Personal Optional Protection
Proprietors and partners in a partnership who operate an independent business are not automatically covered under the Workers Compensation Act. If eligible, proprietors and partners can purchase Personal Optional Protection (POP) coverage, which is optional workplace disability insurance. POP will pay health care, wage-loss, and rehabilitation benefits if you are injured at work. When you apply, you can choose the level of coverage you need.
Who can apply
You can apply for Personal Optional Protection coverage if you're a self-employed proprietor or partner in a partnership.
You cannot apply for POP coverage if you're an owner or shareholder in an incorporated company and you work for that company. In this case, the employer is the limited company and you would be considered to be a worker of the company.
What are the benefits?
For eligible proprietors and partners, your POP coverage, once accepted, will pay health care, wage-loss, and rehabilitation benefits if you are injured at work. You can choose how much wage-loss coverage you purchase. In 2020, the minimum monthly coverage is $2,200. The maximum coverage you can purchase is equal to your current monthly earnings or $7,258, whichever is less. If you're applying for more than $5,000 per month, you'll need to provide proof of earnings. Without this, your monthly coverage will be set to $5,000 per month.
If you're injured, WorkSafeBC generally pays wage-loss benefits based on 90 percent of net average earnings (the average amount remaining after probable deductions). Based on the coverage amount you choose, here’s a snapshot of the estimated amount you will receive:
|Monthly coverage selected
||Approximate monthly wage-loss benefit
|$2,200 (minimum coverage)
For more details, please see the Application for Personal Optional Protection package. Your POP coverage may be your only source of income if you can't work due to a work-related injury or illness, so be sure to apply for enough coverage.
Learn more about the changes to Personal Optional Protection coverage amounts in 2020.
How much it costs
The cost of your POP coverage depends on the monthly amount of coverage and your net premium rate. Your premium rate is based on the nature of your business.
For example, if you're a courier driver supplying your own vehicle, your premium rate is 3.25 percent. If you apply for $2,500 of monthly coverage, your monthly cost is calculated as follows:
$2,500 x 3.25% = $81.25 monthly
When coverage starts
If you are eligible for optional coverage, your POP coverage either takes effect the date we receive your completed application, or at a future start date selected by you. You’ll continue to be covered and pay premiums until the coverage is cancelled.
When coverage is cancelled
Your coverage will remain in effect, with premiums payable, until you or WorkSafeBC cancels it. WorkSafeBC will cancel coverage if you fail to pay your premiums on time. If your coverage is cancelled for any reason you will have to submit a new application that will be reviewed by a WorkSafeBC Officer to reconfirm your eligibility. In order for a POP application to be accepted, the account must be in good standing.
Apply for coverage
- Apply for Personal Optional Protection coverage online
- Download the Application for Personal Optional Protection package and submit it by mail or fax