What Employers Need to Know: Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Many employers have questions about Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Workers’ compensation is a vital resource for business owners around the United States, and each state has different rules and regulations that govern who needs to be covered, where you can obtain a policy, and how much it will cost. In the State of Florida, most businesses with four or more employees are required to carry workers’ comp insurance, though there are some exceptions. If you are an employer in the State of Florida, the best way to protect your employees and avoid costly penalties is to stay compliant with all in-state guidelines, which are centrally managed by the Florida Department of Financial Services. To save you time, let’s review some of the important workers’ comp details that every Florida employer should know.

How to Tell If Your Business Needs Workers’ Comp in Florida

According to the Florida Division of Workers Compensation (DWC), coverage requirements are based on a business’ industry type and the number of workers it employs. Here are some of the key guidelines employers should consider:

  • Non-construction industry: Businesses outside the construction industry must purchase workers’ comp insurance if they staff four or more employees, including business owners who act as corporate officers or Limited Liability Company (LLC) members. Sole proprietors are not considered employees unless they want to be included in a business’ insurance policy and file a form with the DWC.
  • Construction industry: Any company operating in the construction industry that has at least one part- or full-time employee is required to obtain workers’ compensation, even if the only person on-staff is a corporate officer or LLC member.
  • Agricultural industry: Business owners who work in agriculture must secure a workers’ comp policy if they have six or more regular employees or at least 12 seasonal workers.
  • Contractors: Florida law requires all independent contractors to ensure their subcontractors have workers’ comp insurance before the start of each project. If a subcontractor does not have a workers’ compensation policy, you can be held financially responsible for any workplace accidents that involve their employees.

Generally speaking, almost all employers that do business in the state of Florida should provide their employees with workers’ compensation benefits. Without a comprehensive policy, business owners would need to pay an injured worker’s medical bills and lost wages out of pocket, which can significantly impact their profitability in the long term.

How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Cost in Florida?

Florida has a private workers’ comp insurance market, so business owners can purchase a policy from any carrier or agency that is licensed to write in the state. Because insurance premiums are mandated, there isn’t much cost variability among insurance companies. The premium you receive is based on a manual rating process that considers your employees’ job duties and classifications, which help carriers, determine your risk exposure.

Workers’ comp providers in Florida establish base rates for each class code based on the recommendations of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). Once your base rate is confirmed, your insurance carrier will multiply that figure by your payroll and experience modifier. If you’re signing up for workers’ comp for the first time, you’ll be asked to provide an FEIN number, an official employee count along with their payroll amounts, description of operations, job duties and the physical address of your place(s) of business.

Workers’ compensation can be complicated, but FFVA Mutual is here to help!

To locate an agency appointed with FFVA Mutual, click here.

If you’d like to learn more about how Florida’s laws and regulations impact your business, visit our Employer FAQ or state forms resource page.