You’ve started a small business in construction, and now you have to figure out all of the requirements of your state for insurance and workers’ compensation. Most of the states in the U.S., barring a few exceptions, make it a requirement that employers buy and provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. Florida is no exception to that rule. Whether a business has less than twenty employees, or over hundreds or thousands, you need to have workers’ compensation insurance.
These laws were put in place back in 1911 in order to protect employees that got sick or injured while on the job, rather than forcing them to take legal action to get compensation. Companies that don’t offer workers’ compensation to their employees by the states’ requirements can be subject to penalties, as well as being forced to pay the employees out of their own pockets to cover the benefits.
Employers’ big concerns when looking at workers’ compensation are the costs of providing it. How does a company manage to costs while making sure their employees are covered?
Check Your State Requirements
Workers’ compensation requirements differ from state to state. In Florida, the closest we get to a set of rules are the guidelines created by the NCCI, the National Council on Compensation Insurance, which writes manuals, rules, and policy forms for a vast majority of states in the U.S. Most insurance companies decide their rates based on the NCCI. It will be important to check these manuals and policies.
Does everyone need workers’ compensation in the business? Most states, Florida included, must offer workers’ comp to any employees that are not owners. Florida’s requirements for construction state that any business with even just one employee, either part-time or full time, must provide workers’ comp. There are some exceptions to outside sub-contractors so long as that sub-contractor has a exemption filed and can provide proof of that to the employer.
Out of State Subcontractors
What if your company isn’t in the state, but has employees working within Florida? There are specific requirements for that as well. For one, you must notify your insurance company that you have employees in that state. Your company then has a choice; you can obtain a Florida workers’ comp policy from an insurance company, or you can get an endorsement added to your own policy that includes specific Florida codes.
If you are working with out-of-state sub-contractors, you must make sure they give you proof of their own workers’ comp policies in Florida, or that they have proof of an exemption.
Additional Liability Coverage
Don’t make the mistake of forgetting to pay attention to the employers’ liability coverage. Some employees aren’t covered under some of the parts of workers’ comp, so you will need to check for any exposures to your policy. You’ll want to make sure that you have the right amount of liability coverage for your workers’ compensation policy.
Talk to your insurance providers about all of these things to make sure you understand what you need so you don’t find yourself in a bad position later. It may seem like a lot, but the more you know and understand, the better you can protect your employees and yourself.