According to a study conducted by AdvisorSmith and released last year, Oklahoma is the 11th most dangerous state for workers in the United States. The study reviewed the occupational fatality rates across all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine the safest and most hazardous states for workers.
In total, the commission reports that there were more than 7,000 work-related injury, illness, and death claims made in the state in 2021.
The Oklahoma business owners associated with those claims should feel relieved that they had workers’ compensation insurance. Without it, they could have faced employee lawsuits and been responsible for paying legal, settlement, and other costs related to the illnesses, injuries, or deaths out of pocket.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- 5 best workers’ compensation insurance companies in Oklahoma
- How does Oklahoma workers’ comp work?
- Who needs workers’ comp coverage in Oklahoma?
- Who is exempt from workers comp insurance in Oklahoma?
- How does small businesses obtain workers comp insurance in Oklahoma?
- What does workers compensation insurance cover in Oklahoma?
- How much does workers compensation insurance cost in Oklahoma?
- How to find cheap workers compensation insurance in Oklahoma
5 best workers’ compensation insurance companies in Oklahoma
We checked out countless companies that offer workers’ compensation insurance in Oklahoma to come up with our top five for different reasons.
- CoverWallet: Best for businesses in Oklahoma that want to compare quotes quickly
- Cerity: Best for stand alone workers’ comp coverage in Oklahoma
- Huckleberry: Best for almost instant workers’ comp coverage
- Chubb: Best overall worker’s comp insurer in Oklahoma
- Employers: Best for workers’ comp coverage backed by experienced professionals
CoverWallet: Best for businesses in Oklahoma that want to compare quotes quickly
CoverWallet is a cutting-edge insurance provider. The firm has developed its own state-of-the-art platform, based on its own algorithms, to ensure it is able to connect small businesses with workers’ compensation insurance and all the types of business coverage they need, at the most reasonable price. The platform makes it quick and easy to get quotes from several providers at once, making it possible to compare packages from highly reputable insurers all on a single screen.
The firm’s experts have used their extensive knowledge and experience to make sure you only have to input the information required to generate quick and accurate quotes. The entire process should take ten minutes or less.
You can feel confident knowing that CoverWallet is a part of Aon, an established company that provides advice to businesses on things like risk, health, and retirement.
Once you get your quote, CoverWallet makes it simple to purchase workers’ comp insurance online or through an agent. When you get your policy through CoverWallet, it’s simple to manage your coverage online, including downloading a certificate of insurance, filing a claim, renewing your coverage, and more.
Here’s a sample Oklahoma workers’ compensation quote from CoverWallet.
Cerity: Best for stand-alone workers’ comp coverage in Oklahoma
Cerity makes our list of top workers’ compensation providers because it specializes in the coverage. It currently does not offer a Business Owners Policy or other types of insurance. It’s a relatively low cost provider, yet delivers a high level of service. Policies start as low as $25 per month and the company has fewer fees than most insurers. Cerity makes it fast and easy to get a quote online.
Cerity isn’t low cost because it cuts corners. It actually uses artificial intelligence to up its efficiency. However, everything at Cerity isn’t technology based. When you require help, you will have access to a team of licensed policy and claims experts. You can rest assured knowing Cerity has been in business for more than a century and is rated highly by their clients.
Huckleberry: Best for almost instant workers’ comp coverage
Huckleberry promises that they can get business owners coverage in five minutes or less.
Despite being a fast insurance service, your coverage will come from well-known providers including Hiscox, Chubb, The Hartford, and Berkshire Hathaway, among others. The firm is also backed by a number of well-known and highly reputable investors.
The process of getting a quote and purchasing a policy is fast and simple. You simply input a minimal amount of data into the proprietary Huckleberry system and it generates a quote fast.
If you need fast workers’ comp coverage, Huckleberry could be the perfect provider for your business.
