Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Florida: Everything You Need to Know
Workers’ compensation, also known as workman’s comp insurance, provides legal protection to employees who were injured or suffered work-related illnesses.
When the claim is filed, workman’s compensation insurance will cover all medical and rehabilitation expenses. If the employee or the worker cannot work temporarily or permanently, the workers’ compensation coverage will pay for the lost wages.
But who needs it? What are the requirements? How much does workers’ compensation insurance cost?
Here’s everything you need to know about workers’ compensation insurance in Florida.
What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Florida?
Employers or businesses purchase the worker’s comp policy coverage to protect employees from any job-related injury or illness. Employees at a business with this policy will be compensated for accidents and injuries they incur while doing their job, regardless of who is at fault. This will cover employers from injury lawsuits filed by their employees.
Workman’s comp insurance for small businesses is another vital type of coverage as it can cover medical expenses, recovery costs, and missed wages if the employee is injured at work. It can also cover funeral costs, and the employee’s family can receive benefits in case of death on the job.
The Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) controls workers’ compensation insurers’ rates, forms, and financial stability while providing essential oversight. It aims to keep a competitive and robust market for those who are seeking insurance protection.
In Florida, the Division of Workers’ Compensation under the Department of Financial Services is the primary regulator of this policy and ensures that employees receive the right benefits under the workers’ comp coverage, including medical, disability, or health benefits. They also provide education and resources to the insurance carriers on assessment rates, handling claims, annual maximum comp rates, electronic data exchange or EDI, and other regulated activities.
The statute of limitations for workers’ comp insurance claims is two years. This period starts from the date of your workplace injury or your last payment, whichever date is later.
Read more: Looking for business insurance in Tampa? Read the full article with everything you need to know.
Who Needs Workers’ Comp Insurance in Florida?
Workers’ compensation insurance in the U.S. has specific legislation, and each state has different requirements.
How many employees do you have to have for workers’ comp in Florida? State law requires businesses with four or more employees to have workers’ compensation insurance.
Furthermore, every construction business in Florida should consider having this coverage for their employees.
Other small businesses may be exempt from the Florida workman’s comp laws, and injured employees may find another avenue for medical care or lost earnings.
By requiring workers’ comp insurance, Florida officials offer businesses an incentive to keep employees safe and reduce the risks of lawsuits against business owners.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Florida?
An estimated workman’s comp insurance cost in Florida is around $1.41 per $100 covered in payroll. However, this insurance policy can be more expensive than others because other jobs have different risk factors, including:
- Business location
- Number of employees
- Industry and risk factors
- Claims history
- Coverage limits
One of the best ways to get cheap workers’ comp insurance in Florida is to maintain a safe workplace and avoid claims. Another good idea is to ask about discounts when evaluating workman’s comp quotes with your insurance specialist. Here’s what you should consider asking your insurance representative:
- Workplace safety programs and credits
- Deductible options
- Formal training programs
- Owner coverage exemptions
- Formal safety administrative position
- Payment plans and payroll reporting
- Carrier-specific discounts
What Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Florida Cover?
In Florida, if you get injured while doing a job or get ill, your workers’ comp insurance can cover your medical and some wage replacement benefits. Here’s what’s covered under Florida workers’ comp insurance:
- Physical therapy
- Doctors visits
- Prescription drugs
- Travel expenses to and from a pharmacy
- Wage replacement if your earnings are lower because of the injury
- Death benefits
What Does Workers’ Comp Insurance Florida Not Cover?
Some cases are excluded from workers’ compensation in FL, such as:
- Mental or nervous injuries due to stress, fright, or excitement
- Injuries caused by intoxication or drugs
How Does Workers’ Comp Work in Florida?
Each state has its own requirements when it comes to workers’ compensation law. However, they all follow a general concept as to how it works.
If an employee is injured on the job, the FLA workers’ comp insurance will cover the costs incurred. These costs include the hospital or medical bills, ambulance, lost wages, and disability payments. After an injury or illness, the employee can file a claim against the employer’s work comp insurance policy. When the insurance company has accepted the claims, the worker could receive funds to pay for the medical expenses and disability payment plan.
How to Buy Workers’ Comp Insurance in Florida
Florida has a private market where businesses can buy a worker’s compensation policy from any insurance carrier, broker, or insurance agency. These entities must be licensed to write the policy in the state.
Another way to purchase the compensation worker insurance is to contract with the employee’s leasing company or professional employer organization (PEO). The company will be the worker’s legal employer, which will provide a workman’s comp policy in exchange for a fee.
However, private workman’s comp companies’ declined policies can be covered by the state fund, which is managed by the Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association.
How to Calculate Cost of the Insurance
There are several factors that insurance companies consider when calculating insurance premiums:
Insurance companies will consider your age because this factor helps them predict the likelihood that you’ll need to use the insurance. For example, young people are less likely to need medical care.
The Type of Coverage
The more comprehensive coverage you want, the more expensive it will be.
The Amount of Coverage
The less coverage, the cheaper the policy will be, regardless of what you insure.
The insurance companies often look at your claims history, driving record, credit history, and similar information depending on the type of insurance you are looking for.
Florida Workers’ Compensation Coverage Requirements
Florida workers’ compensation rules for employers are based on the industry, the number of employees, and the organization type. The following information is used to determine the coverage requirements for a specific employer, as provided by the Bureau of Compliance.
