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Walsh Test Coverage For Employees Working In Multiple States


Employees Working In Multiple States May Need Multiple State Coverage

Employees that are working in multiple states need to have coverage for more than just one state.  Even though the Walsh Test can identify what state has jurisdiction, each state can have peculiarities to their laws. For instance, in the bullet points below had WLSH all in one state.  However, the Accident happened in a bordering state.  This can become complicated.

Workers Comp coverage can be complicated at best if your company is operating in just one state. The situation becomes more complicated as your company expands into other states.

However, you may be operating in states that you never thought possible.

Clip art of Umbrella and Emoticon Injured Walsh Test
(c) 123rf.com

I was trained on using the WALSH test for jurisdictions. You may want to follow the link to see the complete analysis of WALSH.

A quick overview:

  • Worked
  • Accident
  • Lived
  • Salaried
  • Hired

Where the employee worked at the time of an accident is the most important according to this test. The rest of the considerations become less important as you proceed down the list. I had actually seen a Workers Comp court judge use a modified version of this list.

Companies and their workers are becoming even more mobile due to the economy and the expansion of certain companies. I had said the WALSH jurisdictional test was almost foolproof over 10 years ago. I am presently not as sure.

For example, we assisted an insured that had a very complicated scenario:

  • Graphic Businessman Holding Umbrella Multiple States Coverage

    The employee transported goods/supplies in a small truck and made deliveries in three different states – Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado

  • The company HQ was in Arizona
  • The driver lived in Arizona
  • The driver did not make any deliveries to Utah, but one day decided to take a shortcut on a rural road that ran through the very edge of Utah
  • The employee ran off the road and was seriously injured in Utah

The WALSH test says:

  • Worked – All three states mentioned
  • Accident – UT
  • Lived – AZ
  • Salaried – AZ
  • Hired – AZ

The employer had no coverage for UT. They expected the injured employee to file in AZ. He filed in UT. What does the employer do now? Check back with me tomorrow.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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