Do all employers have to carry workers compensation insurance?

Regarding Workers Compensation Insurance in Florida:

The State of Florida has determined that it is an important interest of the state to ensure injured workers have some form of relief in the event they are injured as a result of work related activities. In keeping with the intent to further that interest, and with few exceptions, Florida employers with four (4) or more employees, whether full- or part-time, must provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. If the employer is in the construction industry and employs one or more employees, worker’s compensation insurance is required. Florida farmers with five or more employees and twelve or more additional seasonal employees must also carry coverage. All public employers must maintain workers’ compensation insurance. The requirement for the mandatory coverage can be satisfied by securing workers compensation insurance through a bona fide insurance carrier or the employer can be, subject to state requirements, self-insured.

An officer of a corporation can elect not to receive workers’ compensation insurance coverage or benefits to save money since the amount an employer pays for workers’ compensation insurance is partially determined by the number of employees covered. The individual filing for exemption must complete an application and meet the eligibility requirements. For example, an officer must provide proof that he owns at least 10 percent of the corporation’s stock. After the completed form is filed, excluded employees are barred from receiving any compensation benefits.

An employer from another state working in the Florida construction industry with at least one full- or part-time employee must obtain a Florida workers’ compensation insurance policy. The company issuing the insurance must be licensed in the state of Florida. The employer will be required to state classification codes, pay Florida standard insurance premium rates and read any rules and manuals prior to starting work.

A sole proprietor is unable to receive workers’ compensation benefits under a policy that is issued to the sole proprietorship or general contractor when operating as an independent contractor. If an individual chooses to establish the business as a partnership, corporation or limited liability company, he/she can be covered as an employee of the company and will receive workers’ compensation coverage and benefits.

In Florida, employees of the subcontractor are considered employees of the general contractor. Even if the employees of the subcontractor are classified as independent contractors, the general contractor is still required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance on those employees.

Florida employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees in the event of an on-the-job injury or accident. Employers should never risk operating without appropriate insurance coverage. Severe penalties may be involved if an employer proceeds to work in the state of Florida without adequate insurance. Florida has specific requirements regarding qualifications and exemptions for obtaining workers’ compensation insurance. If you have been injured in a work related injury, and you have questions about whether your employer is required to provide you with benefits for that injury, you are encouraged to contact Attorney Dan Newlin immediately. Dan has the experience and knowledge to answer all of your questions concerning your workers compensation claim and ensures you get all of the benefits you deserve. Call Dan at (407) 888-8000. You will be happy you made that call.