Insurance Department

Workers’ compensation insurance is required for most employers performing work in Virginia. It serves as a tradeoff, providing injured workers specific benefits while protecting employers from civil suit.

Insurance Responsibilities

The Insurance Department is responsible for ensuring that employers required to insure under the Act for workers’ compensation do so. It also serves the public by processing and approving Rejection of Coverage filings and by providing information and guidance on coverage requirements, regulations, existing coverage and other insurance questions. Insurance also ensures proper and timely insurer filings such as policies and cancellations. It also oversees professional employer organizations.

Coverage Provisions

As a general rule, a business with more than two employees is required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. In addition, a contractor or other business that hires subcontractors (or another business) to assist in their trade or to complete a contract must count the subcontractor’s employees when counting the total number of employees to assess coverage requirements. If the total of both the contractor’s employees plus the subcontractor’s employees is more than two, then coverage is required. This requirement applies regardless of whether the subcontractor has their own workers’ compensation coverage. An employer that is not required to carry coverage under the law may obtain coverage voluntarily.

Employee is defined broadly under the law and includes part-time, seasonal and temporary workers, executive officers, LLC managers, minors, trainees, immigrants and working family members.

Virginia does not provide or accept a waiver, exemption or “opt out” form for a sole proprietor or other business that is not required to carry coverage under the Act.

How to Insure

An employer may insure for workers’ compensation through any of the following means: 1) a commercial insurer: 2) an authorized self-insurer, 3) a licensed group self-insurance association, or 4) a registered professional employer organization. Virginia does not have a State Fund and coverage is not available through the Commission. It is available through an insurance agent or carrier.

In the Event of Injury

Employers are responsible for educating employees on work injury reporting before an injury occurs. In the event of a report of injury the employer should report the work injury immediately to their insurer.

Dual Regulation

Workers’ compensation insurance is under dual regulation in Virginia as in most states. The Insurance Department of the Commission oversees the Act including employer and carrier compliance and PEO's. Send inquiries by email to: or contact by phone weekdays from 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. at (804) 205-3586. The Bureau of Insurance in State Corporation Commission oversees insurance regulation as it relates to premium, pricing, rates and audits. Send inquiries by email to: or contact by phone weekdays from 8:15 a.m. - 5 p.m. at (804)-371-9185.