premium for the period they were not insured, and may also be subject to penalties for failure to secure coverage. Additionally, workers may bring suit against the employer as an uninsured employer for damages caused by an injury during the period in which the employer was uninsured.

Proof of Coverage is Required

WSI provides this poster to all employers so they have a visual for their employees. It covers the basic details of workers compensation that would be helpful for the worker if they suffer an injury and what type of benefits they can receive. There is no law requiring the employer to post this.

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.