Why Do You Need Workers’ Comp?

Mississippi Workers’ Comp Insurance is a no-fault system that guarantees employees coverage for medical care and lost wages. In exchange for guaranteed benefits, the employees give up their right to sue the employer for injuries, illness, and wage losses. The laws require Mississippi Workers’ Comp Insurance for employers with six or more employees.

Buying Workers’ Compensation in Mississippi

The law requires coverage by employers with five or more regularly employed workers. Unless your business or employees qualify for an exemption, you must have coverage if you meet the five-employee threshold. You can buy insurance and get coverage four ways in Mississippi. You can buy on the voluntary market, self-insure individually, self-insure with a group, or buy assigned risk coverage.

Instructions for Buying

You should shop in the open market among licensed providers of worker compensation coverage. If you cannot get coverage on the open market, then you can apply for assigned carriers through the NCCI.

If you have strong financials, you can apply for permission to self-insure and run all or part of the program through your company offices. An alternative type of self-insurance is the self-insurance group. Mississippi law allows for groups of companies in similar businesses to join together to share risks and combine resources. Trade and business groups actively promote group self-insurance in the state.

What You Should Know About Workers’ Comp in Mississippi

Employers with four or fewer employees do not have to provide Workers’ comp coverage, but they may do so on a voluntary basis. The idea makes economic sense for most employers, as they can protect their employees and assets. One can make the argument that small employers depend upon their workforce more than medium and large companies.

Mississippi’s workers’ compensation insurance requirement has some exemptions. Exempt employers are free to invest voluntarily in the employee’s and business’ security. Exceptions include businesses with less than five employees, independent contractors, volunteers,

Is Your Business Required to Carry?

The law exempts businesses with four or fewer full-time or regular employees. It also exempts certain nonprofit organizations including fraternal, religious, charitable, and cultural organizations.

Mississippi provides exemptions for below-listed types of employees.

  • Domestic labor
  • Farm labor
  • Independent contractors

Where to Buy Insurance?

You should remember that licensed insurance agents, insurance agencies, brokerage firms and brokers have extensive knowledge about the insurance markets and the available products that are available. They can help you find the best coverage and prices to meet the requirements of state law and your particular situation.

Private market

The voluntary market is the best place for most employers to purchase workers comp insurance. They can shop direct with insurance companies or use knowledgeable and experienced insurance brokers to find the best prices. The voluntary market uses underwriting, and many new, small, or high-risk firms will not get coverage. These firms can find coverage either in group self-insurance or the assigned market.


Mississippi Workers Compensation Commission must approve applications for self-insurance. Self-insurer must qualify by application to the State of Mississippi Department of Insurance. They must demonstrate a substantial period of financial stability and strength.

Group Self-insurance

Business and trade associations are among the leading sponsors of group self-insurance associations. State law permits groups of similar businesses to form insurance pools; all members must be domiciled in Mississippi. These state-approved programs combine the assets and risks of the group members for insurance coverage. Each member pays into the pool, and they are responsible for the liabilities of every member. In the event of a shortfall, every member would get an assessment to cover the needed funds.

Assigned Risk pool

Employers that cannot get insurance coverage on the voluntary market can get insured through the assigned risk pool. The National Council on Compensation insurance. With the help of a licensed insurance agent, you can access coverage through the National Council on Compensation insurance.

How Much Does Workers’ Comp Insurance Cost?

Across all occupations, industrial sectors, and employers, the 2014 average cost per employee was $1.36 per $100 of payroll. Mississippi ranked in lower third among all states that year. The cost to you today would depend on the types of occupations your business employs. The other driving factor is your Mod, or claims history.

The insurers compare the number and costs of your past claims to an average of similarly sized firms in similar lines of business. The specific risk assessment adds to the costs of a standard fee for the occupation code.

What Is the Cost of Not Getting Workers’ Comp Insurance?

The law provides fines, civil penalties, and criminal charges against employers that fail or refuse to get Workers’ comp insurance when required to do so. Uninsured employers face civil lawsuits from injured employees and potential personal liability for owners.

Factors That Impact Coverage


The statutory threshold is five workers, but the number could vary by a lot. The statute requires coverage when there are five employees that are regularly employed. The ‘’regularly employed” wording causes some firms with a dozen or so workers not to qualify while a firm with four employees must have coverage. In the case of the four, the owner might have to count him or herself.


Injured workers can sue employers that fail to maintain works comp coverage. They can recover under tort law and the worker compensation law. Subcontractor employees get special consideration under Mississippi law. The prime contractor is liable for the worker’s comp coverage of employees brought to the job by a subcontractor if the sub has not secured the payment. Liability for coverage extends to workers whether minors, legally employed, alien residents, or any other classification of resident. Every worker has a right to coverage, and no worker can waive the required coverage.

A contractor may be responsible for providing coverage to certain workers with whom the contractor has no direct contract of hire. If the employer is a subcontractor, “the contractor shall be liable for and shall secure the payment of such compensation to employees of the subcontractor, unless the subcontractor has secured such payment.”


Group self-insurance has achieved a leveling of rates in Mississippi that keeps its overall average low. The insurance industry has joined with trade groups in supporting strong efforts at worker safety; they too prefer to spend on prevention rather than cures.

Other Tips

Workers comp is a system for making a remedy for injuries and illness; it is not the same as prevention which seeks to avoid the damage completely. Workers comp insurance does not replace the need to have an aggressive outlook on safety and to apply a stringent program for worker safety and prevention. As stated above, many insurers offer lower rates for employers that carry out safety programs.


Mississippi has a very active worker’s comp insurance market, and it has a vibrant community of self-insurance groups. The leadership of business groups and trade associations is a major factor. These groups form a financial middle ground for Mississippi Workers’ Comp Insurance. The experience can be quite good, and prices stay low. If there are a lot of claims, then they can result in assessments. The self-insurance groups promote safety and training in accident and casualty prevention.


  • Mississippi Workers Compensation Facts

  • The MWCEA 2016 Claims Guide