Insurance for Construction Contractors
Generally, every business that employs one or more subject workers must provide
workers’ compensation insurance coverage. All workers are subject workers with a
few exceptions as noted in workers’ compensation law (ORS chapter 656).
Worker’s compensation is a “no-fault” coverage, meaning it provides coverage even
if the worker cannot prove the employer was negligent or acted improperly. Workers’
compensation covers an employee’s medical expenses for on-the-job injuries and
disease. It provides payments to employees while they are temporarily or permanently
disabled by that injury. Workers’ compensation also provides death benefits to
dependents if an employee dies as a result of occupational injury or disease.
Even commercial contractors who are “exempt” (do not have employees) must carry workers’ compensation insurance. A business that does not have employees may obtain a “personal election” policy that covers the businesses’ owners.
Summary of Oregon’s Workers’ Compensation Law
The Oregon Department of Business and Consumer Service (DCBS), Workers’
Compensation Division (WCD), administers Oregon’s workers’ compensation
laws. Oregon’s workers’ compensation law seeks to:
- Provide sure, prompt, and complete medical treatment for the employee’s job related
injury or disease, as well as fair, adequate, and reasonable income
benefits to injured employees and their dependents.
- Provide a fair and just administrative system for delivery of benefits to injured
- Restore injured employees quickly to physical and economic self-sufficiency.
- Encourage employers to implement accident studies, and to institute prevention
programs that reduce economic loss and human suffering caused by industrial
- Provide the exclusive source and means for employees to seek and qualify for
To determine how much your Workers’ Compensation Insurance could be, first determine your classification rate, which is based on each $100 of payroll multiplied by the classification rate for the job (drywall, concrete, roofing…).
Some example rates are:
Drywall - 17.85
Concrete - 13.61
Roofing - 23.65
To determine your premium, divide the yearly payroll by 100 then multiply it by the classification rate. That number will equal the premium for Workers Compensation Insurance.
Here is an example for drywall: $24,000 (yearly payroll) / 100 = 240 x 17.85 (drywall rate) = $4,284 yearly premium.