Oklahoma’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Do Employers Need It & How Does It Work?


Most employers within the state of Oklahoma are required to purchase Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation insurance. It provides medical and wage loss benefits to employees who experience injuries on the job or a workplace illness. It also helps protect employers from lawsuits and other litigation. Costs vary depending on the industry your business is in, how many claims your employees have filed in the past, and the total amount of your payroll.

Oklahoma workers’ comp costs can range from $1.30 per $100 of payroll to more than $2.00. To get a more accurate quote for your business, consider partnering with Cirrus Payroll. We work directly with AP Intego to provide you with pay-as-you-go workers’ comp options. You’ll benefit from syncing your payroll process with a workers’ comp provider, as payments will be based on accurate paycheck amounts vs estimates. Sign up for a free demo today.

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Who’s Required to Purchase Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Oklahoma law requires that most employers with at least one employee purchase a workers’ comp insurance plan. Exceptions include businesses that employ:

  • Agricultural or horticultural workers employed by employers with less than $100,000 in payroll for the preceding year
  • Federal employees
  • Licensed real estate sales associate (or broker) paid on commission
  • Workers providing services in medical care of social services program
  • Person who is in a work or training program administered by the Department of Human Services (unless explicitly stated otherwise)
  • Family members if the business has five employees or less that are all related
  • Independent contractors

In addition, if you are a sole proprietor, LLC partner who owns at least 10% of the company, or corporate stockholder who owns at least 10% or more stock in the business, you aren’t required to purchase workers’ comp insurance in Oklahoma. The rationale is that in these situations, you would not be considered an employee. You can however opt to purchase a policy to protect yourself. 

Which Employees Are Covered Under Oklahoma’s Workers’ Compensation?

Oklahoma Workers’ Comp covers all employees who are hurt or fall ill on the job, as long as you have an active insurance plan. The state has a “no-fault” system, which means that regardless of who is at fault for the incident (employee or employer), employees are still covered.

Costs Covered Under Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Insurance Policies

Workers’ comp covers all costs related to the incident, including medical bills and disability compensation. 

To sum it up, as long as the expenses are related to a work-related injury or illness, Oklahoma workers’ comp will pay for the following:

  • Medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Disability compensation
  • Death benefits to the deceased’s family
  • Retraining for a new job if the employee can no longer work in their old position

Costs Not Covered Under Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Insurance Policies

Since Oklahoma is a no-fault state, there aren’t many costs its workers’ comp plans won’t cover, as long as they’re related to a job. Injuries occuring due to preexisting conditions, drug or alcohol use on the job, and activities that took place off premises and outside of work hours are not covered.

Also note that mental injuries aren’t covered unless it’s proven they were caused by a physical injury that occured on the job.

Where to Purchase Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Insurance 

Employers may buy their insurance from a private insurance company, like AP Intego, or request approval from the Oklahoma Commission to become a self-insured employer. Becoming self-insured is more tedious as you’ll need to become a member of a Commission-approved group self-insurance association or fulfill the requirements to become a “qualified employer”– the Oklahoma Insurance Department would have to approve. 

Purchasing workers’ comp insurance from a private insurance company, like AP Intego, is convenient and poses less risk to your business than self-insuring. By partnering with Cirrus Payroll, you’ll have access to all of AP Intego’s pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation plans plus corresponding payroll services. Sign up for a free quote today.

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How Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Insurance Works

When a work injury transpires, you have five days to ensure that the employee has access to reasonable and necessary medical care–this can include selecting a doctor for the employee.If you fail to do so, the employee can secure their own medical attention at your expense.

You must also report the incident within 10 days using the CC-Form-2, also called the Employer’s First Notice of Injury, to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. You can request an extension if you need to dispute the claim and/or request more time to investigate the incident. It’s important to follow this up with contacting your workers’ comp provider, so they’re in the loop.

In the meantime, your injured employee should file CC-Form-3: First Notice of Claim for Compensation to report their version of the incident.

Penalties For Not Carrying Workers’ Compensation in Oklahoma

All states differ in how they choose to enforce workers’ comp rules. And Oklahoma’s penalties can be pretty steep. As the employer, you can be charged up to $1,000 per day that your employees aren’t covered. You can also be charged a misdemeanor and even sued by your workers.

Please note: If you fail to file the injury notice on time or at all, you can be charged $500 for each refusal.

Overall, it’s important to understand your workers’ comp requirements as an employer in Oklahoma. To avoid unnecessary penalties, lawsuits, and litigation, act quickly when an injury or workplace illness is reported. Perform an investigation to ensure the incident meets requirements under your insurance policy. Know which employees are eligible for coverage, and strive to purchase a pay-as-you-go policy.

To learn more about Oklahoma Worker’s Comp regulations, visit the Oklahoma Worker’s Comp Court website.

To make managing worker’s comp costs easy, you should consider pairing it with your payroll plan. Cirrus Payroll works with AP Intego to offer pay-as-you go worker’s comp that ties directly to your payroll expenses. This ensures your payments are as accurate as possible, and you avoid paying extra money later. Sign up for a free quote.

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