What is Workers Compensation?
Workers Compensation is a form of insurance that employers pay to cover employees who suffer work-related injuries. Employees can file a claim and receive all necessary medical care for the work-related injury as well as compensation for lost income while they recover from their injuries and are unable to work. Workers Comp protects the employer from liability claims. Unless an employee’s injury was due to an intentional or egregious act by the employer, the employer is almost always protected against personal injury lawsuits.
Can I ask my employees to pay part of the premium?
No.The employer is responsible for paying the premium. No deductions from an employee’s pay are permitted.
How much will it cost me to insure my employees?
The premium for Workers Comp is based upon a number of factors including the number of employees, the average salary of all your employees, and perhaps most importantly, the nature of your business. In a business like tree trimming, where the risk of injury is high, the premium is also high. If you run a retail clothing shop, the risk of injury is considerably less and your premiums will also be less. Like other types of insurance, it always is a good idea to get quotes from several different insurance companies.
Does every employer have to carry Workers Comp?
Not every employer has to provide Workers Comp. Florida law mandates that only employers who fit into any of the following categories must carry Workers Comp. An employer can elect to carry coverage even if they are not required to do so by Florida law.
- Is in an industry other than construction and has four or more employees. Both full and part-time employees count toward the four employee requirement.
- Is in the construction industry and has one or more employees
- Is a state or local government employer.
- Is a farmer with five or more regular employees and/or employs 12 or more seasonal workers for a period of 30 days or longer.
What are my options for obtaining Workers Compensation Insurance?
- Employers can buy a policy from any approved insurance company through a licensed insurance agent.
- If unable to obtain Workers Comp through a private insurance company, an employer may get a policy through the Joint Underwriting Association (JUA).
- An employer can self-insure if they meet Division of Workers’ Compensation qualifications.
- An employer can contract with a professional employer organization (PEO).
What is a Notice of Compliance?
As an employer who provides Workers Comp, you are required to display several informational posters in a prominent area of the work place. A prominent place means any place, such as the lunch room bulletin board, where employees have access and can easily see the notices. The first notice is sometimes called the “Broken Arm Poster” (shows a fractured arm), and it explains the steps an employee needs to follow if he or she is injured on the job. The second item that needs to be prominently posted is the “Anti Fraud Reward” sign. It informs employees that they may receive a reward of up to $25,000 if they report Workers Comp fraud that results in the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.
What happens if an employer who is required to provide Workers Compensation Insurance does not comply?
Workers Compensation is governed by the Division of Worker’s Compensation and they have the power to issue a Stop-Work Order if your company is operating without the required coverage. If you receive such an order, you will be forced to cease all operations immediately. You will be assessed a penalty equal to 2-times the premium you would have had to have paid for the two previous years. In order to have the Stop-Work Order lifted, you will have to pay the fines and demonstrate that you have the proper amount of Workers Comp in place.