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What is mandatory coverage?

The Minnesota Workers' Compensation Law states that all employers are required to purchase workers' compensation insurance or become self-insured. This is often referred to as "mandatory coverage."

Employers are generally defined as those who hire others to perform services. Employees are generally defined as people performing services for another, for hire, including minors and workers who are not citizens.

As one might anticipate, there are always exceptions to the rule. Some employers are exempt and these exemptions are specified in Minnesota Statutes. However, there are common misperceptions that need clarification about who needs coverage and who does not.

More information

Online insurance lookup tool

DLI's online insurance verification tool, designed to allow users to verify workers' compensation insurance coverage for employers based on proof of coverage data filed with DLI, is online at

If you cannot find an employer using the lookup tool, contact DLI's Special Compensation Fund unit at 651-284-5324 or to request insurance coverage verification about any employer in the state.

Mandatory coverage investigations

The Special Compensation Fund unit investigates employers that may not have carried workers' compensation insurance coverage for employees. Results of these mandatory coverage investigations may be referred for civil penalty action.

The investigation establishes the time frame for the violation, the number of employees involved, the type of work performed and the associated payroll amounts.

Workers' compensation fraud

If you suspect someone is involved in fraudulent activity related to workers' compensation, call the Minnesota Department of Commerce's Fraud Tip Line at 651-239-1600 or 800-657-3602, visit its "File a complaint" webpage to complete a simple form or send an email message to

No personal identifying information is required to submit an allegation of suspected fraud. You will need to provide information about where the suspected fraud occurred and the name of the business or individual you suspect of committing the fraud.