Chubb: Best overall worker’s comp insurer in Oklahoma
Chubb offers workers’ compensation insurance for companies of all sizes, including a solution for small businesses. Workers’ comp coverage can be easily added to the Chubb Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) along with other types of protection, including umbrella, commercial auto, cybersecurity and more, providing complete protection for businesses.
Some of the features of the Chubb small business workers’ compensation solution include:
- It’s available for businesses with as few as one employee up to those earning $30 million in annual revenue
- It offers versatile insurance options including a waiver of subrogation and a range of employer liability limits
- Occasional international travel insurance with expanded coverage is available through the Chubb foreign package policy
- Medical management support, including nurse case managers, provide medical expertise and advice to the company’s adjusters.
Chubb is known for its top-tier claims service. They make it easy to file a claim, get answers to questions, and access forms and other resources online. The firm is also renowned for its technical expertise in claims management, knowing the nuances of Oklahoma’s regulations.
Some other things that make Chubb an attractive workers’ compensation provider include its:
- Preferred provider network that makes it easy to access quality medical care at reasonable rates all over Oklahoma
- Return-to-work program that helps speed employee recovery times
- Pharmacy benefit management program focused on patient safety
- A dedicated Special Investigative Unit (SIU) to identify fraud
- Chubb makes it easy to get a business insurance quote online.
All these features make Chubb our top provider of workers’ compensation coverage in Oklahoma.
Employers: Best for workers’ comp coverage backed by experienced professionals
Employers has agents all over Oklahoma that can connect you with the workers’ compensation insurance you need to cover your workforce. The company only offers workers’ compensation insurance targeted to the needs of independent small businesses. Employers dates back to 1913 and is known for its extensive experience in the workers’ comp space, financial stability, knowledge and resources.
Employers goes above and beyond by offering 24 / 7 claims service, solid fraud prevention and loss control services, managed care support, a pay-as-you-go program and an industry-leading return to work program.
If you decide to work with Employers, you can rest assured knowing you’ll have a good experience.
How does Oklahoma workers’ comp work?
Workers’ compensation in Oklahoma is a no-fault system. This means that it doesn’t matter if employees or employers are in any way responsible for the incidents that cause workplace injuries or illnesses.
In exchange for the no-fault benefit, employees do not have the right to file personal injury claims against their employers for negligence. This can be a big relief to employers who are concerned about employee lawsuits.
Who needs workers’ comp coverage in Oklahoma?
Generally, any business in Oklahoma that has employees needs to get workers’ compensation insurance. It is required by the state laws. Without workers comp insurance, your business may be fined $10,000 a day until you obtain sufficient coverage for your employees.
Who is exempt from workers comp insurance in Oklahoma?
Below are the businesses that are exempt from workers comp insurance in Oklahoma:
- Certain small agricultural businesses
- People who work for the federal government
- Licensed real estate sales associates or brokers who are paid on a commission basis
- Anyone who is providing services in a medical care or social services program, or who is a participant in a work or training program, administered by the Department of Human Services, with some exceptions
- Family businesses with five or fewer employees all related to the owner, with some exceptions, especially related to how the business is structured
- Independent contractors because they do not fall under the definition of employee in Oklahoma.
Independent contractors or self-employed people are exempt from workers comp insurance in Oklahoma, ie. you can skip it if you want. However, it is highly advisable that you should still obtain workers comp coverage for yourself, especially if you work in high-risk jobs. Learn more about workers comp insurance for the self-employed and the best workers comp insurance companies for independent contractors.
How do small businesses obtain workers’ compensation coverage in Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, workers’ comp can be purchased from an insurer licensed to offer the coverage in the state or a State Insurance Fund, which is generally more expensive, but could be the only option for certain employers who can’t get insurance through a traditional insurer.
Learn more about how to get workers comp insurance?
