How does workers' comp work in Pennsylvania?

It's important for all Pennsylvania employer to know the basic rules and laws associated with workers compensation in Pennsylvania. Generally, all business owners in Pennsylvania who have one or more employee are required to purchase workers compensation insurance. This rule includes part-time employees and family members.

Their are several ways that a business can obtain workers' comp coverage in Pennsylvania. The most common method is to purchase private insurance from an independent insurance agency such as Workers Compensation Larger, more financially stable companies may also self-insure their coverage in compliance with the Bureau's Self-Insurance Division. Finally, employers who are unable to find coverage from a private insurance carry may obtain coverage from the State Workers' Insurance Fund (SWIF). Employers may pay higher rates when buying coverage from SWIF.

Workers' Comp Rules & Information for Pennsylvania

State Fund Insurance in Pennsylvania

The PA State Workers Insurance Fund (SWIF) is the official State Fund for Pennsylvania. While insurance rates may be higher for coverage under SWIF, employers who are unable to get workers' comp quotes from private insurance carriers will be able to purchase a policy from SWIF.

State Workers' Insurance Fund
100 Lackawanna Avenue
PO Box 5100
Scranton, PA 18505-5100

What if I Don't Have Coverage in PA?

The PA Bureau of Workers Compensation actively pursues uninsured employers in the state. If workers compensation insurance is not continuously maintained the Bureau may file charges that result in fines up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail for each day of violation.

If an employee is injured while no coverage is in effect, the employer will be held liable for all costs associated with the claim including medical costs, lost wages, penalties, interest, and fees. Employees may also file suit against the employer for damages in excess to the amounts covered under a workers compensation policy.

Any individual or competitor may seek district attorney approval to file a private criminal complaint against any employer who fails to maintain workers' comp coverage when they are legally required to have coverage.

PA Workers' Comp Classification Codes

All classification codes in PA are determined by the PA Compensation Rating Bureau. This is not a government agency, but it is licensed and regulated by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. Each employers' premium is based on its classification code, However, insurance carriers only have to file their rates with the state and, therefore, rates will vary tremendously by insurance company.

Reporting WC Claims Requirements in PA

Employers are required to report all injuries in PA to the insurance company immediately. When an injury causes an employee to miss a day of work, the employer (or insurance carrier) must also submit First Report of Injury electronically with the state within 7 days of the injury. Death claims must be filed within 48 hours..

Requesting Claims History in PA

Employers have a right to their claims information since it directly affects their experience ratting in Pennsylvania. Requests must be made in writing and either mailed or faxed to the PA Bureau of Workers' Compensation:

Records Section, Claims Management Division
Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
1171 S. Cameron St., Room 109
Harrisburg, PA 17104-2501
Fax: 717-783-6365 or 717-783-6366

PA Insurance Directives Regarding Covid-19

Consistent with “prudent insurance practices,” PA “encourages” carriers to consider the following: 1) relax premium payment due dates; 2) extend grace periods; 3) waive late fees; 4) allow payment plans to avoid lapse in coverage; and 5) to consider cancellation or non-renewal only after exhausting all other efforts.

Discretionary state order in effect from 03/30/2020 until the end of the state emergency.

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 Pennsylvania workers comp requirements can help lower the cost of coverage.

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Pennsylvania Work Comp Information

PA Exclusive Remedy

Pennsylvania law utilizes the Exclusive Remedy doctrine to govern workers compensation. This means that business owners who have workers compensation coverage in place are generally protected from most other suits by injured employees unless there is valid proof of willful negligence.

Let Workers Compensation help your business navigate workers' comp insurance in Pennsylvania.

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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 PA 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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