As an employee at a company there is some comfort in knowing that if you are injured at work, your employer will provide workers’ compensation to help you recover. If you are a sole proprietor, contractor, or freelancer, you may face a different story. Having a policy is optional for many depending on the laws of your state. You may have to purchase a workers’ compensation policy based on your industry, client contracts, and willingness to protect yourself from potential injury at work.

Self-Employed Workers' Compensation - New YorkUnder NYS Law, Are You Classified as Self-Employed?

You are considered to be self-employed, according to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, if you have a specific skill or trade and you get paid directly by your client. An example of people that are considered self-employed are:

  • Independent contractors
  • Freelancers offering services (writers, designers, artists, etc.)
  • Ride-sharing workers
  • Business Consultants
  • Temporary agency workers

Self-employed individuals/contractors, unlike W2 employees that report to their employer, work for themselves. They are solely responsible for talking directly with clients and organizing their taxes independently at the end of each year.

When Should You Buy Workers’ Comp Insurance?

As a sole proprietor in New York, the law is such that you do not have to buy workers’ compensation insurance. There are some situations where getting a policy is recommended or even needed. You should have a workers’ compensation insurance policy if:

You Work in A Dangerous Industry

If your profession is high-risk then there is a chance that you could run into a dangerous situation and get injured, a policy may be a good idea. In high-risk industries, self-employed workers will not automatically be covered by the same benefits as an employee would if injured while on the job. Worker’s comp is vital to provide guaranteed protection in a field where accidents happen often.

You Need to Cover Your Business Costs While You Recover

If you are an employer and have several employees, you can have confidence that if a worker is out for a length of time due to long-term illness or physical injury the others will be there to help keep the company going. If you are self-employed, an accident can have serious consequences for your business. Worker’s compensation insurance is one of the few options available to receive income while you recover.

Your Contractor Requires It

Some contractors could require you have workers’ comp insurance and a certificate of insurance before you can do any work for them. If you have a policy, they can avoid liability for injuries while you perform your duties. This requirement is especially true if you have a more accident-prone line of work.

How Much Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Depending on the industry you are in, there are different types of workers’ compensation insurance you can buy. Certain factors can come into play like your location for example can determine your final rate. As an example. If you are a construction worker you may be around $4 per $100 in payroll, as an office worker you may average around 30 cents per $100 of payroll.

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help You

Accidents can happen anywhere, and these situations can be very challenging if you are self-employed. Even if New York workers’ compensation insurance isn’t required, having one can be a significant source of protection for you during a workplace emergency. If you’re self-employed and need help filing your workers’ comp claim, our team of professional Syracuse workers’ compensation attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve.