Maryland workers’ compensation insurance safeguards employees and employers

Updated: July 14, 2023

By: Jon Davis

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Having workers’ compensation insurance is a must-have for most employers in Maryland, but keeping track of all the requirements can be a bit time-consuming. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of who should have coverage and how businesses can obtain a policy.

Why is it important to have workers’ compensation insurance?

Worker’s compensation is designed to replace a portion of an employee’s wages should they become sick or injured while on the job (and need time away to recover). This protects your employees and can also be beneficial for employers. Why? Because when workers’ compensation is in place, employees typically cannot sue their employers for losses resulting from illnesses or injuries sustained at work.

Which employers in Maryland must carry workers’ compensation insurance?

With few exceptions, every employer with one (1) or more employees, full-time or part-time, is required by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance.


Exceptions include sole proprietors or business partners, independent contractors, and agricultural employers with less than three (3) employees or an annual payroll for full-time employees that does not exceed $15,000.

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What is the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission?

The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission lists its mission as follows:


“The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission seeks to secure the equitable and timely administration of the provisions of the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Law on behalf of its customers, the injured workers and their employers, by providing an efficient and effective forum for the resolution of individual claims.”


In a nutshell, the agency has resources for both employers and employees in the event a work-related incident happens and needs to be addressed.


The Commission provides free forms and resource materials for employers to properly file workers’ compensation claims.

  • For employees, the agency offers an online method to check on their pending or approved workers’ compensation claim status.
  • Or workers can reach their help desk by phone by calling: (410) 864-5100.

Purchasing workers’ comp in Maryland

Workers’ compensation insurance can be purchased from private carriers or — if a high-risk company — from competitive state funds. If an employer meets certain requirements, self-insurance is another option as well. To go this route, an employer would need to have a net worth of $1,000,000 and receive approval from Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation Commission.

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Are there penalties if an employer does not have a workers’ compensation policy?

There can be more than a slap on the wrist should an employer go without workers’ compensation. The result could be fines of up to $10,000 and the officers of the company would be liable for the cost. Keep in mind that purchasing a policy is the employer’s responsibility and it is considered a misdemeanor in Maryland to deduct workers’ compensation costs from worker wages.

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