How does workers' comp work in Ohio?

Ohio is one of four remaining Monopolistic states in the country. The state has never allowed private insurance companies to compete on rating in the Ohio as the state fund has always been the sole source for work comp coverage. Ohio has also managed to keep state rates competitive with other states in the U.S.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation was established as the state fund for Ohio in 1912. It is the largest exclusive state fund in the U.S. with just under $20 billion in assets and 300,000 employers.  The Ohio Workers' Compensation Oversight Commission is responsible for monitoring the BWC's policies, rules and investments.

Need workers compensation coverage outside of Ohio? Contact one of our Specialists today and shop more than 35 private insurance companies for your lowest rates.

Workers' Comp Rules & Information for Ohio

Certificate of Premium Payment

Ohio state laws requires that employers post a Certificate of Premium Payment each year in a highly visible location within the workplace. The certificate lets employees know you have an active workers' compensation insurance policy.

MCO Selection Guide

All Ohio employers are required to choose an MCO (Medical Care Organization) within 30 days of initiating workers' comp coverage. The MCO will help manage all medical claims for injured workers.

Free Work Comp Safety Consultation

The Ohio BWC offers all business owners free consultation with safety and health professionals as requested by a policyholder. They will also create a customized safety management program for your business. Visit BWC Ohio for more information.

Grow Ohio Work Comp Premium Discount

Ohio offers this incentive program to help new business owners save money on workers' comp coverage. There are two available choices in the program: 1) a 25% discount on work comp premium, and 2) an opportunity to join a group-experience-rating-program effective with the first date of coverage (employer receives the groups discount up to 50%). The program does have annual eligibility requirements.

Workers' Comp Insurance Claim Disputes

Either an employer or an injured employee has the right to dispute any BWC claim decision if they disagree with the outcome. The employer or the employee can file an appeal with the Ohio Industrial Commission as it serves as the adjudicative branch for the Ohio workers' compensation system.

Workers Compensation Reporting in Ohio

All private employers pay insurance premiums for workers' comp based on the rating year from July 1st through June 30th. The BWC offers several payment options including monthly installments. Premium payments are based on the annual projected payroll listed on the workers' compensation application. Each July, Ohio employers are required to provide there actual payroll records and determine the difference between estimated payroll by class code(s) and actual payroll. This process is also known as an annual audit. Employers typically receive a credit if payroll was over-estimated, or owe additional premium if the payroll was under-estimated.

Ohio Work Comp Coverage Requirements

Any business in Ohio that controls the working hours, materials selection process, traveling routes, or does a performance review is considered to be an employer for the purpose of workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation insurance must also be provided to a) corporate officers, b) domestic household employees, and c) employees temporarily working out of state. BWC can't provide coverage for any employee who works exclusively outside of Ohio.


We highly recommend that business owners, contractors, and residents verify that any hired sub-contractor has their own active workers compensation coverage in force prior to allowing them to perform any work. Uninsured sub-contractors coverage or claims often fall to the hiring party when no coverage is in place for the sub-contractor

Alternative Workers' Comp Insurance in Ohio

Ohio allows several alternative options to the standard First Dollar coverage. Alternative programs include:

  • Deductible programs
  • Individual retrospective rating
  • Group retrospective rating
  • Group experience rating
  • Self insurance
  • Ohio BWC Moves to Reduce Opioid Prescriptions in Work Comp

    The Columbus Dispatch reported in 2016 that The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation proposed new guidelines for how doctors treat patients for pain. The guidelines limit the amount of money BWC will pay towards opioids and limit treatment for up to 18 months. Theese guidelines became affective sometime in 2017.

    State Insurance Directives Regarding Covid-19

    To help insureds maintain coverage, insurers are ordered to provide insureds with at least a 60-day grace period to pay premium so that policies are not canceled/nonrenewed for non-payment during the state of emergency.  OH suggests that insurers: 1) allow consumers to defer payments at no cost; 2) extend payment due dates; or 3) waive late or reinstatement fees.  Cancellation/nonrenewal is still permitted for any reason other than nonpayment.  OH anticipates that failure to pay premiums by the end of the grace period may subject the insured to retroactive cancellation. Update: This bulletin is only applicable to policyholders that are facing financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19.

    Madatory order by law in effect from 03/30/2020 - further notice.

    State Orders Regarding Insurance Claims Related to Coronavirus

    No current state orders.

    Specialized Programs for Select Industries

    We work with our national insurance partners to develop targeted programs with easier underwriting requirements and lower rates. We offer a broad range of business class codes that help streamline the quote process so you get the lowest price for coverage.

    Knowing the Ohio workers comp requirements can help lower the cost of coverage.

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    Ohio Work Comp Information

    Employer's Liability Insurance

    In most states, employer's liability coverage is included with a standard workers' comp policy. However, employer's liability coverage is not included with workers' compensation from the Ohio Bureau. Ohio employers will need to purchase employers liability coverage separately. This coverage can often be included as part of an Ohio general liability policy.

    Employers' liability insurance is also known as Stop Gap because it protects the employer from employee related lawsuits that are outside of the scope of workers' comp coverage. It exists to protect employers against claims that do not fall under workers compensation statutes in Ohio.

    Workers Compensation can help your business navigate workers' comp insurance in other states outside of Ohio. We can help you buy multi-state and out of state workers' comp coverage and employers liability coverage..

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    From ownership rules, class code reviews, to managing audits & claims, we've got your business covered.

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    No carrier quotes every class code. That's why we've built a diverse group of great insurance companies.

    Workers' Comp Includes Employers Liability Insurance?

    Employers liability insurance is an additional layer of coverage included as part of a workers' compensation insurance policy. Employers Liability is known as Part 2 of the policy. It adds two additional coverages for employers:

    Employers Legal Liability and Legal Defense Costs

    In today's world, there are a variety of reasons employees and third-parties sue employers for damages. Here a some common types covered by employers liability insurance:

    Third Party Lawsuits

    Your employee sues another party that may have contributed to the injury, In turn, the third party sues your business.

    Consequential Bodily Injury

    Another party or individual is injured while providing care for the injured employee.

    Dual Capacity Legal Action

    An employee files a claim but also attempts to sue the employer for being responsible in other ways outside of the employment relationship.

    Loss of Consortium

    A spouse sues for damages caused by the loss of companionship or relations.

    Employers Liability coverage is not included with coverage in the four monopolistic states. Employers in these states can endorse this coverage onto their General Liability policy. That coverage is commonly known as Stop Gap Coverage.

    Workers' Comp Covers OH Employers from Injury Related Expenses & Lawsuits
    Employers liability insurance is included under a workers' comp policy in most states.
    • Employers liability coverage is not included in all monopolistic states.
    • All NCCI and most other states' coverage includes employers liability insurance.
    Visit NCCI for more resources and information about workers' compensation class codes. Visit United States Department of Labor for more information about government agencies managing workers compensation insurance rates.

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