That’s right, the state can issue penalties to employers who reject Workers’ Compensation and fail to notify the State each year. The employer may be assessed a penalty up to $500 for each day of non-compliance.

Are you totally lost?

Let me back up for a second and tell you the good news.  Texas is (for the most part) the only State that allows the business owner to elect NOT to carry workers comp.  Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t carry workers comp, but the fact that TX gives most employers the option to carry workers comp is considered by some to be a big competitive advantage we have over other States.

But it isn’t as simple as choosing not to carry workers comp and sitting around doing nothing about it.  No, the State has requirements for business owners to fulfill annually if an employer elects to remain out of the workers comp system.  If you, as the employer, opt out, you are considered a non-subscriber.   And as a non-subscriber, you are required (that’s right required) to:

  • Notify the State you do or do not have coverage
  • Notify the State when/if you terminate coverage
  • Post notices, with exact wording, in the work place
  • Notify new employees of the absence of coverage
  • Notify existing employees of coverage termination
  • Notify employees how to file claims
  • Many employers must have drug prevention programs

Here are some links provided by the State to explain more about the obligations of the employer.

1.  General Info for Non-Subscribers:

2.  DWC Form 5- Required for all Non-Subscribers:

So, digest this first and then consider that the TX marketplace offers an alternative to traditional workers comp, kind of a middle ground to carry traditional workers comp and not having any coverage.  There are some significant coverage differences, but it can be a better alternative than not carrying coverage at all. At the same time it can be less expensive than traditional workers comp as well.  These policies are often referred to as Occupational Accident policies.

We will discuss those in another blog post.  In the meantime we encourage you to digest this information, give strong consideration to your individual circumstances and make an informed decision about the coverage that’s right  you and your business by utilizing a good agent that can help you navigate through the process.


DISCLAIMER-Choosing to carry workers comp or not carry workers comp is a serious decision that can impact the employer, employees, and families of both.  Understanding the options and taking time to make an informed decision is highly recommended.