How does workers' comp work in Virginia?

Virginia State law requires most employers to purchase workers' comp coverage to protect injured employees. Coverage provides an exclusive remedy for the employer. This means that employees can only typically only file a claim against the insurance policy rather than the employer. In return, employees get faster resolutions for claims.

Employers who regularly employ more than two part or full-time employees are required to provide coverage. Coverage is mandatory and they are no waivers or exceptions.

Contractors run a particular risk when they utilize sub-contractors to assist with their work. Sub-contractors must be counted as employees unless the employer can provide Proof of Workers' Comp Coverage for the subcontractor.

Workers' Comp Rules & Information for Virginia

Virginia Workers' Comp Regulations

Virginia Worker' Compensation Commission
1000 DMV Drive
Richmond, VA 23220

Virginia Workers Compensation Minimum Limits

The mininimum limits for employers liabilty coverage under a workers' comp policy in VA is $100,000/$500,000,$100,000.

  • $100,000 per occurrence for bodily injury or illness
  • $100,000 per employee for bodily injury or illness by occupational disease
  • $500,000 policy limit for bodily injuries or illness by disease

VA Employee Definition for Work Comp

Corporate Officers and LLC Members

Family members working for the business

Temporary, seasonal, and part-time employees

Minors and undocumented workers

Workers for churches, charities, and non-profits

Independent Contractors Vs. Employees

Employers and contractors who pay other sub-contractors using a form 1099 does not guarantee they will not be liable for coverage or claims. The 1099 employee designation is not important under VA workers' comp rules. If the facts around the working relationship demonstrate that employer control exists, an employee relationship is established.

Sole-Proprietors With No Employees

Sole-proprietors with no employees or sub-contractors are not required to purchase coverage. The may opt to voluntary obtain a policy. No exemption or waiver of coverage is needed for sole-proprietors.

Virginia Work Comp Policy Credits and Discounts

Workers' Compensation Rates are set each year by the VA Bureau of Insurance.  However, Virginia also allows private insurance companies to offer additional discounts and credits on each policy. This means that rates can vary by insurer. The best way to obtain the best prices on coverage is to utilize a licensed insurance agency willing to negotiate better credits for your business, like Workers Compensation

Virginia Coverage for Out-of-State Employers

Virginia requires that all out-of-state employers doing work in the state have proper state coverage. The state requires the Virginia to the policy under Item 3a. This item and section lists the states where the business performs work and therefore insures coverage. If an insurance carrier is unwilling to add Virginia under Item 3a of the policy it generally means they are not licensed to provide coverage in the state. Employer will need a second policy from an insurance company licensed in VA, or they will need a carrier that can provide coverage for all necessary states.

Virginia Drug-Free Workplace Program

Virginia rules require that all insurance companies give an additional 5% policy discount for all Virginia employers who operate a drug-free workplace. Contact your insurance company to get the requirements and form needed to file for this discount.

Create a quick and easy Drug Free Workplace Policy in less than 30 minutes. It's 100% free and provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Virginia Non-Compliance Work Comp Penalties

Virginia Employers who fail to purchase or maintain the proper workers' compensation insurance may be subject to civil penalties up to $250 for each day they are uninsured. The maximum penalty is $50,000. They may also be held liable for the cost of any claims that happen while uninsured. Repeat offenders may result in criminal prosecution and business revocation.

Virginia Workers Compensation Verification Tool

The Virginia Workers Compensation Commission now offers a free coverage verification tool to assist individuals with verifying coverage for a business by name or Federal ID Number. The tool must be launched from a page on the Commission's website at The link is on the left side under VWC Resources. The tool is called: Insurance Coverage Search.

Virginia Workers Compensation Questions

For additional information or questions about workers compensation insurance in Virginia, contact one of our workers' comp Specialists at 888-611-7467.

VA Insurance Directives Regarding Covid-19

To avoid lapse in coverage and consistent with prudent insurance practices, The state of Virginia “encourages” insurers to consider the following actions: relax premium due dates, extend premium payment grace period, waive late fees and penalties, and allow premium payment plans. Only cancel/nonrenew a policy after exhausting other reasonable efforts.

Discretionary order in effect from 03/27/2020 until 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 Virginia workers comp requirements can help lower the cost of coverage.

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Virginia Work Comp Resources

Coverage Facts

Coverage is mandatory in VA.

NCCI is the State Rating Bureau.

Private insurance carriers are allowed.

Self-Insurance is permitted, if authorized.

There is no State Fund in VA

VA does not recognize State Reciprocity

NCCI administers the Assigned Risk Program

We write Assigned Risk coverage in VA.

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

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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 VA 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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