What Electrical Contractors Should Know About Workers’ Compensation Insurance in NY

If you are an electrical contractor with employees in New York, you must have workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of insurance that provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This insurance is mandatory in New York State, and there are specific requirements that electrical contractors need to be aware of when it comes to securing and maintaining this coverage.

New York State Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirements

In New York State, electrical contractors must know specific workers’ compensation insurance requirements. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in fines and legal action. Two critical aspects of New York’s workers’ compensation insurance requirements for electrical contractors are mandatory coverage and exemptions.

Mandatory Coverage for Electrical Contractors

Electrical contractors must carry workers’ compensation insurance for all employees, including part-time and seasonal workers. The only exception is if the electrical contractor is a sole proprietor with no employees. Even if your employees are family members, you still need workers’ compensation insurance.

Workers’ compensation insurance benefits employees injured or ill due to their job. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, and disability payments. Electrical contractors can protect their employees and business from financial hardship in a workplace accident by carrying workers’ compensation insurance.

Exemptions and Exceptions

There are some exceptions to the mandatory coverage requirements for electrical contractors in New York. For example, suppose you hire independent contractors who are not employees. In that case, you are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for them as long as they have their own worker’s compensation coverage. You can learn more about how to handle sub-contractors HERE.

Additionally, if all your employees are covered under a union contract, you may not need to secure separate workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

It’s important to note that even if you are exempt from carrying workers’ compensation insurance for certain employees, you may still want to consider providing coverage. In a workplace accident, you could still be liable for damages and medical expenses if you do not have insurance.

Obtaining a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Policy

Electrical contractors must contact an insurance provider and apply for coverage to obtain workers’ compensation insurance in New York. Your insurance provider will evaluate your business and determine your premium rate based on various factors.

When selecting an insurance provider, choosing a company with experience working with electrical contractors is crucial. They will be able to provide you with the specialized coverage you need to protect your business and your employees.

In addition to carrying workers’ compensation insurance, electrical contractors should also have a comprehensive safety program to prevent workplace accidents. This can include a training plan for new employees, conducting regular safety inspections, and enforcing safety protocols on job sites.

By taking proactive measures to prevent accidents, you can reduce the likelihood of needing to file a workers’ compensation claim in the first place.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance Premiums and Costs

While it’s important to have this coverage in place, it’s also essential to understand the factors that can affect your premiums and how you can work to keep your costs under control.

Factors Affecting Premium Rates

Several factors can affect the premium rates for workers’ compensation insurance for electrical contractors.

  • One of the most significant factors is the size of your business.
    • Larger businesses typically have higher premiums because they have more payroll, more employees, and a higher level of risk.
  • The type of work you do can also affect your premium rates.
    • For example, if you work in an industry that is considered high-risk, such as roofing work, your premiums may be higher than a business that is regarded as low-risk, like an electrical contractor.
  • Your claims history is another factor that can affect your premium rates.
    • If you have a history of frequent claims, your premiums may be higher than a business with a clean claims history.

To help minimize your premium rates, you can take steps to reduce your risk. For example, implementing safety measures and providing training for your employees can help reduce the likelihood of workplace injuries and illnesses.

By taking these steps, you can demonstrate to your insurance provider that you are taking proactive measures to reduce your risk, which can help lower your premiums.

Ways to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Insurance Costs

There are several ways that electrical contractors can help reduce their workers’ compensation insurance costs.

Implementing a safety program is one of the most effective ways to reduce costs. This program should be designed to help prevent workplace injuries and illnesses by identifying potential hazards and training your employees on how to avoid them. By implementing a safety program, you can demonstrate to your insurance provider that you are taking proactive measures to reduce your risk, which can help lower your premiums.

Another way you can reduce your premium is by choosing the right carrier. Some carriers in New York offer dividend plans and some don’t. The premiums for a dividend plan policy can sometimes be thirty percent lower or more than a non-dividend plan. You can learn more about dividend plans HERE.

Lastly, knowing what credits are available on your worker’s compensation policy impacts your premium. These discounts include the NYCCPAP credit, Return to Work Program credit, and more.

Audits and Adjustments

It’s essential to keep in mind that your workers’ compensation insurance premium rate is not set in stone.

Insurance providers will conduct annual audits to evaluate your business and adjust your premiums, if necessary, based on your exposures. During these audits, your insurance provider will review the below factors to determine if your premiums should be adjusted up or down.

  1. Your claims history
  2. Payroll
  3. Safety measures
  4. Sub-contractors

Keeping accurate records and preparing for these audits is essential to ensure you get the best possible rate. By keeping detailed records of your safety measures, payroll numbers, certificates of insurance from subcontractors, and other relevant information, you can demonstrate to your insurance provider that you are taking proactive steps to reduce your risk and keep your costs under control.

By understanding the factors that can affect your premiums and taking proactive measures to reduce your risk, you can help keep your costs under control and ensure you have the coverage you need to protect your business and your employees.

Claims Management and Handling

One of the most important aspects of workers’ compensation insurance for electrical contractors is claims management and handling. Knowing how to report workplace injuries and illnesses, navigate the claims process, and handle disputes is crucial for ensuring your employees receive the benefits they are entitled to.

Regarding claims management and handling, there are several key factors to remember. First and foremost, it’s essential to clearly understand your responsibilities as an employer when it comes to workers’ compensation insurance. This includes understanding your state’s requirements for coverage, as well as the specific needs of your insurance policy.

Another critical factor to consider is the importance of prompt reporting. As an electrical contractor, you must immediately report workplace injuries or illnesses to your insurance provider. This will help ensure that your employees receive prompt medical care and that their claims are processed quickly and efficiently. It’s essential to provide detailed information about the injury or illness and its circumstances to help ensure the claim is processed correctly.

The Claims Process for Electrical Contractors

The claims process for workers’ compensation insurance can be complex, and it’s essential to be prepared if one of your employees is injured or becomes ill on the job. Your insurance provider will typically assign a claims adjuster to handle the case and will work with you to ensure the claim is processed smoothly.

One crucial factor to remember during the claims process is the importance of communication. Keeping detailed records and communicating regularly with your insurance provider is essential. This can help ensure that the claim is processed correctly and that any issues or concerns are addressed promptly.

Another critical factor to consider is the role of medical providers in the claims process. Your insurance provider may require your employee to see a specific medical provider for treatment or allow your employee to choose their provider. Understanding these requirements and communicating them clearly to your employee is essential.


As an electrical contractor, you understand the importance of protecting your investments. Our agency specializes in contractors’ insurance and offers a variety of policies to fit your unique needs. From liability to workers’ compensation, we’ve got you covered.

Don’t let unexpected events put your business at risk. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our comprehensive coverage options.

You can call or text us at 631.517.9211

You can view our electrical contractor’s page here – https://www.lafadvisers.com/electricianins/

Thank you,

Shawn Fitzgerald

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