Who might need it?
- Sole owners, partners, independent operators, and executive officers who are not automatically covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act can apply for optional insurance
- If you carry on a business in construction, you may not be eligible for optional insurance. Learn about Mandatory coverage in the construction industry for more details about who is automatically covered and who is exempt from mandatory coverage.
- You can download the Independent Operators questionnaire to determine who is considered an independent operator if you are not carrying on a business in construction
- Spouses and family members who hold positions as partners or executive officers may qualify if they receive earnings from the company. These earnings must be verifiable by audit
What happens when I buy optional insurance?
- You are then considered a worker under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and receive the same coverage as workers (see the benefits summary below for an overview, or view benefits in detail in the Benefits section of "For the Worker").
- Like other workers, you give up the right to sue for illness or injury sustained because of work. You may want to consult your financial or legal adviser before purchasing optional insurance.
How do I get optional insurance?
- Fill out an Optional Insurance/Change Form (1574A). The form must be signed by an authorized officer for the company (this may be you or someone else in the company).
- Request the amount of insurance that best reflects your annual insurable earnings up to a maximum of $83,200 for 2013 (this maximum is based on the average industrial wage for Ontario for the year). The WSIB will verify this amount when and if you file a claim. Benefits are based on the amount requested or your actual earnings, whichever is lower.
- Annual insurable earnings are the amounts usually reported on your workers' pay or wage stubs and on T4 slips as gross earnings. These amounts include:
- Deductions for income tax
- CPP and employment insurance
Insurable earnings can also include earnings not reported on a T4 such as room and board, bonuses and commissions.
- Submit the completed form to the WSIB.
How long does coverage last?
- Coverage lasts until you cancel it, or until the WSIB cancels your coverage after giving you 30 days written notice (the WSIB may initiate cancellation if you fail to pay your premiums). Contact the Employer Service Centre in writing to cancel your insurance.
- The minimum period you can purchase coverage for is three months.
- Attention: rules are different if you work or carry on a business in construction as an:
- independent operator,
- sole proprietor,
- partner in a partnership or executive officer in a corporation
- If this describes you, WSIB coverage may be mandatory, and you would be required to report your insurable earnings; optional insurance is not available. Learn more about Mandatory coverage in construction
How do I make a claim?
- To make a claim and apply for benefits, complete and sign a Form 7 (Employer's Report of Injury/Disease.
Our eForm 7 makes it quick and easy to report a workplace injury /illness online.
What if my annual earnings change?
- You must inform the WSIB of any change in your annual earnings using the Optional Insurance/Change Form (1574A).
- If your actual earnings are different from your reported earnings at the time of a claim, the WSIB pays benefits based on the lower of the two
Where can I find more details on my optional insurance?
- Since optional insurance treats you like any other worker, you can find details on any aspect of workplace insurance in the appropriate section of this site. You can view a brief summary of workplace insurance benefits on the Benefits Provided to Workers page.