How does workers' comp work in Tennessee?

Tennessee utilizes the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) as the licensed rating bureau and statistical organization for the state. Currently, twenty-eight other states also utilize NCCI in the same manner.

Like most NCCI states, there are hundreds of insurance companies actively writing workers compensation insurance in Tennessee. This is good news for employers doing business in Tennessee.

There is no State Fund in Tennessee. Instead the Assigned Risk Program is provided by the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Insurance Plan. All policies written are currently administered by AON, on behalf of the state. Employers who are unable to find coverage from a private carrier are eligible to purchase a policy from the Assigned Risk program.

Workers' Comp Rules & Information for Tennessee

Employee Injuries Under Workers' Comp in TN

Employee's should report any work-related injury to his/her supervisor within 30 days of the date of the injury or within 30 days of when a doctor first tells the employee that his/her injury is work-related so that the proper forms and paperwork can be completed. Reporting injuries earlier will help expedite the claim. If its an emergency, employees should be taken to the nearest ER prior to filing the claim.

Who Directs Medical Care for Injured Workers in TN?

Generally, the employer has the right to direct medical treatment within reason. A company representative is required to provide injured employees with the names of at least 3 nearby doctors who are willing to treat the employee under workers compensation insurance. The doctor chosen by the employee will become the authorized treating physician for the employee. Form C-42 should be completed and retained by the employer to officially validate the agreement, but allowing a doctor to treat injuries also serves the same purpose in TN.

Tennessee Workers' Compensation Maximum Compensation Rate

The maximum compensation rate for an injured worker out on a Temporary Total Disabilty is $827.00 per week (110% of TN's average weekly wage). The weekly maximum compensation rate for a Permanent Total Disability and a Permanent Partial Disability is $752.00 (100% of average wages in Tennessee). In Tennessee, an injured employee can only receive workers' compensation disabilty payments for a maximum of 400 weeks.

Tennessee Ombudsman

Tennessee Ombudsman is a workers compensation program developed to assist employees, or other related parties involved in a workers' compensation claim when they are not represented by a lawyer. An Ombudsman helps all parties involved better navigate the workers compensation claims process and legal system.

An Ombudsman can be requested by contacting the TN Division of Workers' Compensation at 800-322-2667.

TN Safety Committees and Workers' Comp

All employers who have an Experience Modification factor above 1.20 are legally required to establish and administer a safety committee in the workplace. This committee must remain in force until the MOD factor dips below the 1.20 threshold. All other operations are encouraged by the state to form safety committees within the workplace.

Drug Free Workplace Policy Credits

Tennessee requires all insurance companies to offer an automatic 5% credit on coverage to all employers who institute a drug free workplace program for their business. Laws passed in 2011 also make it more difficult for employees to receive workers' comp benefits if the test positive for alcohol or drugs immediately following and accident. Contact one of our Specialists to learn more about the TN drug free credits and requirements.

Tennessee Uninsured Employers Fund

The state of Tennessee operates the UEF program in an effort to enforce workers' comp coverage requirements. The function of UEF is to help ensure that all employers comply with all legal requirements of coverage and to find and penalize those employers who fail to provide coverage for employees when they are required to do so.

TN State Insurance Directives Regarding Covid-19

Insurers are are “requested” to work with policyholders to help them maintain coverage.  Upon request or receiving calls about coverage, insurers should explain/offer to policyholders the following: 1) that policyholder should maintain coverage; 2) existing applicable grace periods to delay premium payments; and 3) waiver of late fees, nonsufficient-funds fees, and installment fees.  Insurers should try alternative solutions to delay cancellation of coverage for non-payment.

Discretionary order in effect from 03/24/2020 until the end of the public health crisis. Applies to all carries and all lines of insurance.

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

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Tennessee Work Comp Information

Claims Management

Tennessee has very strict requirements and procedures for reporting claims information to the state. in most cases, your workers' compensation carrier is responsible for handling all administrative paperwork once a claim is reported to the carrier.

All workers compensation claims should be reported to the insurance company as soon as practical.

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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 TN 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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