Work Comp Basics

What is workers compensation insurance?
Work comp is insurance required by the state for most businesses. It protects employers and employees in the event that an employee is injured on the job. It can cover medical costs, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation, and other expenses. Coverage requirements and benefits vary by state.

Why is it important?
Work comp insurance covers the expenses incurred by an accident regardless of who is at fault. It ensures that the employee quickly receives the care needed, and also protects the employer from legal action by the injured employee. Coverage is legally required to various extents by most states. Failure to meet state regulations for carrying a work comp insurance policy leaves a business exposed to the risk of a lawsuit by an injured employee as well as penalties imposed by the state.

Does my business need work comp insurance?
In Missouri, work comp is required for:

  • Businesses with five or more employees, including part-time
  • Contracting businesses* with one employee, including part-time
  • Corporate officers
  • LLC members, unless members complete a Rejection of Coverage Form

Work comp is not required for:
Sole proprietors and business partners (optional)

*A general contractor is liable for injuries to uninsured subcontractors or their uninsured employees, and can require subcontractors to carry work comp insurance.

How much does work comp cost?
Your work comp policy’s premium is determined by your:

  • Industry classification code: Determined by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI)
  • Payroll
  • E-mod: Factor calculated by the NCCI based on your loss compared to industry average loss
  • Safety incentives and credits issued by MEM

How can I reduce my work comp premium?
The best way to reduce your premium is by making a long-term commitment to workplace safety. Take advantage of all the resources in MEM’s WorkSAFE Center and make safety a daily priority for your business. MEM policyholders may be eligible to receive credit for remaining injury-free, or for having a full-time safety coordinator.

How do I get a policy?
Contact your local agent and tell them you’d like Missouri Employers Mutual as your workers’ compensation carrier. Don’t have an agent? Try our Agent Finder tool at the bottom of the page.

Bring Safety Home with MEM
As the No. 1 work comp provider in Missouri, we build partnerships with policyholders to work toward our vision of safe, healthy, and injury-free workplaces. In 2016, more than 86 percent of MEM’s approximately 16,000 policyholders were injury-free. How do we do it?

Safety and Risk Services
We want our policyholders to be as committed to safety as we are. That’s why we have a dedicated team of safety and risk consultants located throughout Missouri to provide trainings, seminars, and other solutions tailored to your workplace.

These initiatives are designed to facilitate and reward workplace safety. They include safety dividends, safety grants, discounted post-offer employment testing, and free or discounted access to telehealth tools.

WorkSAFE Center
Our WorkSAFE Center is your go-to hub for safety resources on the industries and topics that matter to your team. Find tip sheets, posters, sample forms, regulation news and more at

Questions? Call our team at 1-800-442-0593 or email us at

Find an insurance agent near you
Questions? Call toll free: 1-800-442-0593