Are Seasonal Workers Covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

January 12, 2023 | Worker's Compensation

This article was originally published July 22, 2021

Every state administers its workers’ compensation insurance program differently, but having a policy is mandatory for virtually all companies with employees. And that generally means all types of employees—full-time, part-time, and seasonal. So, yes, seasonal workers can receive benefits under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy.

Orchard owner picking apples

Does Using Seasonal Workers Pose a Risk to My Business?

Business activities come with risk. That’s true whether those activities are conducted by full-time employees, part-time employees, or seasonal workers. A seasonal worker may be less familiar with things like your business procedures, the equipment you use, and your facility in general, and therefore may pose a somewhat higher risk than a permanent employee. 

However, that doesn’t mean you should be reluctant to bring them on as needed. For many businesses, seasonal help is essential in order to keep up with surges in demand.

What Does Coverage Cost? Get an Online Workers’ Compensation Insurance Quote.

The cost of workers’ compensation insurance is based on gross annual payroll. However, the rate varies by state. For example, the average cost per $100 in wages ranges from $.75 in Texas to $2.74 in Alaska.

If you’re wondering, “Will I have to pay the same workers’ compensation premium for full-time and seasonal workers?” the answer is no. The premium you pay is calculated based on the payroll you pay your workers, so the premium you pay for covering seasonal workers is based on the (seasonal) wages they receive. 

For example, if you have one full-time employee earning $40,000 per year and the rate on your workers’ compensation insurance policy is $2.50 per $100 of payroll, you would pay $1,000 in premium to cover that full-time employee. If you bring a seasonal worker on for three months and pay them $10,000 in wages, you would pay $250 for their work comp coverage.

You can get a workers’ compensation insurance quote online. It takes just minutes and all you have to do is provide some basic information about your company. If you choose to buy a policy, you can do that and also report claims online as well. 

If you have questions about workers’ compensation insurance and seasonal workers, our licensed insurance experts are happy to answer them. Contact us at your convenience.

How Does Workers' Comp Insurance Coverage Benefit Seasonal Workers and My Business?

Seasonal workers get the same benefits from workers’ comp insurance coverage that full-time and part-time employees do. That includes helping to pay medical bills associated with a work-related injury or illness, as well as providing compensation for lost wages. 

For businesses, workers’ comp insurance coverage provides protection from the high cost of workplace injuries. It can also protect your business if an employee sues you. And having adequate workers’ comp insurance coverage means you won’t face government fines and penalties for being uninsured or underinsured.

How can I Reduce My Risk When Using Seasonal Workers?

If you use seasonal workers, you can reduce the risk of them being injured and the resulting workers’ compensation insurance claims by taking steps like:

  • check
    Providing proper training. Seasonal workers are more likely to make a mistake that results in an injury like a broken limb, sprain, strain, or cut if they aren’t comfortable with the task you’ve assigned to them.
  • check
    Encouraging seasonal workers to work at their own pace. Seasonal workers who try to keep up with more experienced, full-time employees are at a greater risk of injury. It’s important to tell seasonal workers that your expectations of their work output take into account their experience level.
  • check
    Maintaining a safe work environment and safe work practices. Experienced workers know if your business has any tasks or physical locations that pose more risks than others, and therefore can avoid those risks. Seasonal workers, on the other hand, are unfamiliar with those challenges. Consequently, you should review your work areas and processes from the perspective of someone new and make modifications as needed.