Workers Comp for Construction Subcontractors

Here’s another interesting question from my inbox:

I work in Tennessee as a subcontractor for vinyl siding and windows. Do I have to carry workers compensation insurance?

I found the answer on the Tennessee Department of Labor’s FAQ:

How many employees do I have to have before I am required to have workers’ compensation insurance?

Five or more employees, including part-time and full-time employees. Family members are included in the count if they meet the definition of employee. Subcontractors and anyone engaged in the construction industry must carry workers’ compensation on their employees even if they have less than five. [Emphasis mine.]

So it looks like the answer is a categorical yes, even if you are your only employee.

Although every state’s workers comp laws differ, most have special provisions for the construction industry, which–as anybody who wears a hard hat to work will tell you–boasts some of the most hazardous work around.

The moral of the story: Make no assumptions regarding your state’s workers compensation requirements! When in doubt, visit your state’s Department of Labor on the web and get the right answer. Winding up on the wrong side of a workers comp violation is bound to cost far more than the coverage.

You can shop for Workers Compensation Insurance online at e-Insure Services!


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