What Arkansas workers' compensation insurance means for employers

Updated: May 26, 2023

By: Jon Davis

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If you’re an Arkansas employer looking to get your employees and yourself protected with a workers’ compensation policy, we’ve got you covered with all the information you need.

How does workers’ compensation help employers and employees in Arkansas?

In the state of Arkansas, workers’ comp (sometimes called workman’s comp) can provide partial income replacement and medical treatment for employees that are injured or get sick while doing their job. It can provide employers with peace of mind too. In many cases, an employer is protected from litigation due to work-related injuries or illnesses that take place on the job because of workers’ compensation coverage.

Who must provide workers’ compensation insurance in Arkansas?

Employers in Arkansas with three (3) or more employees are required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees. If you are in a high-risk industry, such as construction, then you must carry workers’ compensation even if you have less than three employees.


Some exceptions to this rule

Exceptions to this requirement include agricultural farm laborers, real estate agents, religious, charitable, non-profit organizations, state employees, casual employees, and inmates. A self-employed person in Arkansas is also not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance but may opt to voluntarily purchase a policy.

What does coverage help with?

In the event of a workplace accident, workers’ comp insurance provides both medical coverage and payments for lost wages and permanent disabilities. This can include temporary or permanent benefits.

How do Arkansas employers purchase workers’ compensation?

Any private insurance carrier, broker, or agent can assist an employer with purchasing a policy as long as they are licensed to operate in the state. Self-insurance may also be an option, as well as pooled self-insurance if it is permitted by the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission (AWCC).


Workers’ compensation comes in a couple of different forms.



Premiums for traditional plans are based on an estimate of a company’s gross annual wages, after which employers must pay an initial, upfront sum, with monthly or quarterly payments following for the remainder of the year.



Because they are calculated during each payroll, pay-as-you-go premiums ensure that businesses are paying exact amounts for their coverage. These plans eliminate the need for upfront lump sum payments and year-end audits.


It’s important to remember that employers should always be the ones to purchase the plan. The cost should never be deducted from the employees’ pay.


More information is available from Arkansas’ Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Workers compensation protects you and your employees

As an Arkansas employer, having a workers’ compensation policy for your team is legally required, but it has benefits for both you and your employees. By providing insurance, you protect them should they get sick or injured while on the job, and it also shields you from potential litigation related to workplace injury and illness. Obtaining coverage helps you stay compliant and provides peace of mind for both you and your workers.

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Jon Davis is the Content Marketing Manager at OnPay. He has over 15 years of experience writing for small and growing businesses. Jon lives and works in Atlanta.