Florida Workers’ Compensation Policy Coverage for Commercial Fishing Companies

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Workers’ compensation insurance exists to compensate employees for injuries that they sustain while on the job. According to Rule 69L-6.021 in the Florida Administrative Code, employers must provide workers’ compensation insurance for employees of nearly all business, depending on the number of people that they employ. This includes commercial fishing companies, which are a type of agricultural business.

If you have a commercial fishing company and are interested in quickly finding an affordable workers’ compensation insurance policy for your employees, get in touch with NPN Brokers for a quote. NPN Brokers is equipped to help commercial fishing companies in Florida find workers’ compensation insurance policies with minimal time and effort. Call (866) 340-9120 to learn about securing a workers’ compensation policy for your business.

Overview of Workers’ Compensation Policy Coverage

Both employees and employers can benefit from workers’ compensation insurance. Employers are protected from lawsuits from injured employees when they have workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance can benefit employees who are injured while they are working by allowing them to seek compensation for their injuries.

The costs they may recover through workers’ compensation insurance are costs related to their injuries; these may be wages lost due to an inability to work or expenses related to medical treatment (including prescription costs, physical therapy, physician visits and hospital stays). Workers’ compensation insurance pays death benefits to the families of employees who die while they are working.

Employees that have workers’ compensation insurance should note that there are certain conditions that can keep them from receiving benefits. If an employee inflicts an injury on him- or herself, they will be exempt from receiving benefits. Employees will also be denied workers’ compensation benefits if they were injured while they were intoxicated, under the influence of drugs, or failed to wear proper safety gear or adhere to safety guidelines at work.

The cost of workers’ compensation insurance policies in Florida is determined according to a formula that includes a few factors. Firstly, the type of work that a company does is taken into account. Companies that do work in industries with a high risk of injury are charged a higher premium for workers’ compensation insurance. Another factor that determines that price of workers’ comp is the number of claims that have been made in that class of business during the preceding five years.

Workers’ compensation insurance rates are set by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). Base rates for workers’ compensation are given per $100 of an employer’s payroll.

Workers’ Compensation for Florida Commercial Fishing Companies

In Florida, employers that are in the farming and agriculture industry are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance policies for employees. Commercial fishing is considered to be a type of agricultural and farming. Commercial fishing companies may do any type of fishing, whether for finfish, shellfish, or other marine life such as sponges and seaweed; fish hatcheries and preserves are also included in this category.

Any agricultural or farming company that employs at least six people year-round or 12 people seasonally must get a workers’ compensation policy for employees. This applies to regular employers, subcontractors, and contractors, but it does not apply to independent contractors.

The Jones Act

The Jones Act, which is also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a law that allows workers who are injured at sea to recover compensation for their injuries. Employees for commercial fishing companies injured at sea can, under the Jones Act, sue their employers on the basis of either unseaworthiness (the owner of the ship failed to fulfill their duty to provide the crew with a seaworthy vessel), negligence (the shipowner’s negligence caused an injury to an employee on board), or maintenance and care (the shipowner did not provide proper food, lodging, or health care).

Through the Jones Act, employees are able to recover compensation for lost wages and medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. While the Jones Act protects an important right, it is usually easier for injured employees to seek compensation through regular workers’ compensation policies.

Penalties for Failing to Get Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Employers that fail to get a workers’ compensation insurance policy for employees can face severe consequences. They may be fined $1,000 from the State of Florida or be forced to pay a fine that equals two times the amount that they should have paid in premiums.

Companies that do not have workers’ compensation insurance may also be issued a stop-work order. This order will require them to cease working until they obtain workers’ compensation for employees. Employers that fail to buy a policy for employees are also susceptible to lawsuits from employees.

It is a possibility that businesses can face civil actions or criminal charges for certain offenses pertaining to workers’ compensation policies. These offenses include taking steps to ensure that a workers’ comp claim is denied, threatening to fire or otherwise retaliating against employees that file claims, or deducting the cost of insurance from employees’ paychecks. It is also illegal for employers to declare that employees are independent contractors in an attempt to avoid having to provide insurance for them.

Get a Quote on Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Your Commercial Fishing Company in Florida

Protect your Florida business and your employees by getting a workers’ compensation insurance policy. NPN Brokers is available to help commercial fishing companies of all sizes get affordable workers’ comp policies. Get in touch with NPN Brokers today for a quote on a policy. Call (866) 340-9120.