A Guide to Workers Comp Cost by Daigle & Travers, Darien, Connecticut (203) 655-6974


All businesses in Connecticut and New York that have employees are required to carry workers compensation insurance. Depending on your industry, workers compensation may be your highest expense after payroll.

*Note that in New York, when you have payroll you are required to carry New York State Disability*

We are asked often, how is workers compensation calculated?

Workers Compensation insurance is determined using three main factors:

  • Employee classification code
  • Payroll
  • Experience modification rate

Classification codes (or class codes) are assigned to businesses based on industry type and employee duties.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) designates the class codes to occupations as well as the base rates. Jobs with more hazard exposure have higher rates, such as the construction trades vs. low-risk occupations such as lawyers and doctors.

In Connecticut, the base rates provided by the NCCI are one of the highest in the state, luckily businesses have the option to seek a competitive base rate with a private insurance company. Daigle & Travers Insurance represents over 30 insurance carriers and is able to shop the market for the most competitive rates for our clients.

An Experience Modification Rate (or MOD)

A MOD essentially becomes a debit or credit applied to premium based on your prior claims history.

A business begins with a modifier of 1:

If the business has not made any claims on their workers compensation, the MOD may decrease each year. We have seen Mods as low as .75.

If the business has a history of frequent claims, the modifier will increase.  This increase is a debit put on your workers compensation premium. These debits can sometimes double your premium.

**Disclaimer, for a company to receive an experience mod, they usually need to generate a premium over $5,000 annually and it may take 2 or 3 years for an experience mod to be generated**

Managing your claims is one of the best ways for a business to manage workers comp costs. By investing some energy into promoting safety, you may be able to lower your costs down the line.

The size of your payroll will be the largest determinant of the cost of a business’s workers compensation. Employees payroll is assigned a classification code and the total annual payroll is divided by 100 and then multiplied by the workers compensation rate.

Let’s look at how this calculation might look for a law office:

Class Code × Rate × Payroll ÷ 100 = Workers Comp Premium
8810 × .18 × $1,500,000 ÷ 100 = $2,700

Common Class Codes

Here are other common class codes and the rate provided by the NCCI and the New York State Fund versus rates we attained from the competitive market:

Class Code Description NCCI Rate Option A Option B Option C
5645 Carpentry 29.91 25.64 21.01 23.28
0913 Domestic Help 1423 flat rate
8810 Clerical 0.24 0.15 0.17 0.21
5190 Electrical 5.88 3.63 5.2 4.5
8380 Automotive Repair 6.6 4.82 3.96 5.2
5183 Plumbing 10.26 5.08 6.17 7
5022 Masonry 21.27 16.41 19.2 9.99
8742 Outside Sales 0.63 0.54 0.39 0.45
0042 Landscaping 15.96 13.31 10.84 9.99
8820 Law Office 0.42 0.28 0.18 0.27
9014 Janitorial Service 5.7 5.14 6.4 4.54
5604 Executive Supervisor 9.71 8 9.2 8.5
5474 Painting 16.75 16.68 16.5 15.99
9082 Restaurant 2.69 1.97 2.1 2.23
8832 Physician Office 0.83 0.66 0.75 0.59
6217 Excavation 10.47 8.88 12.69 7.12
8227 Permanent Yard 12.85 9.59 10.2 11.1
5403 Carpentry 21.12 18.97 19 18.5
6400 Fence Erection 19 13.35 15 16.67
8232 Lumberyard 9.1 6.31 7 6.9
9501 Painting Shop 5.5 5.5 5.6 5.2
5223 Pools 19.31 16.14 21.68 18.5
8017 Retail 3.27 3.37 2.87 3.1
5606 Project Manager 3.64 3.52 2.47 3.3
8006 Gas Station 6.11 3.67 4.46 5

Daigle and Travers has three convenient locations in lower Fairfield County: Darien, Westport, and Wilton nestled between Stamford, Norwalk, and New Canaan. We also serve Greenwich, Weston, Westport, Wilton, Ridgefield, Redding, Easton, Fairfield, Southport, Trumbull and parts of Westchester County and Long Island. When partnering with us, we will give you all the necessary information and options you need to make the best choice of insurance company and policy. Give us a call today at (203)-655-6974.

Serving the following zip codes within Fairfield County, Connecticut:
06830 • 06831 • 06836 • 06883 • 06880 • 06881 • 06888 • 06889 • 06897 • 06877 • 06879 • 06875 • 06876 • 06896 • 06612 • 06824 • 06825 • 06828 • 06890 • 06611