If you run a business and have employees, you’ll need to purchase Florida workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, this type of insurance, is a requirement in most states, including Florida, with some exceptions. It helps pay your employees’ medical bills for a work injury. And limits your liability for workplace accidents.
Workers’ compensation insurance in Florida costs approximately $1.43 per $100 of covered payroll. That means, for example, a business with a total annual payroll of $100,000 will pay around $1,430 for workers’ compensation insurance for the entire year. Or around $119 a month. These rates vary significantly depending on a variety of factors.
In general, though, the likelihood of an on-the-job injury at your workplace is what determines your workers’ compensation rates. Some types of employees may have lower workers’ compensation costs than those who undertake more labor-intensive tasks and are more vulnerable to injury. You can use a variety of workers’ compensation class codes when applying for coverage.
If one of your employees sustains an injury at work, or becomes ill due to workplace conditions, workers’ compensation can help pay their medical bills. The average weekly wage of an employee helps calculate their workers’ compensation benefits. And the type of claim determines the exact amount.
Workers’ compensation insurance in Florida will help your employees pay for medical bills due to the following:
- Accidents and injuries -Your employees may be involved in a workplace accident; if they need medical treatment, their medical bills would be covered by workers’ compensation.
- Illness – If an employee becomes ill as a result of being exposed to allergens or other hazardous materials at work, they can make a workers’ compensation claim.
- Repetitive injury – Workers’ comp will also pay benefits for a recurring work-related condition, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Ongoing care – Even if your employee returns to work, they may require ongoing medical care as a result of their accident or illness. Workers’ comp covers this ongoing care, including any additional doctor’s appointments or surgeries.
If your employee’s accident or illness results in permanent or temporary disability, they will receive weekly or lump sum payments. Payments will be based on whether they have a temporary or permanent disability. A temporary disability means that their injury will only prevent them from working while they recover. On the other hand, if a doctor determines that they have an injury from which they will not fully recover, they have a permanent disability.
Temporary and permanent disabilities are further split into two categories each for workers’ compensations purposes:
- Temporary total disability (TTD) – These payments are made in the event that your employee is unable to work at all while recovering.
- Temporary partial disability (TPD) – TPD payments are made when your employee is still able to work, but only with certain restrictions, such as light work duties or fewer hours. Even if your company does not provide work that meets these requirements, your employee may still be eligible.
- Permanent total disability (PTD) – If your employee is unable to work even after they recover from their accident or illness, they will be eligible for PTD payments.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) – Employees who have permanent impairments, but are able to work with those impairments will be eligible for PPD.
Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
If an employee passes away from a work injury the employee’s survivors may receive death benefits. To qualify the employee would have to pass away within one year of the accident, or within five years of continuous disability. Workers’ compensation benefits to dependents of up to $150,000 (paid at up to 66.67% of the decedent’s weekly wage). As well as funeral expenses up to $7,500.
Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Laws
According to Florida workers’ compensation law, most businesses with four or more employees require workers’ compensation coverage. However, your industry, staff size, and the types of employees you have all have an impact on the specific coverage you require.
The following type of business require a workers’ compensation policy in Florida:
- Businesses that employ at least one person in the construction industry. Keep in mind that corporate officers and members of limited liability companies (LLCs) are also considered employees.
- Agricultural businesses employing at least six people. Coverage is also required if 12 temporary employees work more than 30 days in a season. But no more than 45 days in a calendar year.
- Out-of-state employers with employees in Florida must have a workers’ compensation policy with an approved insurance carrier.
- Contractors who use independent contractors must ensure that they have workers’ compensation coverage for them before beginning a project.
There are a few exemptions for businesses and employees in Florida who do not require coverage. For example, sole proprietors can avoid the need for workers’ compensation coverage by filing for an exemption certificate. But if you are a sole proprietor, you can still purchase a policy by filing an election of coverage with The Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Some businesses outside of the construction industry can apply for exemptions:
- Corporations that are not in the construction industry – If this applies to you, and you want an exemption, an executive of your corporation must register with the Division of Corporations of the Florida Department of State and apply for a workers’ compensation exemption.
- Limited liability companies (LLCs) – If you own at least 10% of an LLC, you can apply to have up to 10 members of your business exempted. To do this, you must register with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations.
