Some people are not automatically covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act 1997 (WSIA). These individuals can choose to apply for optional insurance which gives you all the same benefits and protections as those covered under WSIA.
The following people can apply for optional insurance:
- sole proprietors: own your business alone (a non-incorporated business with no partners) and operate without others, except for the people you hire as employees
- partners: own and operate your business together with one or more partners, though you may or may not share the business equally
- executive officers: are the individual(s), that control the direction of the entire organization or key functions of the organization
- independent operators: own a business with no employees. View the Determining Worker/Independent Operator Status Questionnaire (PDF) for the WSIB to determine if you are considered an independent operator
If you own or operate 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.
Getting optional insurance
- Fill out an Optional Insurance Request/Change Form (1574A) (PDF). 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 $90,300 for 2018 (this maximum is based on the average industrial wage for Ontario for the year)
- The WSIB will verify this amount if you file a claim. Benefits are based on the amount requested or your actual earnings, whichever is lower. See our policy on determining insurable earnings
- Optional insurance coverage lasts for a minimum of three months and lasts until you cancel it. Complete the Optional Insurance/Change Form (1574A) (PDF) to cancel your insurance. We may cancel your coverage if you fail to pay premiums (after providing 30 days written notice)
Changes in your annual earnings
- You must inform the WSIB of any change in your annual earnings using the Optional Insurance/Change Form (1574A) (PDF). Changes will be made effective the date we receive the completed form.
- If your actual earnings are different from your reported earnings at the time of a claim, then we pay benefits based on the lower of the two.