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.
You are required to carry workers' compensation insurance in Florida if:
Contractors: Contractors should confirm that their sub-contractors have insurance before they work on a project. Otherwise, the sub-contractor’s employees become the responsibility of the contractor, who can be held liable in a work comp case.
If you are an independent contractor, you might not be covered by the hiring company’s insurance policy and may need to provide proof of work comp. Are you an employee or an independent contractor? 10 ways to tell >>
Owners and Officers: Corporate officers and LLC members may choose to exempt themselves from coverage, if they wish. Sole proprietors and partners are not required to have coverage, but can choose to include themselves on a policy.
Florida 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. Get started on a policy with WorkCompOne >>
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.
If you’re having trouble finding coverage, you can contact the Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association, which will place you with a carrier.
A 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. Learn more about workers’ comp insurance rates >>
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.
Editor's note: Last updated on April 19, 2018