Workers' Compensation

How does workers' compensation insurance work?

New to workers' comp?

Whether you’re a new employer or a veteran of the Colorado business community, it’s likely you’ve asked “How does workers’ compensation insurance work?” We know you don’t have the time to become a workers’ compensation expert, so we’re providing only what you need to assess your needs, get covered and manage your policy.
Learn more about key workers' compensation topics in two minutes or less with this video series.
Or just give us a call 303.361.4000.

How do I get started?

It's simple. And you have several options:
Get a quote online.
Find an agent to help you apply.
Give us call at 303.361.4000 or 800.873.7242 and we'll walk through the application with you.

Do I need coverage?

Most businesses do. Colorado law requires businesses to have workers' compensation insurance as soon as they hire their first employee. Your insurance policy is meant to protect both your company and your employees. Watch this short, informative video to learn more about the difference between employees, independent contractors, and subcontractors.

Full-time or part-time employee coverage

Whether you pay employees a salary or an hourly wage, state law requires that they be covered by workers' comp insurance. Read more about Colorado's requirements.

Independent contractors

Independent contractors don't have employees and aren't an employee of any company. They work on a contract rate for different companies and don't receive benefits from these companies. Therefore, they are not covered by an employer's workers' comp insurance policy. Still have questions?  More about independent contractors.

Sole proprietors and business partners

Sole proprietors and business partners are not considered employees; therefore, the state doesn't require them to be covered by workers' comp insurance.

Corporate officers

For the most part, individuals with a corporate officer title who own at least 10 percent of the business may reject workers' comp coverage. There are a few exceptions to this so be sure to ask a customer service representative for more information.

Do I need an agent?

Agents aren't required, but they can make the process easier for you in many different ways. We partner with hundreds of agents across the state, ready to help you at a moment's notice.

Deep workers' compensation experience

Niche industry experience helps you get just the right policy

Single point of contact for all your insurance needs

How quickly can I get coverage with Pinnacol?

It depends on several factors, but in some cases the quote process can take less than 5 minutes.
or call 303.361.4000 to get started.

How much does coverage cost?

Every employer is different and so is every policy. Based on your industry, annual payroll and other factors, your policy will be customized just for you.

Payroll (number of employees)

Payroll is one of the primary factors used to determine workers' comp premiums. Read more about how payroll affects your premium.

Experience modifier (e-mod)

Experience modifiers, or e-mods, compare your accident and claim history with the average claim history for businesses like yours in Colorado. If your experience is better than the average, your e-mod and premium may be lower.
Read more about how e-mods work and the many ways you can help keep your premiums lower.

Classification codes

Different industries have different National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) codes that help to standardize risk across all types of businesses. Classifications distinguish between types of work being done.


We offer a range of discounts for those who take steps to proactively ensure the health and safety of their employees.

How does the claims
process work?

When an employee is injured, you'll need to file a claim. We strive to make this as easy as possible for you. And while the claims process is unique to each injury, here's generally how the process occurs:

Report an injury

Initial treatment

Resume work

Ongoing Care

Claims closure

How do I get started?

It's simple. And you have several options:
Get a quote online.
Find an agent to help you apply.
Give us call at 303.361.4000 or 800.873.7242 and we'll walk through the application with you.
Get in Touch
Questions on how workers' comp works? We're here to help. 303.361.4000
COVID-19 policy update