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Glossary of WCB Terms

Workers' Compensation Coverage


Understanding Workers' Compensation Insurance

New York's Workers' Compensation Law requires that employers obtain workers' compensation insurance with an insurance carrier authorized by the New York State Workers' Compensation Board. Another option is for an employer to be authorized by the Board to be self-insured, either individually or as part of a group.

The cost of the insurance must be paid entirely by the employer, no amount can be charged to employees.

The Board has the legal authority to require employers to provide coverage and can penalize those that do not. The Board does not, however, provide any insurance, pay claims, set rates, or oversee the insurance carriers. Yet many employers turn to the Board with questions and assistance regarding these matters, so this chapter provides a brief overview of insurance.

When employers buy workers' compensation insurance, the insurer is assuming the employer's statutory obligation to pay medical, indemnity and death benefits under the law. Premiums reflect the employer's potential liability for claims based on individual experience, wages paid to employees and the type of industry in which they are engaged.