- Construction Industry: In this industry, one or more employees, including the business owner who are corporate officers or LLC members.
- Non-Construction Industry: Four or more non-construction business employees, including the business owner(s), the corporate officers, or LLC members. Sole proprietors or partners are considered employees only if they want to be included in the business workers’ compensation coverage and file a form.
- Agricultural Industry: In the agricultural field, six regular employees or twelve seasonal workers are covered. Seasonal workers should have 30 days of work during a season but should not exceed 45 days in a calendar year.
Out-of-state employers should notify their insurance provider that they are working in Florida. If the employer is not providing insurance, the out-of-state employer will be required to obtain Florida workmen’s compensation insurance.
On the other hand, contractors should ensure that all subcontractors are protected with workers comp coverage before starting their project.
Exemptions for Non-Construction Companies
1. Sole Proprietorships or Partnerships
Sole proprietors or partners in Partnership are not considered employees, automatically exempting them from getting covered. They can be included in the workers’ compensation policy only if they file a form.
Corporate officers are considered employees and are included in worker’s compensation coverage if they did not file for and receive an exemption.
An exemption can be canceled by filing form DWC 250-R with the DWC.
3. Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
Owners or managing members of non-construction LLCs are recognized employees and will only be exempted if they file for and receive an exemption from the Division of Workers Compensation. About 10% of the LLC members are eligible for an exemption, or up to 10 LLC owners may file to be exempt.
An exemption is free and is renewable for two years to keep it valid. An exemption can be revoked by filing form DWC 250-R with the DWC (rights reserved).
Workman’s Comp Insurance Florida: FAQs
Do You Need Workers’ Compensation if You Are Self-Employed?
In Florida, whether self-employed or not, an employed person must have workman’s compensation insurance depending on the nature of work being operated. A self-employed worker in the construction industry must carry workers’ comp coverage in Florida. But if you are in an industry with a low risk of physical injury and have no employees, you can decide if you will have to get covered.
What Are Death Benefits Under Florida Workers’ Compensation Law
When the employee dies due to a work-related event within one year from the date of the accident or the worker suffered disability for five years, the employee’s family will receive death benefits. The family is entitled to receive funeral expenses up to $7,500, an education benefit, and $150,000 in compensation benefits to dependents, which is usually paid at up to 66.67% of the worker’s weekly salary.
How Do Workers’ Comp Settlements Work in Florida?
In some cases, the employee will negotiate for a larger workers’ comp settlement. The employee will calculate the total expenses with their lawyer before the insurance company settles the claims. Then, the insurance company and the employee’s attorney will have to discuss the settlement terms.
Finally, businesses in Florida must carry worker’s compensation insurance because it is required by law and protects the business from financial loss if an accident arises in the workplace. Purchasing this policy will enable employers and business owners to file insurance claims when a worker is injured on the job site. The insurance carrier will compensate the employee for medical bills and lost wages. If an employee files a lawsuit for additional damages, the employer’s legal expenses are also covered by this policy.
Each state has its own legislation and requirements regarding worker’s compensation insurance. Florida workers’ compensation insurance rates are relatively lower than the average rate of other U.S. states. However, the best way to keep the costs low is to keep the workplace safe and avoid claims. You can also ask for discounts when you are evaluating your quote.
Read more: Errors and omissions insurance can also protect your business from lawsuits. Read the in-depth article.
How Much Does Workers Comp Cost Per Employee in Florida?
The estimated rate for workers’ com insurance in Florida is $1.41 per $100 covered in payroll.
Does Florida Require Workers Compensation Insurance?
Business owners in Florida must carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Specific employer requirements may depend on the type of industry, the number of employees, and the type of organization.
Can You Self-Insure Workers Compensation in Florida?
Yes, the self-insurance sector is responsible for regulating business owners who choose to individually self-insure for workers’ comp benefits.
Do 1099 Employees Need Workers’ Comp in Florida?
Generally, most 1099 contractors in Florida are not required to have the policy. However, they must carry workman’s comp in Florida if they work in the construction industry.
Who is Exempt From Workers’ Comp in Florida
Any business with fewer than four employees is exempt from workers’ comp insurance in Florida.
What is the Penalty for Not Having Workers Compensation in Florida?
Business owners that work without the required workers’ comp coverage risk certain penalties. In most cases, the business will stop working until it complies with the law and pays the penalty. The penalty usually equals two insurance premiums the business owner would have paid for the preceding two years.
How Long Does Workers Comp Last in Florida?
According to the Florida workers’ compensation law, an injured worker can receive up to a maximum of 104 weeks of temporary compensation.
How Long Does an Employer Have to File Workers Compensation in Florida?
As a business owner, you must report injuries within 30 days. If a condition or illness develops over time, employees must notify their employer within 30 days of discovering that it will impact their work.
Who Administers Workers’ Compensation in Florida?
The Division of Workers’ Compensation within the Department of Financial Services (DFS) regulates workers’ comp insurance in Florida and ensures that employees receive the proper benefits under the coverage.
Are you still confused about workers’ compensation insurance in Florida, or do you need some help getting a quote for your business? Contact us today and get all the information you need fast and for free!
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