What does workers compensation insurance cover in Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, workers’ compensation provides the following benefits:
- Medical care. Workers’ compensation pays medical costs if an employee gets injured or ill for job related reasons
- Ongoing care. If a workplace injury or illness requires an employee to get ongoing care, such as physical therapy, workers’ compensation will pay for the treatment
- Repetitive injury. If a worker is injured because of ongoing repetitive job related strain — carpal tunnel syndrome is an example — workers’ comp will pay for therapy
- Disability benefits. If an injury is so severe an employee never returns to work, or doesn’t for a long time, workers’ comp will pay medical costs and some lost wages over the long term
- Partial wage reimbursement. A work-related injury or illness often forces employees to take time off. Workers’ comp helps replace the lost wages of injured or sick employees while they’re recovering
- Vocational rehabilitation. Workers comp pays to help people who become disabled because of a job related injury train for and find new work
- Death benefits. Immediate family members receive payouts if an employee dies because of job related reasons
- Funeral expenses. If an employee passes away because of a work-related incident, workers’ comp pays funeral costs up to a certain limit.
What doesn’t workers compensation insurance cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance does not cover things like:
- Injuries to independent contractors, clients or customers
- Employees who are intoxicated or high when they’re injured
- Wages for temporary employees while recovering from work-related injuries
- OSHA fines
- Injuries that occur after the employee has left work
- Vandalism or intentional injuries.
How is workers compensation insurance different from general liability insurance?
Workers comp only covers people who work for you. If a client, customer or random person is injured at your workplace or job site, general liability insurance will cover it. General liability covers bodily injury and damage caused by you or an employee to someone else’s property.
How much does workers compensation insurance cost in Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, the average cost of the workers comp insurance is $1.21 for every $100 payroll. The cost of workers’ comp coverage is based on a number of factors, including your:
- Number of employees and size of payroll
- Industry and type of work
- Workplace risks
- Company claims history
- Business age or years in operation.
Taken together, all these things will determine your final premium cost.
As you see from the above, different companies will give you different quotes. Make sure to shop around with a few companies or with a digital broker like CoverWallet or PolicySweet to compare several quotes to select the cheapest one for your business.
How to find cheap workers compensation insurance in Oklahoma
Businesses in Oklahoma are able to choose their own workers’ comp insurance provider. You owe it to yourself to compare coverage and costs from several insurers. You can select one that offers you the coverage you need at the best possible cost.
The most important thing you can do to save money is make sure you’re using the right class code for every employee. Some class codes have much higher rates than others. Also remember to update the codes if an employee is promoted or changed jobs within your company.
You can also save money by providing a safe workspace for employees, so they won’t get injured. Make sure you establish the workplace safety standards and best practices for your company. Some insurance companies will provide a risk management assessment, which is worth taking advantage of.
You could also consider pay-as-you-go workers compensation insurance, which might save you money. It’s based on your actual payroll, rather than estimated payroll. So, if three people quit one month, your rate will be lower for that month.
Fatal and non-fatal workplace injuries in Oklahoma
According to AdvisorSmith, across the entire U.S., there were, on average, just over three workplace deaths in 2018 per 100,000 workers. That was the most current data available when the study was completed. That same year, Oklahoma had just over five per 100,000 workers. There was a total of 91 workplace fatalities across the state for that year.
By comparison, Delaware is the safest state to work in, having a fatality rate of just over one per 100,000 workers and just seven workplace fatalities in total in 2018. Wyoming was the most dangerous state for workers, with 31 on-the-job fatalities in 2018 and a fatality rate of just over 11 per 100,000 workers.
When it comes to non-fatal workplace injuries, some of the most common ones as reported by the Oklahoma Worker’s Compensation Commission in 2020, include:
- Injuries resulting from slips, trips, or falls (26 percent of claims)
- Muscle strains (19 percent)
- Injuries related to getting struck by an object (15 percent)
- Getting caught between objects or under one (7 percent)
- Injuries from work-related motor vehicle accidents (5 percent)
- Injuries due to being struck by or stepping on objects (4 percent)
- Cuts, punctures, or scrapes (2 percent)
- Burn or scalding injuries (2 percent)
- Other miscellaneous causes (20 percent).