Iowa Workers Comp Guide | DirectWorkComp

According to the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, Iowa is one of the top locations in the United States to operate a business. With an ever-growing business economy, a stable growth rate of available jobs, and adequate state legislation for businesses, there are many benefits to owning and operating a business in the Hawkeye State. Whether you already own a business in Iowa or are considering starting a business, you should know about Iowa Workers Comp.

With business ownership comes the responsibility of having an adequate workers’ compensation program. What do you need to know about Iowa workers’ comp? Keep reading to find out. 

Do You Need Iowa Workers’ Comp?

Do you need Iowa’s workers’ comp? In short, yes you do. No matter where you live, you need to have workers’ compensation insurance to protect your employees and your business in the event of an accident or injury. 

However, the state legislation of Iowa also requires business owners to have workers’ compensation in order to operate legally. There are not only penalties for not having workers’ comp when it’s required, but it can result in hefty out-of-pocket expenses to cover employee medical bills. 

Exemptions to Iowa Workers’ Comp Laws 

There are certain categories of businesses that aren’t legally required to have workers’ comp, including employers working for a relative, police officers and firefighters who have a pension fund, and any domestic or casual employees making less than $1,500 from their employer in the last year. 

You’re also exempt from buying work comp if you’re a sole proprietor, a member of a limited liability company, a partner in a company, or if you’re in the agriculture business. These exemptions can be complicated, so it’s important to consult legal personnel.

Iowa Reporting

When it comes to reporting in Iowa – your employee has 90 days to report a claim and you as an employer have 4 days to report it to the insurance provider. Depending upon your insurance provider – the First report of injury form will have to be sent to The Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Iowa Experience Mod

An experience mod is a premium rating factor used by your insurance to adjust your annual or monthly premiums based on a variety of factors. These factors include any past workers’ comp claims you may have had. Each state is different when it comes to determining when businesses meet a certain threshold to obtain an experience mod.

In Iowa, The Experience Rating Eligibility Thresholds are 7,500 in policy premium is generated during the last year or last two years. OR $3,750 is the average policy premium generated for more than two years.

The Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC)

The DWC is the state government entity that facilitates and educates on Iowa workers comp. If you are looking for more information on specific laws, here is a link to their “duties & responsibilities” page. Two things to note as an employeer are:

  • You have the right to choose a medical provider when an employee is injured. This is why it is so important to have a clinic relationship – you can read about that, here.
  • You must post notice of workers compensation changes


Instant Quote for Iowa Work Comp 

Our business, Direct Work Comp, is actually based out of Iowa! We love it here and are experts in work comp. If you do own a business in Iowa, don’t wait to get a quote today. If you already have a current agent, we can do business with them as well. 

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