I think you misunderstood the state rep.
Of course the work comp claim would be denied if you didn't have work comp insurance.
Sit down at the dinner table and ask yourself "self, if one of my mowers blows an engine and the rod goes through the operators back and causes his lung to collapse, will my operator sue me, or will he just go on with life and not be able to work, while having $100's of thousands of medical bills?"
When you're set to come up with the wrong answer to that question, how much do you think you'll have to pay in lawyers fees when the civil suits start?
Insurance is only expensive until you need it. Would you drive your truck without vehicle insurance or operate without liability insurance?
Give thanks, for all that He has given.