Workers’ comp was once known as workman’s comp. Some people still use the term workman’s comp or even workmen’s comp to describe workers’ compensation insurance because it continues to be used in their industry (or because it is simply more familiar to them).

The workers’ compensation system was established during the early 1900s. At that time and over the next few decades, the workforce was comprised mostly of men, so it made sense that this type of insurance was called workman’s comp. Today, as a result of our blended workforce, the governments in all 50 states, as well as business owners and members of the insurance industry, have made the transition from workman’s comp to workers’ compensation.

Still, that doesn’t mean a search for “workman’s comp” won’t get you where you need to be…so let’s take a look at this type of insurance—including what it is, what it does, who needs it, and how you can get it (as quickly and easily as possible).

What is workman’s comp insurance?

When the American workers’ compensation program was established more than a century ago, it was intended to be a cooperative arrangement to reduce the conflicts that can arise between businesses and employees when accidents happen. Because both employers and employees benefit from workers’ compensation, it has historically been referred to as “the grand bargain.” Workers’ compensation is a type of agreement that provides protection for business owners and for their employees.

What does workman’s comp do?

Workers’ compensation insurance helps provide medical, rehabilitation, and disability benefits for employees who become injured as a direct result of their job. Workers’ comp may also pay death benefits to an employee’s dependents if the worker is killed in a work-related incident.

In addition to helping employees and their families, workers’ compensation insurance can also help cover business owners. Workers’ compensation helps protect businesses from liability for employees’ workplace injuries, and it helps keep employers from having to pay directly out of pocket for those injuries. This coverage may reduce the risk of a significant financial loss if an employee is harmed while performing work duties.

Who needs workman’s comp?

Nearly all states require that businesses with employees carry workers’ comp insurance, but requirements and regulations vary by state. If you are an employer, you will probably be required by law to cover all of your employees, but you may not be required to have coverage for yourself.

Of course, regardless of the laws in your state, paying out of pocket for work-related injuries can be financially devastating for a company. Getting appropriate coverage for your business and your employees may help you avoid this type of financial loss and may be one of the best financial decision you ever make for your company.

How to get workman’s comp insurance

If you have determined you need workers’ compensation coverage and you’d like to learn more about the next steps, you can read about how to get a workers’ compensation insurance quote or check out our helpful workers’ compensation resources.


Thanks for reading! Please note that this content is intended for educational purposes only. As laws change regularly, you should refer to your state legislation and/or an advisor for specific legal counsel. If you’re a small business owner, learn more about workers’ compensation insurance or check your current rate in 3 minutes.

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