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 got injured or suffered work-related illnesses. When the claim is filed, workman’s compensation insurance will cover all the 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.
What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Florida?
Workers’ compensation insurance in the U.S. has specific legislation, and each state has different requirements. The state law requires the worker’s compensation insurance Florida to businesses with four or more employees. Other small businesses may be exempt from the Florida workman’s comp laws, and employees who are injured may find another avenue for medical care or lost earnings. But employers who are subject to Florida workers’ compensation laws need to carry a current worker’s comp policy.
Employers or businesses purchase the worker’s comp policy coverage to protect their employees from any job-related injury or illness. A business that carries this policy will have their employees get compensated for the damages they incur while doing their job, regardless of who is at fault. This will cover employers from injury lawsuits filed by their employees.
The Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) controls the rates, forms, and financial stability for workers’ compensation insurers while providing them 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 makes sure that employees receive the right benefits under the workers’ comp coverage, which includes 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.
There are more than 250 workers’ comp insurance providers in the state of Florida. The largest insurer is a private market insurer instead of a state-created residual market party.
Who Needs Workers’ Comp Insurance in Florida?
Florida workman’s comp laws require every business with four and more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance and these companies need to know the requirements for this type of coverage. Furthermore, every construction business in Florida should also consider having this coverage for their employees.
Workman’s comp insurance for small business 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. By requiring workers’ comp insurance, Florida officials offer businesses an incentive to keep employees safe and reduce risks of lawsuits against business owners.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Florida?
Workers’ compensation costs are different in every state, at the same time, concerning those who need it. An estimated workman’s comp insurance cost in Florida is around $1.43 per $100 covered in payroll. However, this insurance policy can be more expensive than others because other jobs have different risk factors. Those with a higher risk of physical injury have higher insurance premiums than those who are less exposed.
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 agent:
- 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
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 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.
Florida Workers’ Compensation Coverage Requirements
Workers’ compensation coverage requirements 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 a total of 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 workers’ compensation insurance.
On the other hand, contractors should ensure that all subcontractors are protected with workers comp coverage before they start their project.
Exemptions for Non-Construction Companies
- 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 for 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.
- 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 is required to have workman’s compensation insurance depending on the nature of work being operated. A self-employed worker in the construction industry is required to 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 try to negotiate for a larger workers comp settlement. The employer should get involved in the discussion to minimize liability in a lawsuit if one surfaces. With their lawyer, the employee will be asked to calculate the total amount of the anticipated expenses before the insurance company will settle the claims. They will not pay a claim simply based on the calculations. The insurance company and the employee’s attorney will have to discuss the settlement more and have agreeable terms.
Finally, businesses in Florida must carry worker’s compensation insurance because it is required by law, but also because it 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. In case 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 when it comes to 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.
Did you find this article helpful? If so, make sure you learn more about Business Insurance as well!
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