If you are planning on starting a business in Florida it is time to start researching Worker’s Compensation Insurance laws. All business owners must invest in work comp insurance to protect their employees in the event that they are injured during the course of doing business. Business owners who do not comply must pay penalties that are generally much higher than the insurance premiums. When you are shopping for Worker’s Compensation Insurance, there are several factors you need to consider so you have peace of mind in knowing that all of your employees are protected. Here are some important facts you should know so you are prepared when you meet with your agent:
What Businesses Are Required to Have Coverage?
Businesses in every field or industry need to carry worker’s compensation insurance in Florida. The Florida Department of Financial Services requires any business with four or more full-time employees to have continuous coverage. If you are in the construction industry, you must carry insurance if you have one or more full-time employees. Another exception to the rule has to do with farms. Farms with 5 or more employees and 12 seasonal employees must have cover.
Understanding How to Categorize Your Employees
A worker’s compensation insurer will rate your premiums based on what your employees do. If you have a number of different employees with different duties, you may pay different premiums for each department. For example, your customer service payroll will be rated one premium and your logistics department will be rated another. If you are ever confused by how your employees should be rated, explain what these employees do to the agent so they can select the right coding.
Understanding How to Report Payroll
Worker’s Compensation Insurance premiums in Florida are rated based on how much you expect to pay your employees for the year. If you have hourly employees and you are not sure exactly how much each employee will work throughout the year, you have to make an estimate. If you plan on hiring more employees, you may need to adjust the payroll throughout the term. If you underestimate the payroll, you will have to pay more after your audit. The additional charges can add up if you are way off on your payroll calculations.
What Does Worker’s Compensation Cover?
In Florida, work comp benefits will give employees access to all reasonable and necessary treatments for injuries that are sustained during the course of work. Some of the things covered include: doctor visits, prescriptions, surgery, rehabilitation, x rays and other services. Death benefits are also available if the employee dies as a result of injuries.
Carrying worker’s compensation insurance in Florida is a must. Make sure you choose an experienced agent when you are quoting your insurance. The agent will help you understand the premiums you are paying and they will also help you gather the documentation you need during an audit. This insurance will prevent unnecessary lawsuits while still offering your employees the treatment they need to recover.
Injured employees are required to inform the appropriate person in authority of their injury within thirty days or their claim will likely be denied. Employees are also responsible to perform their job duties in a safe and responsible manner, and therefore do their part to prevent the possibility of on the job injuries. If the job requires the employee to use specific safety equipment, he or she must not arbitrarily decide that such equipment is not necessary.
In the state of Florida, worker’s compensation coverage is paid for by the employer and no employee contribution is required. Employers are strictly prohibited by the laws of the state from asking an injured worker to pay for any part of his or her care following an injury. They are also prohibited from garnishing the employee’s wages after he or she has returned to work in order to compensate themselves for the costs associated with the incident.
Florida worker’s compensation insurance does not provide coverage for injuries that occur while an employee was intoxicated with alcohol or otherwise under the influence of any legal or illegal substance that could result in impaired motor skills or reduced cognitive function. Both employees and employers should have a thorough understanding of their rights and responsibilities regarding worker’s compensation insurance under Florida state law. It is never wise to base decisions on assumptions concerning how much or what type of coverage to obtain. If these aspects are confusing to an employer, he or she should seek the advice of a professional insurance agent for further clarification.