Florida has some of the most complex workers’ compensation laws in the United States. Many business owners in the state have questions about whether they need to get coverage. In this article, we explain what companies and workers need workers’ comp, which do not, and the kinds of people and types of businesses that are exempt from coverage.
- Businesses in Florida that must get workers comp insurance
- Florida workers’ comp exemptions for non-construction businesses
- Florida workers’ comp exemptions for construction businesses
- Where to get workers comp insurance in Florida?
- How much does workers comp insurance cost in Florida?
Businesses in Florida that must get workers comp insurance
According to Florida law, the following types of businesses and individuals must get workers’ compensation insurance:
- Non-construction businesses with four or more full or part time employees must provide workers’ comp coverage for all its workers.
- Employers in the construction industry with one or more full or part time workers must provide workers’ compensation coverage for all employees. Florida law does not allow people to act as independent contractors in the construction industry. Everyone who does this type of work is either a business owner or an employee. If any parts of a company’s operations involve construction work, the business is considered to be in the construction industry under Florida law.
- Employers in the construction industry that hire subcontractors must ensure that their subcontractors have workers’ comp insurance or a valid exemption. If the subcontractor has people working for him or her, they must have workers’ comp, even if the owner is exempt from being covered. If the subcontractor does not have workers’ compensation insurance for his or her employees, those workers are considered by Florida law to be employees of the contractor. If an injury occurs, the contractor is responsible for paying the benefits for the injury and will be fined for not ensuring adequate and correct coverage was in place.
- Sole proprietors and partners in the construction industry are considered employees by Florida law and are automatically included as part of the workers’ compensation requirements for the business. They aren’t allowed to exempt out of workers’ compensation coverage. Florida law says they must have it to work in the state.
Florida workers’ comp exemptions for non-construction businesses
Florida laws exempt the following non-construction related businesses and individuals from getting workers’ compensation insurance:
- Corporate officers and LLC owners can choose to exempt themselves from workers’ compensation coverage by filing for an exemption with the state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation. Be aware that corporate officers and LLC owners receiving exemptions are not allowed to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they get hurt or become ill on the job.
- Sole proprietors or partners in partnerships are not considered to be employees by Florida law and are automatically excluded from workers’ compensation coverage. Sole proprietors and partners do not have to file for an exemption. If either wants coverage, they need to file form DWC 251 Election of Coverage with the state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) before getting coverage. They can go back to being excluded from workers’ comp by filing form DWC 251-R with the DWC.
- Corporate officers are considered to be employees of their company by Florida law, so they are automatically included in workers compensation coverage. They can elect to be exempt from it by filing for and receiving an exemption with the DWC on its website. There is no limit to how many corporate officers can be exempted from workers’ comp. In order to do this, the corporation must be registered and listed as active with the Florida Division of Corporations. The applicants must be listed as an officer of the corporation in Florida Division of Corporations records. Non-construction exemptions in Florida expire after two years and must be renewed every two years to remain valid. Exemptions are able to be revoked by filing form DWC 250-R with the DWC.
- Owners (often referred to as members or managing members) of non-construction Limited Liability Companies are considered employees by the state of Florida which means they’re included in the LLC’s workers’ comp insurance coverage requirements unless they file online for and receive an exemption from the DWC. The LLC must be registered and listed as active with the Florida Division of Corporations. Applicants for exemptions must own at least ten percent of the LLC to be eligible. Up to ten LLC owners may receive workers’ comp exemptions. Exemptions are free and must be renewed every two years to stay valid. Exemptions can be revoked by filing form DWC 250-R with the DWC.
Florida workers’ comp exemptions for construction businesses
Florida laws allow exemptions from getting workers’ compensation insurance for the following construction related businesses and individuals:
- Officers of corporations are considered to be employees according to Florida law and are included for workers’ compensation coverage purposes unless they file online for and receive an exemption from the DWC. Up to ten officers of a construction corporation can file for exemptions. In order to do this, corporations must be registered and listed as active with the Florida Division of Corporations. Applicants for exemptions must be listed as officers of the corporation in the Division of Corporations’ records and own at least ten percent of the corporation’s stock. Exemptions for corporate officers cost $50 and must be renewed every two years to remain valid. Renewals cost $50. Corporate officer exemptions can be cancelled by filing form DWC 250-R with the DWC.
- Owners (also referred to as members or managing members) of construction related LLCs are considered by Florida law to be employees and must be included in workers’ comp coverage unless they file online for and receive an exemption from the DWC. Up to three LLC owners may file for exemptions. LLCs must be registered and listed as active in the Florida Division of Corporations database for members to be able to qualify for exemptions. Applicants must be listed as members of their LLC in the Division of Corporations’ records and own at least ten percent of the LLC to be eligible for an exemption. Exemptions for LLC members cost $50 and must be renewed every two years to stay valid. Renewals also cost $50. LLC exemptions are able to be revoked by filing form DWC 250-R with the DWC.
Applicants for any type of exemption must provide a valid driver’s license or ID card number when they apply.
Learn more about workers comp insurance exemptions in the top 10 states in the US
Where to get workers comp insurance in Florida?
You can choose to buy workers comp insurance from private insurance companies in Florida. There are three types of private insurance companies that you can choose to buy from:
- Digital brokers or agencies: They work with several insurance companies and can help you choose the right coverages and compare several quotes to choose the cheapest one. CoverWallet, Simply Business, or Policy Sweet are a few well-known brokers and agencies that you can choose to work with.
- Established insurance companies: These are the insurance companies who have been around for a long time, possibly 100+ years. They have a lot of experience in the industry and have built up a reputation names to protect small businesses across the country. Some of the reputable companies in the industry are the Hartford, Hiscox, Travelers, Chubb , and Nationwide.
- Insuretech startups: These are newer insurance companies. Most are technology-driven. They disrupt the industry by offering technology solutions to make it easy and faster for small businesses to buy insurance coverages online. They often offer some benefits such as convenience, fast, and cheaper prices. However, they might not have a long track record in the industry which might be a concern for many small businesses. A few examples are Huckleberry, Next insurance, Thimble, and Vouch.
See our recommendations of the best workers comp insurance in Florida and how to compare free workers comp insurance quotes online.
How much does workers comp insurance cost in Florida?
Workers comp insurance cost depends on several factors such as the industry you are in, the number of employees you have, your payroll, where your business is located, etc. The average cost of workers comp insurance in Florida is $1.3 per $100 payroll. Be sure to compare several quotes from multiple companies before making your final decision.
Different class codes of your employees are also a key factor to determine workers comp insurance cost in Florida. Below are the costs of workers comp insurance for a few class codes in Florida.
- Anti-toxin manufacturing: $0.51
- Dental laboratory: $.069
- Jewelry store worker: $0.50
- Stevedore: Containerized freight and drivers: $23.39
- Roofing: $13.30
- Insurance claims adjuster: $0.52
For a complete list of class codes in Florida, click here.
Learn more at the cheapest workers comp insurance companies.