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The Employer’s Guide to Georgia Workers’ Comp Insurance

  • Georgia

If you’re trying to understand how workers’ comp works in Georgia, you’ve reached the right place. Business insurance is what we do, and we’ve put together a list of the important things to know about workers’ comp in Georgia.

Quick Index:

  1. Is workers’ comp insurance required in Georgia?
  2. What happens if I don’t get workers’ comp in Georgia?
  3. Do business owners have to buy workers’ comp for themselves?
  4. How do I get workers’ comp in Georgia?
  5. What is the cost of workers’ comp in Georgia?
  6. What are the workers’ compensation insurance limits in Georgia?
  7. What does workers’ comp cover in Georgia?
  8. What should I do if my Georgia employee is injured and needs workers’ comp?

Is workers’ comp insurance required in Georgia?

It depends on the size of your business. According to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, your business must carry workers’ compensation insurance if you regularly employ at least three people—full or part-time. (If your business is an LLC or corporation, you count as one of the employees, even if you decide not to get coverage for yourself.)

You are not required to get workers’ comp, though, if you have less than three employees, or if the part-time workers that put you over the limit don’t work regularly for your company (in other words, they work sporadically and don’t show up at the same time every week).

What about independent contractors? In general, you’re not required to provide casual contractors with workers’ comp. However, there may be situations where you should consider covering your independent contractors (especially if they work regular hours at your business or if they do work that an employee would normally do).

(Go here to learn more about whether workers’ comp is required for your Georgia business.)

What happens if I don’t get workers’ comp in Georgia?

In Georgia, an employer that doesn’t carry workers’ comp is guilty of a misdemeanor.  This could mean both  financial penalties and legal trouble:

  1. You could face a fine of between $500 and $5,000 per violation.
  2. You might be imprisoned for up to 12 months.
  3. If an employee is injured, they can sue you for damages in a Georgia state court. The cost of a settlement in this case could be far more than you would have paid for workers’ comp in the first place.
  4. In addition, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation may require you to pay attorney’s fees, civil penalties, and an additional 10% in compensation for the injured worker.
  5. Whenever you do purchase workers’ comp, the cost will be significantly higher than if you had maintained coverage without gaps.

Don’t chance it. Just get workers’ comp.  

(Or learn more about penalties for not having workers’ comp in Georgia.)

I’m a business owner in Georgia. Do I need to purchase workers’ comp for myself?

If you own a business in Georgia, you’re not required to purchase workers’ comp for yourself. Depending on how your company is organized, though, you might be included in coverage automatically. If you’re automatically covered and want to exempt yourself, you’ll just need to fill out a form (if you get a Huckleberry policy, the whole process will be online).

Learn more about who is included in your Georgia workers’ comp policy and how to exclude owners and officers.

How do I get workers’ comp in Georgia?

Basically, there are two major ways to get workers’ comp for your Georgia business. Here they are, in brief:

  1. Get a broker, fill out a bunch of paperwork, provide supporting documents (like payroll information), and then wait for a quote. This is the traditional method of getting workers’ comp coverage. Just so you know, the process can take several weeks to complete—start early. Learn more about buying workers’ comp here.
  2. You can get covered the digital way (and get a quote in about five minutes).

What is the cost of workers’ comp in Georgia?

Workers’ comp is calculated based mostly on your payroll—the more you spend on payroll, the more you’ll spend on workers’ comp. Your rate also depends on your industry—a tech company will pay less for workers’ comp than a construction company with a comparable payroll. (You can read more about how workers’ comp rates are calculated.)

So you’re informed, the average cost for workers’ comp in Georgia is about $1.80 per $100 of payroll. But the simplest (and quickest!) way to find out what you’ll pay is to get an instant estimate here.

What are the workers’ compensation insurance limits in Georgia?

Good news: you don’t ever have to think about workers’ comp limits. The State of Georgia sets and enforces them.

In fact, theoretically, the amount your business insurance company could pay in the event of an incident is unlimited. In the event of a severe injury, for example, your insurance company might provide benefits to an injured worker for the rest of that worker’s life.

Long story short: you don’t need to think about limits when you buy workers’ comp—your rate will automatically be calculated based on your payroll and other factors.

(You can learn more about workers’ comp laws in Georgia here.)

So, what does workers’ comp cover in Georgia?

Workers’ comp pays for lost wages and medical expenses when a worker has an injury or illness related to their job. Employees can claim benefits for a wide range of injuries, from carpal tunnel syndrome to a broken leg to a sickness stemming from workplace chemical exposure. If the worst happens, workers’ comp will also pay death benefits.

(Learn more about what workers’ comp covers in Georgia.)

What should I do if my Georgia employee is injured and needs workers’ comp?

Follow these steps.

  1. Make sure your employee gets medical attention. Take care of your people.
  2. Next, provide your employee with your insurance information—the name and address of your insurance carrier, your policy number, and the policy’s expiration date.
  3. Fill out Section A of Georgia form WC-1 immediately and submit it to your insurer.

Finished? Go here for full information on what you should do after an employee injury in Georgia.

Hey, we hope this was helpful! Keep in mind that we can get you a quote for Georgia workers’ comp in about five minutes. Everything is online. Everything is easy. Tap here to start.


All content on this page is for general informational purposes only and does not apply to any specific case, is not legal, tax or insurance advice and should not be relied upon. If you have any questions about the situation for your small business or the latest information in your state, you should contact an attorney for legal advice, an insurance agent or broker, and/or your state's labor or industry agency, board, commission or department. Please note that the information provided on this page may change at any time as a result of legislative action, court decisions or rules adopted or amended by any state or the federal government.

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