Who is Covered

The Montana Workers’ Compensation Act contains definitions and coverage requirements pertaining to residents of Montana and non-residents. The workers covered by a Montana State Fund policy are defined by Section 39-71-118, MCA.

The Montana Workers' Compensation Act also addresses coverage for covered workers while temporarily out of Montana in Section 39-71-402, MCA.

In summary, the workers covered by a Montana State Fund policy include: Montana residents whose duties are primarily performed in Montana or duties are controlled within or from Montana including while “temporarily” out of state; AND non-residents whose principal duties are performed within Montana on a regular basis or non-resident employees of an employer from another state engaged in the construction industry within Montana.

If you have workers performing work outside Montana, you may be required to provide workers’ compensation coverage in the other state. It is your responsibility to secure such coverage. It is important to understand that Montana coverage is required for Montana resident workers temporarily out of Montana and coverage may also be required in the other state.

Exempt Employments

Some individuals and groups of workers are exempt by law from workers' comp insurance. To elect coverage for exempted employments (subject to Montana State Fund approval), please call us at 800-332-6102.

Visit Section 39-71-401 MCA for a full list of covered and exempt employments. The most common employments that are exempt are:

  • Sole proprietors, working members of a partnership, working members of a limited liability partnership and working members of a member-managed limited liability. Please note – if you retain or contract with these employers to perform work for you, they must either have workers' compensation coverage on themselves or an Independent Contractor Exemption Certificate (ICEC) issued by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry. In the absence of those, you, as the employer or contractor, may be determined to be providing coverage for them for the work they perform for you.
  • Dependent members of an employer's family or spouse for whom an exemption may be claimed by the employer under the Federal Internal Revenue Code. This provision applies only to sole proprietorships and partnerships.
  • Household or domestic employees whose typical duties include house cleaning and yard work. Employees whose duties include home health care or domiciliary care are not household or domestic employees.
  • Employees who are not residents of Montana and whose primary duties are not outside Montana, the employer must comply with the coverage requirements where the employee resides or performs work. EXCEPTION: Employers working in the construction industry must provide Montana coverage for all employees, both resident and nonresident, while working in Montana.
  • An ordained, commissioned or licensed minister of a church or a member of a religious order.
  • Volunteer workers. including volunteer emergency medical technicians However, the following volunteer workers are not exempt:
    • Air search and rescue volunteers employed by the Montana Department of Transportation Section 67-2-105, MCA,
    • Volunteer reserve or auxiliary officers providing service to a local law enforcement agency Section 7-32-203, MCA,
    • Volunteer firefighters who provide service to a second-class city. All other volunteer firefighters are exempt.
  • Corporate officers or managers of a manager-managed limited liability company (LLC) who meet certain criteria. Contact your team's customer service specialist for specific criteria. NOTE: Corporate officers or limited liability company managers who fail to satisfy any of the elective criteria, and who receive pay from the corporation or limited liability company for the performance of ordinary duties, are automatically covered.
Independent Contractors

Before employers hire someone who is not an employee, an independent contractor, make sure they have an exemption certificate issued by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry or proof of workers’ compensation insurance. It is the employer's responsibility to determine that the independent contractor has this documentation. Without it, policyholders may be held responsible for claims on injuries or occupational diseases, and for payment of premium on their wages. To learn more about independent contractor regulations and Exemption Certificates, visit mtcontractor.com, or contact the Department of Labor and Industry at 406-444-7734.