In the seven seconds that it will take you to read this sentence, someone is likely facing an injury on the job.
People are injured at work at an astounding rate across all industries and in all states. That’s why it’s always better to be safe than sorry with the right workman’s comp coverage for your industry.
If you’re a Florida business owner and you don’t know the ins and outs of workman’s comp, we’ve got a helpful guide for you.
It’s a complicated subject, but here’s what you need to know to make sure your business is meeting the state’s worker’s compensation requirements.
What is Workman’s Comp?
Workman’s comp is known by several names. It’s also commonly referred to as worker’s compensation.
However you see it written or referred to, it’s a type of insurance coverage that businesses purchase as a means to protect both themselves and their employees.
While the laws vary from state to state, coverage requirements in the United States first appeared in the early 1900s. Most states caught on quickly: by 1921, all but six states had enforced some kind of legislation.
The Importance of Workman’s Comp
So why is workman’s comp so important?
In a nutshell, the importance of workman’s comp boils down to this: protection.
If one of your employees is injured on the job, he or she won’t have to worry about footing the full bill when it comes to medical costs.
You’re also sheltered from huge losses involved in shelling out money for injuries, lost wages, or costs associated with funeral preparations in the event of a work-related death.
Not only does this type of coverage help subsidize medical expenses for injured employees, but it also covers any legal costs you may incur. If an employee takes legal action because of an injury incurred on the job or a work-related illness, you won’t be left in the lurch.
It’s also worth mentioning that it’s required by law for most Florida businesses.
That means if you don’t purchase the right coverage for your employees, you risk having to pay considerable fines. It’s possible to be out up to two times the amount of the premium you would have paid in a prior two-year period. You could also face criminal charges.
Overview of Workman’s Comp Coverage Requirements in Florida
Every state has different guidelines for coverage requirements. But here’s a look at the important points to know as a business in the state of Florida.
Most employers in Florida are required to provide worker’s compensation for their employees.
The coverage requirements vary depending on factors, such as:
- The type of business you own
- Your industry
- The size of your company
- How many workers you employ
If you run a solo operation, or qualify as a partner of a business registered with the Division of Corporations, you don’t have to have this type of insurance. You can opt for it, however, by filing for permission with the state.
Specific Requirements by Industry
There are several industries that fall under specific requirements according to Florida’s workman’s comp laws.
If you run a construction business, you’re required to provide this type of coverage to every employee. Even if you have only one employee, and that’s you, it’s a must.
This includes contract employees, part-time workers, and even your other business partners.
If your business falls under the agricultural industry umbrella, you need to provide coverage if you have:
- Six full-time employees
- 12 seasonal employees that perform duties more than 30 days in one work season
But it’s also important that your seasonal employees don’t work more than 45 days total in one full calendar year.
If you have four or more employees, including yourself as the owner, you need to provide worker’s compensation coverage to your employees.
If you’re a contractor, you must also make sure that all subcontractors are covered by worker’s compensation insurance. This is essential before your subcontractors being any work at all.
Finally, you could qualify for an exemption for coverage, but you need to apply for it.
What to Know About Purchasing Coverage
You can purchase workman’s comp coverage through a private insurance provider that’s licensed in the state of Florida.
There’s another alternative to purchasing directly from your business insurance agent. You could opt for what’s called employee leasing. Employee leasing allows you as a business owner to initiate a contractual agreement with a professional employer organization (PEO).
In this situation, the PEO is officially considered the employer. This means they’re responsible for managing everything from taxes, wages, and worker’s compensation. Your job is to supply the money to the leasing company who will then provide the necessary workman’s comp insurance coverage to your workers.
What Influences the Cost of Coverage
The cost of your required workman’s comp coverage can be impacted by a number of different factors. These could include:
- The size of your business
- Type of work you conduct
- The risk associated with the work you do
As a Florida business, you can expect a quote to based on this equation and the following factors:
- Your annual payroll divided by 100
- This is then multiplied by a specific rate called the Experience Modification Factor
- This rate corresponds to the type of industry you’re associated with and the work you do
If your head is spinning, no need to worry. There’s a worker’s compensation specialist standing by ready to assist. We’ll help you work through the moving parts associated with the coverage costs.
Finding the Best Workman’s Comp Coverage for Your Needs
Workman’s comp insurance coverage is an important part of running a business in Florida. And our team is here to help you find the right coverage for your particular needs.
We’re here to answer all of your questions. Don’t hesitate: contact us today for a quote.