Workers Compensation Insurance for Florida Companies with Latino Employees
Like many other states, Florida dictates the requirements for workers’ compensation insurance as they apply to businesses in its borders. However, because the laws surrounding workers’ comp are decided at the state level, Florida’s laws are unique in the nation. For this reason, it is important for employers to understand the expectations and enforcement surrounding the Sunshine State’s regulations and how they relate to each industry.
Although the state mandates workers’ compensation insurance for the majority of employers, companies often find roadblocks when attempting to find a policy. This tends to happen because insurance carriers are under no obligation to provide the coverage that companies need to operate legally, especially if that business seems likely to experience accidents and injuries.
At NPN Brokers, we understand these difficulties, and we can offer solutions. If you are worried about your insurance status or you need coverage as soon as possible, let us help. Contact us today at (866) 340-9120 or visit us online.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation is important for more than just the legal cover it provides with the state. A workers’ comp policy covers the expenses that can be incurred when an employee is injured: medical bills, prescription costs, and missed income. The policy will also cover the legal expenses related to any lawsuit an injured worker might file.
In short, a workers’ compensation policy can save employers a lot of money and stress in the long run. While the cost of the insurance can seem prohibitive, it is dwarfed by the cost of a hurt employee; the National Safety Council has estimated that a single medically consulted workplace injury costs, on average, close to $40,000.
Coverage Requirements for Workers’ Comp Insurance
The state’s Department of Workers’ Compensation, or DWC, clearly lists the thresholds at which a company must obtain a workers’ comp insurance policy. The regulations regarding the construction industry state that any company in that field with one or more employees must maintain insurance. This applies to both general contractors and subcontractors; it also extends to a long list of specific areas under Rule 69L-6.021 of the Florida Administrative Code – including landscaping, painting, roofing, and farm equipment operation – and applies to every type of employee, be they white or Latino, documented or not.
For agricultural businesses, the requirements under Florida law are much more relaxed. The owner of a farming business only needs to provide workers’ compensation insurance if they have six or more regular employees or 12 or more seasonal employees. To qualify as seasonal, a worker must work at least 30 days in a season, but they can work no more than 45 days in the calendar year. Like the provision on construction businesses, it applies to all employees, no matter their status.
All other types of businesses share the same rule: if the company has four or more employees, it must have a workers’ comp policy in place.
What Are the Penalties for Not Having Coverage?
Failing to secure workers’ compensation insurance for your business can cause the Florida authorities to level some steep penalties against your company. The typical fine for a company caught without a policy is double what the policy’s premiums would have cost over the period on which they were uninsured, up to two years; the minimum penalty for this is $1,000.
The government can also issue a stop-work order against you, which means that you cannot legally operate your business until you secure the necessary insurance coverage and pay all applicable fines and fees. Ignoring one of these orders is not recommended; the cost of a violation is $1,000 for each day you operated illegally. Also consider the fact that being forced to cease work in the midst of a job will only hurt your business’s reputation.
Additional infractions can add to those consequences and could even result in jail time. Falsifying statements, misrepresenting employees, deducting money from employees’ wages to pay workers’ comp premiums, and failing to report injuries are all forms of insurance fraud and can lead to felony charges if severe enough.
Options for Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Insurance
A business owner who wants to find a workers’ compensation policy has a few options. The most straightforward avenue is simply reaching out to an insurance carrier directly. For some companies, this may be the best option, but any business whose employees operate in a potentially dangerous environment – a roofing company, for instance – may have a hard time convincing a carrier to sell them a policy; a newly established company that lacks a history of safe workplaces or paid premiums could have the same issue.
If the traditional option is closed to you, know that you have another option: a professional employer organization, or PEO. These business entities handle a portion of your administrative tasks and extend workers’ compensation insurance to your employees at a reduced rate.
Get the Coverage You Need Today with NPN Brokers
If you have struggled to find a policy that fits your budget, NPN Brokers is here for you. Our specialization and experience in the area of workers’ compensation insurance gives us a unique perspective on the problems that crop up for Florida employers. We believe in finding you the most affordable rate possible so your business can thrive without the interruption of a state investigation. For more information about our services, contact us today at (866) 340-9120 or visit us online.