Description of Worker’s Comp in Kansas

Worker’s compensation insurance covers employee injuries, illnesses, and deaths that arise out of or occur during employment. The Kansas law is a no-fault law, and employees do not need to prove anything beyond the fact that the illness or injury came during employment, or arose from the employment. Worker’s comp is the exclusive remedy for damages for a workplace injury.

Why you need Worker’s Comp in Kansas

The system protects employees by giving them immediate access to paid medical benefits, treatment, and income to replace lost wages. The employee must file a claim rather than go through a civil process of legal actions against the employer. The employer gets important protection for its assets by avoiding civil liability as the covered employee cannot sue for damages.

What you should know about worker’s comp in Kansas

Employers with one or more employees must have coverage unless exempt. Those with annual payrolls more than $20,000 are covered. You must get and keep coverage by purchasing insurance or proving the ability to self-insure.

Is Your Business Required to Carry?

Unless exempt, every business in Kansas with one or more full-time or part-time employees must have workers’ compensation coverage. The law exempts the below-described employee and employee categories.

  • 1

    Certain agricultural pursuits;

  • 2

    Commissioned realtors as independent contractors;

  • 3

    employers with gross annual payrolls of $20,000 or less;

  • 4

    firefighters waiving coverage through a firefighter’s relief association; and

  • 5

    certain owner -operator vehicle drivers covered by their own occupational accident insurance policy.

Instructions for Buying

Every non-exempt employer in Kansas must have worker’s comp insurance. The first step is to apply for coverage through private insurance companies. You may find that prices and costs would be lower through self-insurance. Licensed agents and brokers can help you find the best coverage and prices and filing out application information.

If you cannot qualify for private or self-insurance, then you can get coverage through the Kansas assigned risk pool. If you are not sure whether your company must have insurance, then you should contact the state government The Department of Labor can answer questions about coverage.

Buying Workers’ Compensation in Kansas

There are four ways to get and keep worker’s compensation coverage in Kansas. You can buy insurance on the private market, you can qualify to self -insure, you can join a group of self-insured employers, or you can accept an assigned carrier.

  • 1

    Private Insurance Companies

    Private providers, agents, and brokers can assist defining your liability and getting quotes for coverage. They can assist in setup and operation of the plan.

  • 2

    Self-Insured Companies

    You can demonstrate sufficient financial strength and assets to guarantee the liability for your workforce. The State must approve the applicant and the plan.

  • 3

    Self-Insured Pools- you can join a pool of self-insured employers that pledge assets to cover the liability in the pool.

  • 4

    Assigned Risk Pool

    Kansas employers that cannot get coverage by commercial carriers and self-insurance may get coverage under the assigned risk pool. The NCCI administers the assigned risk pool in Kansas under the supervision of the Secretary of Labor. The NCCI is the public body designated to set rates. The final quote for specific employers depends on the below-listed factors.

    • The occupational classifications used in the employer’s business
    • The size and financial stability of the business
    • The employers MOD or history of claims, injuries, illnesses and deaths.

How Much Does Worker’s Comp Insurance Cost?

The average across all classifications and employers in 2014 was $1.24 per $100 of payroll. Kansas ranked near the middle of the list of state workers comp insurance fees. Workers comp costs are a function of the types of employees and the employer’s history of claims. The NCCI sets a suggested cost for each occupational classification in their system.

For example, sawmill’s table saw operators must pay higher insurance than telephone agents in a call center. The risks of physical injury are much greater in the sawmill. The employer’s MOD or history of claims is the next most influential factor.

What Is the Cost of Not Getting Worker’s Comp Insurance?

The state can impose penalties and fines on uninsured employers. Kansas laws are strict, and the penalties are severe. Intentional failure to provide for workers’ compensation payment in one of the authorized ways shall be a class A misdemeanor. A technical violation exposes the employer to a civil penalty equal to the greater of an amount twice the annual fee that would have been paid in insurance premiums or $25,000.

List of Places you can get Worker’s Comp or More info

Write or call the Worker’s Compensation Division:


The Division can provide required notices, claims forms, and exemption applications for owners, officers, and contractors. You can download all other required public notices at

For more information on private insurance rates and insurance carrier responsibilities, you can contact the Kansas government Insurance authorities.

Kansas State Department of Insurance

Factors that Impact Coverage: Legal, Liability, and Rates


Legal exemptions for agricultural pursuits is not specifically defined. In cases of disputed claims, the hearing official applies a two-part test that determines if the worker was agricultural in nature and injured while actually engaged in agricultural activities.


Liability is limited for employers if they can show that the employee was injured while violating workplace safety, horseplay, and intentional actions that he or she should have known were unsafe.


Rates depend on the occupational class of employees and the employer’s modified history of workplace illnesses, injuries, and claims.

Other Helpful Tips

Contractors are not covered-employees. Contractors must show that they are either covered employees of their employer or that as owners they are exempt from employee coverage rules. When working outside of Kansas, employers must meet the requirements of the location of the work. Some states have agreements that allow employers to keep their home state coverage. You should check with the state where employees will work when outside of Kansas.


Kansas employers with annual payrolls more than $20,000 must have workers comp insurance unless exempt. Owner-operators must elect between worker’s comp insurance and other types of individual or enterprise insurance. Independent contractors must also have coverage to work in Kansas. The penalties include civil fines and criminal misdemeanor charges.


  • Kansas Workers Compensation Laws and Regulations

  • Kansas Department of Labor

  • Worker’s Comp Information for Employers