When is Your Business Required to Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Iowa?

If you have a business with employees in Iowa, you generally must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. You can purchase a workers’ compensation policy through a private insurance company. As pointed out by Work World, there is no state fund for workers’ compensation insurance in Iowa.

According to Iowa Workforce Development, there are a few classifications of employees who are exempt from workers’ compensation. These include domestic and causal employees who earned less than $1,500 during the last 12 months, agricultural employees when the employer has a cash payroll of less than $2,500 for the calendar year preceding an injury, exchange labor in agricultural employment, and the spouse and relatives of the employer. But an employer can choose to cover these employees with a workers’ compensation policy.

The president, vice president, secretary and treasurer of a family farm corporation and their families do not have to be covered by workers’ compensation. The officers of a corporation other than a family farm corporation can elect not to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Proprietors, partners, and members of a limited liability company are not considered employees, but they can elect to have workers’ compensation coverage.

Workers’ compensation insurance in Iowa provides benefits to workers who receive injuries, an occupational disease, or occupational hearing loss arising out of and in the course of their employment. Workers’ compensation benefits are paid regardless of who is at fault and the benefits are the employee’s only remedy against the employer.

As pointed out by Robert Peterson, Attorney at Law, according to Iowa law the workers’ compensation insurance company can choose the doctors for the entire healing period. The treatment must be offered promptly and must be reasonably suited to treat the injury or illness. An injured worker has 90 days to notify the employer of a work-related injury.

If as the employer you purchase a workers’ compensation policy, you pay the premiums and the insurance company pays the cost of the benefits. You cannot charge the workers’ compensation premiums to the employees. And if you do not provide coverage, you could be liable for the workers’ compensation benefits or for damages in a civil action.

As the employer, you must keep a record of all injuries alleged by employees that result in incapacity for more than one day. The required reports include a first report of injury, subsequent report of injury, an annual report on every claim that is open as of June 30 each year, and a final report when the claim is closed. In Iowa these forms are filed through the Electronic Data Interchange. In the event of an injury, you as employer would gather the information and provide it to the workers’ compensation insurer or the claims administrator for the required reporting.


Frequently Asked Questions, Iowa Workforce Development

Guide to Workers’ Compensation, Iowa Workforce Development

Workers’ Compensation Summary – Iowa, Work World

Workers Compensation, Robert Peterson, Attorney at Law

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