Although there are a handful of exceptions, most businesses operating in Florida are required to get workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Whether a company needs to get workers’ compensation insurance is determined by a few factors: the number of employees, the industry that they work in, and whether the employee is an independent contractor, sole proprietor, or in a partnership with the business. Some employees, however, may be exempt from workers’ compensation insurance. This article will guide you through workers’ comp. and help you understand who qualifies for an exemption.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance In Florida

Who Is Exempt?

Almost all employees working in the state of Florida must be covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation policies. However, the following are a couple examples of those exempt from workers’ compensation:

Employees of companies with less than four employees, except for agricultural and construction companies.
Employees of agricultural companies that employ less than six full-time employees, or less than 12 seasonal employees.
Corporate officers with at least 10% ownership in non-construction companies are exempt from needing workers’ compensation insurance if the business is in good corporate standing. Keep in mind that up to three corporate officers of construction companies may be exempted as well.

It’s important to note that employees of companies that do construction or operate in construction related industries are required to have workers’ compensation even if they only employ one person. This could include companies that perform electrical work, concrete and stonework, landscaping and tree removal, plumbing, and more.

Workers’ Compensation Policy Benefits

The ultimate purpose of workers’ compensation insurance is to cover the cost of potential injuries that employees may suffer at work. Workers’ compensation policies include cover of medical bills and lost wages. Policies typically cover the expenses of hospital stays, medication, occupational therapy, medical equipment, visits to doctors, and ambulance rides. Additionally, lost wages that injured employees can recover are only partial and are capped after reaching a certain amount. Workers’ compensation insurance does not include compensation for pain/suffering as a result of the injury.

In the extreme case of a death on the job, workers’ compensation policies can also provide death benefits. They will be issued to the family of the deceased employee and can cover up to $7,500 for the funeral, and surviving dependents can also receive $150,000.

Workers’ Compensation Policy Benefits

Why You NEED Workers’ Comp. 

Employers should be aware that there are penalties for not getting workers’ compensation insurance. Employers can face monetary fines of $1,000 per day for each day the company operated without coverage, plus additional fines up to the greater of either $1,000 or twice the amount the employer would have paid in insurance premiums for the period of noncompliance. The employer may also be given a stop-work order, which requires them to cease all operations until they comply with Florida’s workers’ compensation insurance policies. Companies that fail to get workers’ compensation are susceptible to lawsuits from employees, which can include far more compensation than they would typically have received.

Hope For The Best, Plan For The Worst

Workers’ compensation insurance is an aspect of owning a business that no employer ever wants to put into use, but is essential to have and understand in the case of an accident. At Biscayne Risk & Insurance, we can help you navigate the world of workers’ compensation insurance and ensure that your company is prepared for any adversity that is thrown its way. For more information on workers’ compensation and policies, please reach out to us today.