Buying workers’ compensation for:


State Fund: Yes, Exclusive

Insurance Coverage Requirements: Workers’ Compensation is compulsory in Ohio, waivers are permitted, but only for employer sponsored recreational activities.

Who is Required to Purchase Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

Ohio law requires all employers with one or more employees to carry workers’ compensation coverage or have BWC grant them the privilege of self-insurance. Independent contractors and subcontractors also must obtain coverage for their employees.

If the employer controls the working hours, selection of materials, traveling routes. and a worker’s performance reviews, an employer-employee relationship exists, and they must provide coverage for the worker. Also, they should verify that anyone hired as a subcontractor has his or her own workers’ compensation coverage.

Corporate officers are considered employees of the corporation and as such they are covered under the workers’ compensation policy as any other employee. Corporate officers include the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and any other executive officers, which are specified in, and empowered by, the charter or empowered by regularly adopted bylaws of the corporation. Anyone who is elected or appointed, empowered by the directors and performs duties for the corporation also must be covered.

Employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage to domestic household employees (e.g., cooks, gardeners, housekeepers, babysitters, etc.) who earn $160 or more during a calendar quarter. However, individuals performing volunteer services for a private employer - including nonprofit organizations, such as churches - are not covered under the organization’s workers’ compensation policy.

Ohio employees working out of state are covered by Ohio workers’ compensation coverage, and the employer should report those employees’ payroll on their payroll report. If an employer hires out-of-state employees to perform part of their work in states other than Ohio, they should submit the appropriate forms: Agreement to Select the State of Ohio as the Exclusive Remedy or Agreement to Select a Sate Other than Ohio as the Exclusive Remedy (C-112).

BWC does not extend coverage to out-of-state employees who have no duties in Ohio.

BWC does not require all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, they may opt for elective coverage through BWC. The types of employers who qualify for elective coverage include:

  • Sole proprietors;
  • Partnership;
  • Family farm corporate officers;
  • Individual incorporated as a corporation (with no employees);
  • Limited liability company (LLC) acting as sole proprietor;
  • LLC acting as a partnership;
  • Ordained or associate ministers of religious organizations in the exercise of their ministries.

Factors that Impact Coverage

  • You are a sole proprietor or partner: In Ohio, you are excluded from coverage but have the option to include yourself.
  • You are a corporate officer: You are included in coverage but have the option to exclude yourself.
  • You are a member of an LLC: Your workers’ compensation requirements depend on whether the LLC has chosen to be treated as a corporation, sole proprietor or partnership for income tax purposes.

Failure to Secure Compensation

If an employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage, an injured employee may file with the BWC for benefits to be paid and the BWC will recover the funds from the employer. They can place a lien to ensure recovery. They may also file an injunction to stop the noncomplying employer’s operations. The employer also loses all defenses and may be sued civilly.

Proof of Coverage is Required

By law, an employer must post their Certificate of Premium Payment in a highly visible location. BWC will mail a new certificate every six months upon receipt of premium payments.

BWC also provides a copy of written notice that the employer must post to assert rebuttable presumption in seeking disallowance of a claim. This notice alerts workers they may be ineligible for benefits if they suffer a workplace injury while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance.

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.