Workers’ Comp Insurance for Agricultural Companies in Georgia

While most companies need Workers’ Compensation in Georgia, some in the agricultural industry might be excluded from the system, depending on the type of jobs completed by farm workers.

Farm workers typically do not need to be covered by Workers’ Compensation in Georgia. That said, agricultural companies can and should purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance. You might need to get your own policy if you work on a farm as an independent contractor. The cost of insurance will largely depend on how many farm laborers work for you and whether that number changes throughout the year. The risk of occupational injuries for farm workers is relatively high, considering the manual labor required and the use of heavy machinery, making Workers’ Compensation important for agricultural companies in Georgia.

For more details about what our Georgia Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers can do for you, call NPN Brokers today at (866) 340-9120.

What to Know About Workers’ Comp for Agricultural Workers in Georgia

While Georgia requires that Workers’ Compensation cover most businesses and employees, it notably excludes farm laborers that work in animal production from this mandate. That said, if you employ farm workers, you understand the dangers they face on a daily basis, so getting Workers’ Compensation may still be important to protect your business.

Insurance Requirements

Employers of farm laborers in Georgia do not need to obtain Workers’ Compensation, provided they focus on animal production. This is in staunch opposition to the state’s rule for most other businesses, requiring any with three or more employees to have Workers’ Compensation. Before you accept that you will not need coverage, speak to our Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers to confirm that your employees are classified as farm laborers. Otherwise, you might need coverage and eventually face possible penalties from the state if you fail to get it.

Independent Contractors

All farms are structured differently. While some are commercial operations, others are family-owned without many workers. This might mean that a farm in Georgia employs independent contractors instead of regular workers. If you happen to be an independent contractor working for a farm, do not expect that its Workers’ Compensation insurance covers you. Independent contractors are typically ineligible to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits in Georgia unless an employer specifically includes them in their policy.

Because farms and other agricultural businesses often do not need Workers’ Compensation, it is even less likely that you will be covered if you are an independent contractor. Fortunately, you can purchase Workers’ Compensation for yourself so that you are protected and have access to benefits in the event that you are hurt while working on a farm in Georgia.

Getting Coverage

Despite often not needing Workers’ Compensation, employers still have the option of getting it regardless of how many farm laborers they employ. Begin by contacting the State Board of Workers’ Compensation to inform it that you wish to get insurance and opt into the system. Then gather the necessary information about your business and send it to our brokers. Important information includes the number of farm workers you employ, their various responsibilities, and details about previous workplace accidents. After sending us your information, we can get you a quote within a day or so. You can then look over policies and possible premiums to choose the plan that best aligns with your farming business’s needs.

Types of Policies

As the seasons change in Georgia, so do the crops being grown and the need for certain farm laborers. If your farming business has a fluctuating workforce throughout the year, which many do, it might benefit it to get pay-as-you-go insurance. This lets your agricultural company base premiums on current payroll information, letting its insurance costs change as its workforce does. You will not need to sign contracts, pay deposits, or agree to audits when you get this type of insurance for your farm in Georgia.

Cost of Insurance

Suppose you make the wise decision to buy Workers’ Compensation for yourself as an independent contractor farm laborer or for your farm labor employees. In that case, it is understandable to consider the cost of insurance. Because you will not be mandated to get coverage based on your industry, premiums might be lower than what you might expect. Still, there is a considerable risk of injury in the agricultural industry, meaning premiums might increase, especially if you have had several workplace injuries in the past. Regardless of the cost, having Workers’ Compensation can make employees feel more comfortable working on your farm, allowing you to have a strong workforce while maintaining comprehensive insurance.

Risk of Injuries

Farm workers typically operate outside under Georgia’s hot sun, leaving them vulnerable to injuries caused by heat exhaustion. Working with animals also presents the risk of injury. Agricultural work often requires the use of heavy machinery, which, if it malfunctions, can cause life-changing injuries to farm laborers in Georgia. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 410 fatal accidents among agricultural workers in 2019. In 2020, there were 6,680 injuries among those in crop production and 5,200 injuries among those in animal production, most resulting in time spent away from work. For many, the risk of injury is too high for employers not to provide Workers’ Compensation coverage to their employees in Georgia.

Liability

Although farm workers that work in animal production do not need to be covered by Workers’ Compensation according to Georgia law, employers might still be liable for injuries workers sustain. Getting Workers’ Compensation and paying a monthly premium ensures that your carrier will handle benefit claims and pay them out so that you do not have to be concerned about possible financial strain should a worker be injured on the job.

Buy Workers’ Comp Insurance for Your Farming Business Today

Call (866) 340-9120 to speak with the Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers today.