Who needs to be covered by the policy, where you can buy it and how much it will cost are all mandated or influenced by state law. In Florida, most businesses with four or more employees must carry a workers’ compensation policy.
Your coverage only applies within the state, but Florida does have reciprocity with several other states for temporary out-of-state work. In addition, many insurance companies will issue their policies with an All States Endorsement, which allows for coverage to apply in any non-monopolistic state for temporary work or business-related travel outside of Florida.
Small Business Work Comp Requirements in FloridaYou are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in Florida if:
- You have four or more part- or full-time employees. This includes corporate officers and Limited Liability Company (LLC) members.
- You are in the construction industry and have at least one part- or full-time employee. Sole proprietors, corporate officers and LLC members are considered employees, and many trades are classified as construction businesses in Florida.
- You are in the agricultural industry and have at least six employees.
How to Buy Small Business Workers’ Compensation InsuranceFlorida has a private market. You can purchase a workers’ compensation policy from any private insurance carrier or agency that is licensed to write in that state. Another option is to contract with an employee leasing company or professional employer organization. These companies become the legal employer of your workers and provide work comp coverage, in exchange for a fee. Commercial self-insurance funds are also available, and allow members to share liability for workers’ compensation insurance.
Coverage and Rates in FloridaA Florida workers’ compensation policy is only in effect within the state. If your employees travel across state lines to work, make sure you comply with their work comp requirements. Florida is a base rate state, which means the initial insurance rates are mandated by the state. Florida uses NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance) to recommend base rates for each class code. The base rate is multiplied by your payroll, and then your experience modifier and other discounts may be applied to calculate the final premium. While insurance costs spiked in 2016, more recently Florida rates have decreased. In late 2017, the Florida Insurance Commissioner ordered a statewide rate decrease, citing that safer workplaces and greater use of automation led to fewer workplace injuries. Florida’s workers’ compensation system has been hotly debated over the past several years, as lawmakers have sought to control insurance costs. The state legislature also recently passed a bill expanding workers’ compensation benefits to first responders that suffer PTSD or other mental injuries in the line of work.
Florida Work Comp Resources
- Workers’ compensation regulation: Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation
- Assigned risk pool: Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association, Inc.
- Florida rating bureau: NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance)
Here’s What You Need to Get StartedTo buy workers compensation insurance, you need to request a quote from a licensed insurance agent and provide some details about your business. Here’s what to have in front of you:
- Number of employees in each class code.
- Total payroll for all employees. You may be able to exclude yourself if you don’t wish to be covered under the policy.
- Federal ID Number. If you are a sole proprietor, you can use your Social Security Number.
- Copy of your workers comp insurance policy, if you’ve had coverage or claims in the past few years. If you know your company’s experience mod, please have your experience mod rating sheet or policy in front of you. Otherwise, you will be assigned a default rating of 1.0.
Other TipsIf you employ workers in multiple states or your employees are temporarily working out-of-state, you need to purchase insurance for all the states where your workers are located, according to each state’s laws. Call 704-341-2650 and let us walk you through it. The nature of your business, number of employees being covered and past coverage and claims are all factors in how much your premium will cost.
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