Workers’ Comp in Colorado: Five Little-Known Facts

From Pinnacol Assurance

Colorado workers’ compensation laws were passed in 1915, but many business owners are unaware of the regulations that are unique to our state. While many workers’ comp laws are similar across state lines, it’s helpful to have an understanding of the regulations and benefit eligibility. Here are five little-known facts about our state’s rules and regulations:

1) There’s a Limited Time Frame to Submit Claims

When an injury in the workplace occurs, it’s crucial for both employee and employer to work quickly to report the incident. The injured worker must submit written notice to the employer within four days of the incident. It’s up to employers to notify the insurance provider within 10 days of the injury. While it may be possible to receive benefits after this window of time has passed, penalties could apply.

2) Colorado Operates Under a “No Fault” System

When an employee is injured on the job in the state of Colorado, fault is not taken into account. However, it’s important to keep in mind that benefits may be reduced if a controlled substance is involved. The no-fault system can put both employers and employees at ease, as benefits will be provided regardless of the circumstances when claims are submitted accurately and promptly.

3) Even Small Businesses Are Required to Hold a Workers’ Comp Policy

Since regulations vary between states, it can be a challenge to understand the intricacies of Colorado’s laws. If you’re new to the state or just beginning your business here, you may be surprised to discover that all businesses with at least one employee are required to hold a workers’ comp policy. This law applies to both full-time and part-time employees.

4) Coverage Isn’t Required for Sole Proprietors

If you’re the owner of a sole proprietorship, you may be curious about whether workers’ comp coverage laws apply to you. In Colorado, sole proprietors or business partners do not qualify as employees, and therefore, aren’t required to purchase a workers’ comp policy for themselves.

5) Employers Certified in Safety and Loss Control Are Eligible for Premium Discounts

Workers’ comp coverage can be costly for employers, but the Division of Workers’ Compensation in Colorado offers a discount for business owners who are proactive in preventing accidents. After applying to the Premium Cost Containment Board and demonstrating your commitment to risk management for at least one year, your business may be eligible to receive a 10 percent discount on workers’ comp premiums.

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