Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect both employees and employers in case of on-the-job injuries. If an employee has a work-related injury or illness, in most cases the employer’s insurance company will pay the injured worker’s medical expenses and a portion of lost wages (if applicable). In exchange, generally the employee will not be able to bring a civil claim against the employer, absent intentional conduct on behalf of the employer.
Most employers are required by state statute to obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Qualified employers who do not obtain required coverage and who have an accident occur can be sued in civil court or in the workers’ compensation system. Also, stop-work orders and fines can be levied in addition to injunction and assessments against the employer. Employers who ignore the law and do business without workers’ compensation insurance put their personal and business assets at risk.
Reference: Sections 440.06, 440.09 & 440.10, Florida Statutes.
In Florida, if you are in an industry other than construction, and have four or more full-time or part-time employees, you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. (Note: an exempted corporate officer does not count as an employee).
In the construction industry, having one or more employees (including yourself) requires you to carry workers’ compensation coverage (an exempted corporate officer or member of a limited liability company does not count as an employee).
State or local government entities are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage, as well as farmers with more than five regular employees and/or twelve or more other workers for seasonal agricultural labor lasting thirty (30) days or more.
For up-to-date information on workers’ compensation laws and requirements in Florida, visit www.myfloridacfo.com/wc/index.htm.
Reference: Subsection 440.02(17), & section 440.03, Florida Statutes.
RetailFirst workers’ compensation policies are sold through independent insurance agents that represent us.
If you are unable to qualify for RetailFirst coverage, you may opt to use the Joint Underwriting Association (JUA), http://www.fwcjua.com or to qualify as an individual self-insured. For more information about those options, please contact the Division of Workers’ Compensation at (850) 413-1784, or visit them online at www.myfloridacfo.com/wc/index.htm
Generally, if your employee is injured or becomes ill as a direct result of their job, medical treatment of that injury or illness is covered by workers’ comp. Most of the time it’s fairly easy to determine if an injury is work-related, but sometimes it can be more complicated.
For example, a person with a preexisting back problem may reinjure their back at work, but the new injury may be related to the original back problem, not the job itself. Only a qualified doctor can decide how much the job contributed to the injury.
Also, there are rules related to injuries that happen because someone violated company safety procedures, was horsing around on the job, or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the injury. In each of these cases, a claim adjustor will review the situation carefully and determine what expenses will be paid according to state law.
Here are some common terms associated with workers’ compensation insurance and their definitions as set-forth in subsections 440.02(1), (7), (13), (19) & (36), Florida Statutes. (For a comprehensive list, visit Florida’s Division of Workers’ Compensation at myfloridacfo.com/wc).