The History Of Workers’ Compensation


Most states, with the exception of a few including Texas, require businesses to provide workers’ compensation to their employees. If your state does not require it, that does not mean your employees do not have the right to file a claim against you if they are injured or develop a work-related illness.  Even though it is not required in the state of Texas, you are protecting yourself, and your workers, by carrying workers’ compensation insurance. Did you ever wonder how workers’ comp developed? Read on to learn the history of workers’ compensation.

What is Workers’ Comp?

Regardless of whether you have one employee, five, 10, or 1,000, each and every one is an asset to your business. If they become ill or injured and cannot work, your production is interrupted. Also, if they become ill or injured their income becomes interrupted. If their illness or injury is due to their job, they can sue you for lost of income, health expenses, and possible other things, but if you provide workers’ comp, you should be covered.

Workers’ compensation provides coverage to employees that may become injured or ill due to workplace exposure. If an employee were to sue you for expenses associated with their workplace illness/injury, you could lose your business. Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation, and death benefits should the injury or illness result in death.

How it Evolved

It has been indicated that workers’ comp developed when Caribbean pirates were injured while “pirating.” Pirates that were unable to partake in their profession because of injury due to their profession were compensated by their peers with booty. In the U.S., however, compensation began in 1911 in the state of Wisconsin. A “no fault” system was developed so workers with workplace injuries or illnesses could receive medical treatment and financial compensation. The costs were made affordable for employers via established limits on their obligations. Other states soon followed and that’s how it all began. Cover yourself and your employees by considering comp. insurance. It’s a smart business move.


With over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, the Jeff Van Matre Insurance Agency can help you choose the right coverage plan to protect your personal and business assets. To learn more about protecting your assets without attacking your budget, call our Carrollton office today at 972-492-8500, or visit us online to get a free quote.