How Many Employees Do You Need to Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Florida?
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Because it is regulated at the state level, workers’ compensation insurance laws can vary from place to place. In Florida, those regulations are governed by the state’s Department of Workers’ Compensation, or DWC. Business owners in the Sunshine State may be glad to know that the department lays out in relatively clear language the threshold at which workers’ comp becomes mandatory, although this does not necessarily indicate a smooth or easy process for those looking to get insured.
In fact, businesses in Florida often run into any number of hurdles when trying to find a policy that meets their needs. Despite the fact that the state requires insurance for the vast majority of employers, insurance carriers are by no means obligated to provide that insurance if they deem your company to be a liability; even if they do deign to provide coverage, the rates can be exorbitant.
At NPN Brokers, we understand these challenges, and we are dedicated to helping you stay in compliance with the law so you can go about your business without interruption by the state. To learn more about the services we offer, visit us online or call us today at (866) 340-9120.
Requirements for the Construction Industry
Florida laws regarding workers’ compensation requirements are stricter for construction-related fields than for any other. Any business working in that industry must carry a valid workers’ compensation policy if it has one or more employees, which can include a business owner who operates as a corporate officer or any member of a limited liability corporation. In short, unless you are self-employed and work entirely by yourself, you’ll probably need to find a workers’ compensation insurance policy.
It should also be noted that the state includes a broad swath of the job market when deciding what constitutes a construction-related field; the definition encompasses jobs like landscaper and farm equipment operator, as well as roofer, painter, and paperhanger. A full list of those job titles deemed construction-related can be found under Rule 69L-6.021 of the Florida Administration Code. If even one employee performs a job listed under the rule, your entire company will be held to the stricter standard, regardless of your company’s primary focus.
General contractors should bear in mind that they are responsible for making sure that all subcontractors they work with also have adequate workers’ comp coverage. According to state law, any subcontracted employee who is injured on the job and whose business does not carry workers’ comp insurance is considered to be an employee of the general contractor. This could mean thousands of dollars in medical bills, missed wages, or premium increases, not to mention potential lawsuits. Before allowing them to begin work, make sure your subcontractors all have a policy of their own in place.
Requirements for the Agricultural Industry
The regulations dictating workers’ compensation insurance coverage in the agricultural field are notably less stringent than those governing the construction industry. It seems likely that this is due to the more mercurial nature of agricultural work; regardless, the fact remains that owners of agricultural businesses only need to offer workers’ compensation if they have six or more regular employees or 12 or more seasonal employees.
To qualify as a seasonal employee, a worker must report to the job at least 30 days in a season but no more than 45 days in a calendar year. This rule applies to all seasonal employees, including migrant workers.
Requirements for Other Industries
Outside of the construction and agricultural industries, all Florida businesses share the same requirement for workers’ compensation insurance coverage. According to the DWC, these companies are required to maintain a workers’ comp policy if they have four or more employees. As with the construction industry, this includes an owner who doubles as a corporate officer or anyone who is part of an LLC.
Exemptions to Workers’ Comp Insurance Requirements
The DWC does allow exemptions, but only in very specific circumstances. Business owners can opt out of coverage for themselves, if they wish, by filing a Notice of Election to Be Exempt with the state. To be eligible for this, the business must be properly registered with the Florida Department of State.
If the DWC issues a certificate approving the exemption, the applicant will no longer be considered an employee of the company and will therefore be ineligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, by removing him- or herself from the pool of employees, an owner may be able to drop below the threshold at which workers’ compensation is required.
NPN Brokers Can Help Find the Plan That Works for You
With our experience and connections in the realm of workers’ compensation insurance, NPN Brokers is ready to find an affordable workers’ comp policy that fits your company at a price you can afford. We act fast: if you are facing a stop-work order or obstinate contractor, we can have you covered in as little as 24 hours. To learn more about all the services we offer, visit us online or call us today at (866) 340-9120.