If you’re a small business operating in Florida with only a few employees, you may be wondering if you have to have a workers compensation insurance policy. The truth is that it depends on your industry and the number of employees you employ. Let’s take a look at the workers compensation law in Florida.
Understanding When You Need to Have a Workers Compensation Policy in Florida
The law in Florida requires most businesses to have a workers compensation policy.
Workers Compensation in the Construction Industry
Companies that are part of the construction industry are required to have a workers compensation policy if they have at least one employee, which includes business owners who are also corporate officers as well as LLC members.
Workers Compensation for Non-Construction Related Industries
For industries that are not related to construction, they must have a valid workers compensation policy if they have at least four employees. Business owners who are also corporate officers and LLC board members are also considered employees in this context.
Workers Compensation Requirements for Agriculture
Agriculture businesses are required to have workers compensation if they employ at least six regular employees and/or 12 or more seasonal workers, providing those seasonal workers work at least 30 days and no more than 45 days in a calendar year.
Workers Compensation for Out-of-State Employers
Out-of-state employers are required by the state of Florida to notify their insurance provider that they are conducting business in Florida. If they do not have a workers compensation policy, they must get one for the state of Florida with an approved insurance carrier.
Workers Compensation Requirements for Contractors
Contractors must ensure that any subcontractors they hire have workers compensation insurance for the state of Florida before the subcontractor performs any work. The 69L-6.032 Florida Administrative Code covers the documents required by the state of Florida for subcontractors working for a contractor. It’s important to note that if a contractor hires a subcontractor that does not have a workers compensation policy, the subcontractor becomes an employee of the contractor, and the contractor is responsible for any workers compensation claims.
Workers Compensation for Sole-Proprietors and Partnerships
Companies that are run by sole-proprietors or partnerships and not part of the construction industry are not considered employees who are required to get workers compensation insurance. However, these business owners can be considered employees for the purpose of a workers compensation policy if they file a DWC 251.
Understanding What Worker’s Compensation Covers
Workers compensation covers injuries and illnesses that occur on the job or as a direct result of performing the job. This includes:
- Covers wages that are lost due to an on-the-job illness or injury
- Any medical expenses that occur as a result of the illness or injury
- Funeral costs if the employee dies as a result of the injury or illness
- Any legal fees related to an on-the-job injury or illness
For Example: Let’s say Joe works in a factory. One day at his job, he drops a heavy box on his foot causing a broken bone. A workers compensation policy would pay for Joe’s medical expenses related to his broken foot and his lost wages for the time he is unable to go to work due to his broken foot.
Should You get a Workers Compensation Policy if You’re not Legally Required to Do So?
The truth is that you should consider getting a workers compensation policy if you have employees other than yourself and are not in a construction-related field, even if you’re not legally required to do so. This is because if your employees get hurt while performing their jobs, you could be found 100 percent responsible for paying their medical expenses.
For Example: Let’s say you own a bakery as a sole proprietor that’s only open three days a week during regular business hours. You employ three people and cover any shifts they cannot. One day, one of your employees experiences a bad burn while taking an item out of the oven. The burn requires immediate medical care. Without a workers compensation package, you may have to use your business funds to pay for those medical expenses, especially if the employee sues you for medical expenses and lost wages due to the injury.
Getting a Workers Compensation Policy with Fearnow
If you need a workers compensation policy for your business, our agents at Fearnow can help you find the right one for your needs. We can write policies for all types of industries, including construction, retail and service industries. We also offer additional business insurance policies, including commercial property, general liability and commercial vehicle insurance.
To learn more about workers compensation and to get a quote, give us a call at 813-689-8878.