Workers Comp
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Workers' compensation in Colorado - Pie Insurance

Workers' compensation in Colorado - Pie Insurance

Colorado workers’ comp 101

If you’re starting a Colorado small business, you’ll want to make sure that your business and your employees are protected if any injury or illness happens on the job.

When you offer comprehensiveworkers’ compensation coverage, employees know they are protectedfrom any financial burdens caused by potential injuries or illnesses while at work.

Colorado small business owners are required by law to carry insurance coverage for workers’ compensation. While it’s recommended that you also carry additional coverage such as general liability, this isn’t required.

Read on to learn what Colorado workers’ compensation is and how it can protect you and your small business in the event of work-related accidents.

What do Colorado small business owners need to know about workers’ compensation?

Each state, including Colorado, administers its own workers’ comp program through a commission or board, meaning each state operates differently.

Workers’ compensation can protect your small business in a variety of ways, including:

Protecting your employees

Workers’ comp allows your business to fund or supplement medical and rehabilitation bills if an employee gets injured.It also allows you to help offset wages lost from an on-site injury to an employee.

Protecting your business

Workers’ comp protects your business from being sued by an injured employee.It can also protect against any financial loss or other monetary issues for the business.

Workers’ comp can prevent your business from having to deal with any non-compliance legal matters.It allows small businesses to meet Colorado-mandated laws and workers’ compensation requirements to avoid paying fines and facing financial issues.

What does Colorado workers’ compensation cover?

Workers’ compensation covers the damages experienced by an employee who becomes injured on the job. Both medical care and economic loss, such as lost wages, are often covered.

Illness or injury on the job

Workers’ comp helps cover employees who become sick due to their work or are injured on the job by helping to foot their medical bills and financial losses.


Workers’ comp covers an injured employee who has to take time off due to disabilities.

Death benefits

Death benefits can be paid out to the family if a person dies in a work-related incident and can help provide financial support to the family.

14 essential facts about workers’ comp insurance in Colorado

  1. As a Colorado small business owner, you’re required to have workers’ compensation if you have one or more employees working for you in Colorado. This applies to all employers and employees, whether they’re part-time or full-time.
  2. Independent contractors are exempt from carrying workers’ comp insurance, but there are some specific requirements for contractors. Workers are presumed to be employees until proven to be an independent contractor or otherwise.
  3. If you have an employee who’s been injured on the job, you must notify the insurance carrier of the injury within 10 days, no matter how minor the injury. You can do this by filling out the Employer’s First Report of Injury form.
  4. If an employee dies, or three or more employees are injured, you must contact your insurance company immediately.
  5. In non-emergency situations, you must provide any worker who’s been injured with a designated provider list. The list must:
    • Be provided immediately after notice of the injury
    • Be provided as a written copy to the injured employee within seven business days of the report of the injury
    • Include four physicians and/or corporate medical providers within a 30-mile radius that are able to treat the injured employee
    • Include complete contact information for the insurance carrier/self-insured employer
  1. Insurance covers all reasonable and necessary medical expenses if the medical care is received from an authorized treating physician. Additional expenses such as supplies, prescription medication, and mileage for medical appointments are also covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
  2. Workers’ compensation in Colorado is not state funded. It can be acquired through private insurance carriers.
  3. There are more than 500 licensed insurance companies that provide workers’ comp coverage for your Colorado small business.
  4. Employers who meet the criteria to become individually self-insured should contact the Division of Workers’ Compensation toll free at 1-888-390-7936. To be self-insured, you must have been in business for at least five years and have at least 300 full-time employees working in Colorado (or have at least $100 million in assets).
  5. Employers who aren’t eligible for individual self-insurance can join a pool to self-insurance for workers’ comp coverage. Professional associations and public sector employers (e.g., school districts and municipalities) are the only types of self-insurance pools allowed in Colorado. For more on workers’ comp pools, contact the Division of Insurance in the Department of Regulatory Agencies toll-free at 1-800-930-3745. The Division of Workers’ Compensation doesn’t regulate self-insured pools for businesses.
  6. Interns are eligible for workers’ compensation if they’re being paid for their services.
  7. If a student internship is unpaid, the student’s school must provide workers’ compensation insurance for the intern. This can be done one of two ways. One, the school can provide its own coverage for the student on its workers’ compensation policy. Two, the student can be put on your policy and the school can pay you for the cost of doing so.
  8. Colorado employees who work in other states are still protected by their Colorado workers’ comp coverage for up to six months.
  9. Employers from other states that send employees to Colorado to work must have a Colorado workers’ comp policy from an insurance carrier licensed to write workers’ comp insurance in Colorado. Colorado must be listed on the policy.

Curious about Colorado workers’ comp rates?

Remember, every situation is different. Colorado workers’ compensation laws are subject to change, so be sure to do your research and speak with a trusted advisor.

Please note that this content is intended for educational purposes only. As laws change regularly, refer to your state legislation and/or an advisor for specific legal counsel. If you’re a small business owner, learn more about the basics of workers’ comp or check your current rate in 3 minutes.

You can also read the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Workers’ Compensation Reading Guide for more information about insurance regulations.