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In many states, small business owners and family members do not have to carry workers’ compensation coverage for themselves.

(See our quick guides for specifics on who can be legally excluded from coverage in Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.)

Even if not required by the state, it’s not uncommon for general contractors to require all subcontractors to purchase coverage.

Many choose coverage regardless

Required or not, some owners choose to buy workers’ compensation insurance for themselves so that in the event of a work injury, their medical expenses and lost wages would be paid. Others opt out and secure coverage for work-related incidents through their health, disability and life insurers. (Note that many health and disability insurance policies specifically exclude work-related injuries from coverage, so it’s important to check and make sure you’d be covered.)

The decision is yours

Ultimately, the decision is up to you. The key is to know what would happen if you were injured and unable to work, and to decide what kind of benefits you would need to maintain your standard of living.

See our Q&A video for more discussion on workers’ comp coverage for small business owners:

To learn more about workers’ compensation basics, read our frequently asked questions.

This is not intended to serve as legal or professional advice. Evaluate the information, opinions and advice provided in consultation with your own legal counsel or agent.