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In Florida, most businesses with four or more employees must carry a workers’ compensation policy. Got questions about how to get coverage, or how workers’ comp works? WorkCompOne has you covered.
Click on the links below to jump to that section, or scroll down for everything you need to know about buying work comp insurance in the Sunshine State.
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Workers’ compensation provides legal protection to employees when they suffer injury or illness as a result of their job. When a claim is submitted, workers’ compensation ensures that the employee’s medical treatment or rehabilitation is paid.
This covers disability, too. If the employee is unable to work either temporarily or permanently, workers’ comp may also dictate the percentage of lost wages the employee receives.
In Florida, workers’ compensation laws apply only to businesses with four or more employees. This means that very small businesses may be exempt from the state’s workers’ compensation laws.
However, this doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to go without workers’ comp insurance in Florida, even if you’re not mandated to have coverage. If an employee is injured on the job and you don’t have workers’ compensation insurance, they may be able to sue your business for medical care, damages, and lost wages.
Employers subject to Florida workers’ compensation laws are required to carry a current workers’ compensation insurance policy. Failure to do so can result in some steep penalties and fines for your company.
Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of commercial insurance policy that covers the cost of workplace injuries at your business in Florida.
By purchasing a policy, an employer can file an insurance claim when a worker is injured. The carrier then compensates the employee for medical bills and lost wages.The policy would also pay the employer’s legal fees if the employee sued for additional damages.
In Florida, businesses must carry workers' compensation insurance if they have four or more employees. This includes all types of employees, including:
However, there are some industry-specific exceptions to these standard Florida workers’ compensation insurance requirements:
In Florida, like in most other states, contractors are not considered to be employees of your business. This means that they are required to carry their own workers’ compensation insurance policies.
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. Check whether you'd be considered an employee or an independent contractor and find out what trade contractors need to know before buying work comp insurance.
Also, if you are a contractor and you hire subcontractors to work on a project in Florida, you should confirm that they have their own workers’ comp policy. Otherwise, the subcontractor’s employees become the responsibility of the contractor, who can be held liable in a work comp case.
Corporate officers and LLC members may choose to exempt themselves from coverage, if they wish. Doing so can help cut down on the cost of your Florida workers’ compensation insurance policy, particularly if you have a smaller business.
Sole proprietors and partners are not required to have coverage, but can choose to include themselves on a policy. It may be a good idea to cover yourself with a workers’ comp policy if you work in a profession with a risk of workplace injury, such as a landscaping or carpentry business.
Typically, 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. For example, if your business is located near the Georgia state line and you travel across state lines for work, you will need to make sure you follow all of Georgia’s workers’ comp requirements.
However, 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.
This endorsement allows coverage to apply in any non-monopolistic state for temporary work or business-related travel. That means your coverage will apply in every state except:
Florida has a private market. This means that businesses can purchase a workers' compensation policy from any insurance carrier, broker or agency that is licensed to write in the state.
Another option is to contract with an employee leasing company or professional employer organization (PEO). 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.
The Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association administers the state fund, which can write policies that have been declined by private insurance companies. This is the “last resort” for high-risk companies who are unable to get policies from another insurer.
If your business needs a workers’ compensation policy, follow these simple steps to get covered.
Wondering what to expect from your Florida workers’ compensation insurance quote? Here’s a breakdown of what your insurer will send to you.
While Florida insurance costs spiked in 2016, work comp rates have been on the decline every year since. In January 2021, workers' compensation rates in Florida decreased yet again. This is the fifth rate decrease in the state since 2016, thanks to fewer workplace injuries and increased use of automation which have brought down work comp costs.
Overall, workers’ compensation rates in Florida are relatively low compared to national averages. According to a 2018 study by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Florida businesses pay $1.50 to $1.99 per $100 in payroll. This means that a policy for a business with $100,000 in payroll could cost less than $200 per month.
Recommended Read: How Much Does Workers' Comp Insurance Cost in Florida?
Florida is a base rate state, which means the initial insurance rates are mandated by the state. It uses the NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance) to recommend base rates for each class code.
Class codes are used to determine the relative risk of injury to each worker. In general, physically demanding or accident-prone jobs have higher rates than office jobs. For example, a landscaping worker has a higher risk of injury than a clerical worker. That means the base rate for a landscaper will be higher.
Then, the base rate is multiplied by company payroll. An Experience Modifier and other discounts may also be applied to calculate the final premium. Here’s what that calculation looks like:
(Base Rate x Payroll x Experience Modifier) +/- Credits/Debits = Premium
For every $100,000 in payroll, a landscaping company with a base rate of $10 and an Experience Modifier of 1.0 would pay $10,000 in premium. A clerical worker with a base rate of $1 and the same Experience Modifier would pay $1,000 in premium.
Compared to most other types of business insurance, Florida workers’ compensation insurance is pretty cheap. But we know that as a small business owner, every dollar counts. So, how can you get cheap workers’ comp insurance in Florida? Here are a few tips.
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WorkCompOne is where small businesses buy workers' compensation insurance both in Florida and throughout the U.S. By bringing together best practices in technology and insurance, we’ve built an easy way for businesses to secure workers’ compensation insurance online.
Founded in 2012, WorkCompOne offers coverage to businesses of all sizes through its online platform, best-in-class customer service and partnership with leading national carriers. Ready to get started? Get a free quote from WorkCompOne in less than 10 minutes.
Editor's note: Last updated on October 29, 2023
Want a step-by-step guide to buying a work comp policy? Here’s everything you need to know about buying work comp insurance in the sunshine state.
Understand what Florida rates are today, how rates are calculated, and ways to save on your policy.