A Helpful Guide to Calculating Workers Comp Cost Per Employee

Workers’ compensation insurance is a fundamental tool that safeguards businesses and their employees. One crucial aspect of managing this insurance effectively is understanding how to calculate workers’ comp cost per employee.

This calculation helps determine the company’s workers’ comp expenses and evaluates the efficiency of staffing levels in meeting the organization’s financial goals. Here is a breakdown of the essential steps to calculate the workers’ compensation cost per employee:

Assess Gross Annual Payroll

The initial step in determining an employee’s workers’ comp insurance cost is to assess the business’s annual payroll. Calculate the gross annual payroll cost for the employee in question. For new positions or if a full year of payroll data is unavailable, make a projection based on the expected gross annual pay. To calculate, divide the worker’s annual payroll cost by 100. This process is consistent for all employees, whether full-time, part-time, temporary, or seasonal.

Determine the Worker Class Code

Class codes are determined by the industry and an employee’s specific role. These codes signify the risk of injury associated with a particular job. For instance, an employee scheduling an appointment in a pet grooming business will have a different class code than an employee directly grooming pets. Class codes are crucial as they influence the cost of workers’ compensation insurance.

Refer To Your Workers’ Comp Rates by State

Every U.S. state has a workers’ compensation department or board governing the insurance process. States have their own rules, including regulations regarding the time frame for employees to make a claim after an injury and how premium rates are calculated. Refer to your workers’ comp official website for the annual premium rates for workers’ class codes. These rates can vary depending on the state’s specific guidelines.

Calculate the Cost

Wondering how to calculate workers’ comp cost per employee? Just multiply the workers’ comp premium rate for the class code by the result obtained when the employee’s annual payroll costs were divided by 100. The formula looks like this: (Employee’s Annual Payroll Costs / 100) * Workers’ Comp Premium Rate = Employee’s Workers’ Comp Cost

It’s crucial to note that insurance companies may consider your business’s accident history and other factors when calculating premium rates. Contacting your workers’ compensation provider is advisable for the most accurate cost estimation.

While this basic formula provides a general idea of the cost per employee, it’s essential to consider that each business is unique. Variables such as the company’s accident history, the industry’s risk level, and specific state regulations can impact the final cost. As a result, businesses are encouraged to consult their insurance provider directly for precise and personalized cost estimations.

Choose an insurance provider that offers a user-friendly online tool to assist businesses in understanding their workers’ compensation costs. By utilizing the free worker’s comp quote tool, businesses can input relevant information about their operations to receive an affordable rate. Purchasing a policy online takes just minutes, ensuring comprehensive coverage for the year ahead.


Understanding how to calculate workers’ comp cost per employee is essential for businesses. It empowers organizations to make informed decisions, optimize staffing levels, and ensure adequate employee coverage.

By staying updated with class codes and state regulations and consulting the insurance provider, businesses can effectively manage their workers’ comp expenses, thus promoting a safe and financially secure workplace environment.