Even if you own a construction business, you might still be able to apply for a workers’ comp exemption. The eligibility for exemption for businesses in the construction industry is slightly different from the above. Construction corporations and LLCs must still register with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations. And meet the following requirements:
- An executive of the corporation or a member of an LLC with at least 10% ownership must apply
- No more than three members have exemptions
- A mandatory $50 application fee
How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If you’re looking for workers’ compensation insurance, your best bet is to speak to an insurance agent. With one of our agents, you can purchase a policy through a private commercial insurance company. EZ offers a simple online application that allows Florida businesses to compare quotes from top insurance carriers.
Another option is getting coverage through the state fund. The Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association manages this fund. Which can write policies for businesses that have a rejection from private insurance companies.
You can also self-insure your workers’ compensation claims. This means that instead of paying a monthly premium and submitting claims to an insurance carrier, you will pay them yourself out-of-pocket. You will need to apply to do this, though, and meet certain requirements.
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How to Get the Most Savings
Even though most workers’ compensation costs are determined by factors that are beyond your control. There are still ways to save. For example, a safety program is an effective way to keep workers safe on the job. It will limit claims and keep your premiums down. It is essential to have safety and standard working procedures in place for any potential hazards, regardless of your industry. Since employees who receive safety training are less likely to get hurt, it saves your company money on workers’ compensation.
It is also a good idea to regularly go over your claims history. Evaluating your claims history can enable you to identify and fix patterns. You may find that certain parts of your business operations are frequently the source of claims. And so, you should update the operations. You can save money by keeping an eye on potentially hazardous operations.
Properly classifying your employees is one of the most effective ways to save money. When you get workers’ compensation insurance, you’ll need to give each of your employees a classification code. And these risk classifications affect your premiums. For example, office workers will cost less to insure than manual laborers, so make sure you use these codes correctly. Not only that, but you could face fines if you fail to properly classify your employees.
Last but not least, working with an EZ agent can save you hundreds of dollars per year on workers’ compensation insurance. We specialize in insurance for a wide variety of small businesses. And can find the right policy for your business and your budget. Start a free online application today, so we can help you compare workers’ compensation insurance quotes for your small business from leading U.S. insurers.
Florida Workers’ Compensation FAQS
Are you required to have workers’ compensation insurance in Florida?
Yes, according to Florida workers’ compensation law, most companies with four or more employees require workers’ compensation coverage, but see above for exemptions. Employers who fail to hold the required workers’ compensation coverage face civil penalties. Typically, this would mean that your business would be subject to a stop-work order, which would require all operations to halt until you comply with the law and pay a fine. The fine will typically be equal to twice the insurance premium that should have been paid over the previous two years.
How do workers’ compensation settlements work in Florida?
Before settling a claim, your insurance company will ask your employee and their attorney to determine the total amount of expected related expenses. But your insurance company will not automatically pay a settlement based on these calculations. Often, your insurance company and your employee’s attorney will negotiate for some time before reaching an agreement that is satisfactory to all parties. If they are unable to reach an agreement, a hearing or lawsuit may be held.
If your injured employee chooses to escalate a claim to a larger settlement negotiation, you should remain involved in that discussion to limit liability in the event of a lawsuit.
What is the statute of limitations in Florida?
According to Florida law, an employee cannot claim benefits, receive medical treatment, or sue for lost wages if the injury occurred more than two years ago.
But the two-year statute of limitations has a few exceptions:
- If the injured employee is a minor
- If the injured employee is mentally incapacitated
- If the employer misled the employee about coverage eligibility
- If the insurance company failed to properly inform the employee of his or her rights
- The coverage is for medical prosthetic device care
Why Use EZ
We do everything we can to make shopping for workers’ compensation insurance as simple and stress-free as possible. We give our customers our undivided attention, and offer services tailored to your business, as well as instant results. You can receive free quotes from an agent, who will understand your needs as soon as you fill out our form. We want to make sure you make the best decision and get the coverage you need at a price within your budget. All of our services are free so get your customized assistance today!
If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3538. You will speak with a local insurance agent who can answer all of your questions, and help you find the workers’ compensation policy that works best for your business.