Small Business Workers’ Comp Policies in Florida
It can be difficult for small businesses in Florida to find affordable workers’ compensation insurance. All businesses that employ at least four people (with the exception of construction-related businesses or agricultural businesses) are required under Florida law to buy and carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. However, depending on the level of risk associated with the type of work that a business does, the price of insurance may not always be affordable.
NPN Brokers is dedicated to helping small businesses like yours find workers’ compensation policies that meet all their needs. If you are a small business that is looking for a good workers’ compensation insurance policy, get in touch with NPN Brokers as soon as possible by calling (866) 340-9120 or visiting us online.
Who Must Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Florida
All businesses in the State of Florida that employ four or more people (either full-time or part-time) must provide workers’ compensation insurance for employees. There are a few exceptions to this requirement. Those exceptions are:
- Construction-related businesses must carry workers’ compensation insurance if they employ at least one person; subcontractors are considered their own employee and must buy workers’ comp insurance for themselves. Construction-related fields are usually those that require manual labor; landscaping and tree removal, plumbing, electrical work, heating and ventilation, roofing and siding, carpentry, and other types of work are included in this category. Construction-related businesses are able to exempt up to three corporate officers if each one can demonstrate that they own at least 10% of the company.
- Agricultural companies must carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have at least six year-round employees or at least 12 seasonal employees.
- Sole proprietors and partners of businesses are excluded from workers’ comp coverage requirements. However, they are able to purchase coverage by filing for election of coverage.
Failure to Maintain a Workers’ Comp Policy
Florida businesses are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are many consequences, both legal and otherwise, that businesses can face if they fail to meet this requirement.
If an employer fails to carry workers’ compensation insurance for its employees, those employees are able to sue their employer for costs incurred as a result of any injuries that they suffer while on the job. Businesses that fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance may also be subject to fines from the State of Florida. These fines may be either $1,000 or twice the amount that the company would have paid in premiums if they had been paying for workers’ compensation insurance.
One of the most drastic consequences of failing to get workers’ compensation insurance is a loss of the ability to conduct business. Businesses that fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance may be issued a stop-work order. This order will prevent them from doing any business until they comply with Florida’s workers’ compensation policies. Continuing to work after the issuance of a stop-work order carries additional penalties.
Companies also put themselves at risk for civil actions or criminal charges if they fail to report employee injuries, try to ensure that employee claims are denied, or threaten to fire employees that file workers’ compensation claims. If an employer tries to avoid getting a policy for an employee by declaring that they are an independent contractor, the employer may be subject to a $5,000 fine and fraud charges.
What Workers’ Compensation Insurance Covers
Workers’ compensation insurance policies cover the costs that are incurred by an employee when they are injured on the job. These costs may be medical costs (such as hospital stays, physical therapy, ambulances, or medication) or a partial recovery of any wages lost due to an employee’s inability to work.
Workers’ compensation policies also cover costs related to death if an employee dies while at work; the benefits are paid to the deceased employee’s family. Death benefits may include up to $7,500 for funeral expenses, up to $150,000 for the deceased employee’s dependents, and education benefits for the surviving spouse.
Employees are not eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits if their injuries happen while they are not observing necessary safety rules or using proper safety equipment, if they are drunk or otherwise under the influence, or if they intentionally inflict the injury upon themselves.
Employees are subject to a statute of limitations following any injuries for which they seek to file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ comp claims must be filed within two years of the employee’s injury. Exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations are made if the worker is a minor or mentally incompetent, was misled about their coverage by their employer, or was not properly informed about their rights by the insurance carrier.
How Workers’ Compensation Insurance is Priced
The National Council on Compensation Insurance is the centralized rating bureau that sets the prices of insurance policies for various industries. They set prices by classifying similar jobs together into class codes, each of which is largely determined by the level of risk associated with each job; premiums for jobs with risky duties are higher than those with a lower risk. Rates are provided per $100 of an employer’s payroll.
Finding Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Small Businesses in Florida
Getting a workers’ compensation insurance policy for your business is the right course of action for both you and the people you employ. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with NPN Brokers to learn more about how you can get a workers’ compensation insurance quote within minutes. Visit us online or call (866) 340-9120 today.