Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Construction Companies in Florida
Florida is notorious for imposing stringent requirements on companies regarding workers’ compensation insurance. For most businesses, this means that they must maintain a workers’ comp policy if they have four or more employees; for construction companies, the standard is even more strict. Potentially painful consequences await any business that violates the requirements for their industry, including fines, fees, stop-work orders, and even – in some cases – criminal charges.
However, several options exist to allow construction companies to get the policy they need if they want to stay in compliance with state regulations. For those who may be unsure about their prospects, or who face hurdles in finding coverage at a reasonable rate, NPN Brokers can help. We have the connections and expertise to find you the policy that best fits your needs. Contact us today at (866) 340-9120 or visit us online to learn more.
Rules for Workers’ Compensation in the Construction Industry
Like the vast majority of employers that operate in Florida, construction companies are required to keep an active workers’ compensation insurance policy on file. More accurately, any company that is working in a construction-related field – as defined by Rule 69L-6.021 of the Florida Administrative Code – and that has at least one employee is obligated to have a workers’ comp policy.
Be aware that the state takes a broad view of what constitutes a construction company. This classification can include anyone from landscapers and paperhangers to roofers and farm equipment operators. If any employee of your business falls under one of these classes, your entire company will be held to the state’s requirements for construction companies, no matter what the focus of your work may be.
Those who may want to circumvent this law should know that state investigators are empowered to conduct on-site inspections and examine business records. In addition, the state’s Department of Workers’ Compensation maintains a Proof of Coverage database specifically so the status of any company’s policy can be conveniently checked at any time.
Provisions for General Contractors
Technically speaking, general contractors are held to the same standard of coverage as any other construction company in that they must have a workers’ comp policy if they have even one employee on the payroll. However, there are additional provisions of the law that relate to subcontractors, and they are worth mentioning here.
Under the law, all subcontractors are supposed to insure their own employees before they begin working on a job. Of course, in a world of deadlines and schedules it can be tempting to give the green light to a subcontractor under the assumption that they are insured; if you are a general contractor, this could be a grave mistake.
The law clearly states that any injury that happens on a job site you control becomes your responsibility if the subcontractor that employs the injured worker does not have the proper insurance coverage. In the event of an accident, you could suddenly find yourself on the hook for medical bills or missed income, and you could even end up the target of a lawsuit.
The best way to cover your bases is to obtain the appropriate documentation from any subcontractors you hire proving that they are covered. The state spells out which three documents it recognizes as evidence of a valid workers’ compensation insurance policy:
- A copy of the “information page” from the subcontractor’s policy
- A screen print of the page on the Department of Workers’ Compensation’s Proof of Coverage database showing that the subcontractor has a policy on file with the state
- A Certificate of Liability Insurance issued by the insurance producer or carrier confirming that the appropriate coverage is in place and additional written documentation, which can take the form of a computer printout (as described above)
Options for Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage
Although a number of avenues exist for companies looking for workers’ comp coverage, finding a policy that suits your company can be trickier than it may seem. While the state may mandate that you have coverage, they do not force any insurance carriers to provide that coverage if you appear to be a potential liability for that provider.
Construction companies can be especially vulnerable to the judgements of insurance carriers because workers in the construction industry are often exposed to a high level of danger. This can make it difficult to convince a workers’ comp insurance provider to cover your company, or to offer an affordable rate. This is where professional employer organizations can make all the difference.
A professional employer organization, or PEO, is a business entity that takes over some of a company’s administrative aspects – mainly payroll and human resources – for a fee, and in exchange it can extend workers’ compensation coverage that company’s employees. This is often the only option for companies that has been unable to find a policy through the more common channels, or for companies that have been forced to halt operation and need immediate coverage to resume work.
Let NPN Brokers Get You the Coverage You Need
If you need affordable workers’ compensation insurance right away, your options are limited. Grappling with insurance companies can be a frustrating and ultimately fruitless task, or those same companies could charge you an arm and a leg for coverage the state forces you to obtain. If you find yourself caught in a situation like this, NPN Brokers can help. We have the unique ability to hunt down the policy that meets your needs in as little as 24 hours. To learn more, contact us at (866) 340-9120 or visit us online today.