Question :
Who pays the benefits?
Answer :
Employers subject to the law are required to provide insurance through a private insurance company or qualify as a self-insurer. (85.3, 87.1, 87.11)

If the employer provides coverage by purchasing an insurance policy, the employer pays the insurance premium charges. The insurance company (or adjusting company) pays the workers’ compensation benefits to the injured employee.

If the employer is self-insured, the employer (or adjusting company) pays the workers’ compensation benefits to the injured employee.

Any employer who fails to provide insurance coverage for eligible employees, as the law provides, may be liable to an employee for either workers’ compensation benefits or for damages in a civil action. (87.21)

An employer shall not engage in business without first obtaining insurance covering compensation benefits or obtaining relief from insurance or furnishing a bond. A person who willfully and knowingly does so is guilty of a class "D" felony. (87.14A)

Relief from Insurance

An employer required to provide compensation under Chapters 85, 85A and 85B may apply for relief from insurance and to become self-insured pursuant to Chapter 87.11. The employer must make application for self-insurance to the Insurance Commissioner. The application includes furnishing satisfactory proof of solvency and financial ability to pay the compensation and benefits as by law required. Requests to become self-insured shall be directed to the Insurance Commissioner at 1-877-955-1212 or though their web site at

Division of Workers' Compensation site

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