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Workers' Compensation Requirements

What is Workers' Compensation Insurance?

California law requires that employers, including those in the construction industry, carry workers' compensation insurance, even if they have only one employee. The insurance exists for employees who get hurt or sick because of work. Workers' compensation insurance provides basic benefits, including medical care, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits and a return-to-work supplement, and death benefits.

Contractor Requirements

CSLB licensees that have an active license or want to reactivate an inactive license, or applicants for an active contractor's license have to do one of two things:

  1. Provide CSLB with a valid Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance (Easy-Fill Online Form or Download Guide) or a valid Certification of Self-Insurance from the Department of Industrial Relations; or
  2. Provide CSLB with a signed exemption, certifying that they have no employees at this time (Download Form or Order Form #32)

NOTE: All active C-39 (Roofing) licensees are required to carry workers' compensation insurance or a valid Certification of Self-Insurance, whether or not they have employees.

Source: Business and Professions Code section 7125

Filing an Electronic Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance with CSLB

For the purpose of submitting a Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance to the CSLB, the CSLB has created an online form that allows users to submit information that will automatically update the license record. Only insurers duly licensed to write workers’ compensation insurance in California may issue and file certificates. Click below to begin using the electronic process.

Filing a Manual Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance with CSLB

If you prefer to submit your Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance by U.S. mail, CSLB has created a guide to help you complete the form. Click below to download the guide.

(Download Guide)

Filing a Certificate of Workers’ Compensation Insurance Manually - Most Common Mistakes Made

When certificates are filed manually, they must be completed according to CSLB’s requirements. The most common reasons CSLB returns Certificates of Workers' Compensation Insurance or Certifications of Self-Insurance for correction are below. These mistakes may delay certificate processing which could result in a break in license standing. Certificates are processed by the date CSLB receives a correct and acceptable certificate.

Mistake Made Section in CSLB Guide
1. Entering Incorrect Business Name Section #3 - "Insured"
2. Entering Incorrect Insurance Company Name Section #4 - "Insurer(s) Affording Coverage"
3. Entering Incorrect Policy Number Section #6 - "Policy Number"
4. Not Listing CSLB as Certificate Holder Section #9 - "Certificate Holder"
5. Entering an Invalid Signature Section #10 - "Authorized Representative"
Acceptable Documents for Compliance with Workers' Compensation Requirements

Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance

  • The certificate must be written by an insurance company licensed through the California Department of Insurance.
  • CSLB must be listed as the Certificate Holder.
  • The contractor's business name and license number must be listed.
  • The policy number must be listed.
  • The effective date and expiration date of the policy must be listed.
  • The certificate must have the signature of an authorized representative of the insurance company.

Certification of Self-Insurance

  • The certification must be written through the California Department of Industrial Relations.
  • The contractor's business name and license number must be listed.
  • The self-insured number must be listed.
  • The effective date and expiration date must be listed.
  • The certificate must have the signature of an authorized representative of the insurance company.

Exemption from Workers' Compensation

You cannot file an Exemption from Workers' Compensation form if any of the following conditions exist.

  • You employ anyone in a manner that is subject to California workers' compensation laws.
  • Your license is qualified by a Responsible Managing Employee (RME).
  • You hold a C-39 Roofing classification.

If you meet the exemption requirements, complete the exemption form and send it to CSLB's Headquarters.

Upon employing anyone in a manner that is subject to the workers' compensation laws of California, the exemption form on file will no longer be valid and you will be required to obtain and submit proof of workers' compensation insurance coverage. This proof must be received at CSLB's Headquarters within 90 days of the hire.

Exemption from Workers' Compensation — Out-of-State Contractors

If you are an out-of-state contractor licensed in California, but do not hire employees who reside in California, you must complete and submit the exemption form. However, if you have employees working in California from another state, you must also provide a certificate of insurance from your workers' compensation insurance carrier in your state.

Workers' Compensation Suspension

Workers' compensation coverage must be continuous. Failure to maintain workers' compensation insurance coverage will result in the license being suspended.

Any work performed while the license is suspended is considered to be unlicensed and disciplinary action can be taken against you.

Once acceptable proof of workers' compensation insurance coverage is received and processed at CSLB's Headquarters, the workers' compensation suspension will be lifted.

This Google translation feature is provided for informational purposes only; CSLB is unable to guarantee the accuracy of this translation. Please consult a professional translator for accuracy if you are using this site for official business.

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