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What is Workers' Compensation Insurance and Who Is It For?

Who Is Exempt From Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Florida?


First, we need to ask the following question: Do you own a business in the state of Florida? Are you wondering if all of your employees need to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage or if some may be exempt? 


Look no further–here we’ll outline who is required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance and who can qualify for an exemption. 


Employers in this great state of Florida must understand the rules for offering coverage and learn about which types of businesses and employee categories are considered exempt from needing it, so dive on into this comprehensive overview!

Are you a business owner in Florida who is dealing with the headache of having to figure out the requirements for Workers’ Compensation Insurance? You’re not alone.


If you’re a small-business owner, it’s important to know the laws regarding workers’ compensation insurance. 


Generally speaking, businesses with four or more employees must provide coverage for all staff—whether part-time or full-time, as well as any Construction company or High Risk industry with just one employee.  But those with fewer than four employees on their team remain exempt from this requirement.


It can be tricky to make sure your business is compliant and that all the necessary paperwork is filled out correctly. Let’s discuss the ins and outs of Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Florida so that you can feel confident about being on the right side of the law. 


Workers’ Compensation Insurance protects employers and employees from liability in case of an injury or illness sustained at work. In other words, if an employee has an accident at work, they will be covered under their employer’s insurance policy


This is to ensure that employees have some form of financial protection should something go wrong on the job. 


In Florida, all businesses are required to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance unless they meet certain criteria for exemption. For example, sole proprietorships, partnerships, and LLCs composed of only one member are exempt from workers’ compensation insurance requirements in most cases (though it’s always best to double-check with your state government). 


Also, employers with fewer than four employees may be exempt from workers’ compensation insurance requirements depending on their type of business (e.g., agricultural companies may be exempt if they have fewer than six regular employees). 


Finally, family members employed by family-owned businesses are generally exempt as well (again, it’s best to double-check with your state government). 


Aside from these exemptions, most employers in Florida must carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If they do not meet one of these criteria, then they are required by law to carry workers’ comp insurance for their employees—failure to do so could result in hefty fines or even criminal charges. 


It’s important for business owners and employers to understand their obligations under the law when it comes to providing workers’ comp coverage for their employees.

How Do You Know If You're Workers Comp Exempt or Not?

Figuring out if you’re exempt or not from Florida workers’ compensation laws can be a daunting task. After all, the answer isn’t always cut and dry; in many cases, it comes down to dissecting the specific details of your job. 


If you think you may be exempt, the best thing to do is consult with an expert – one who is qualified in Florida employment law – to make sure you have a handle on where things stand legally. This will help save you tons of stress and uncertainty further down the line!


Navigating the world of Workers’ Compensation Insurance can be tricky for any business owner or employer in Florida—but don’t worry! 


As long as you understand which types of businesses are exempt from these requirements and which ones need Workers’ Comp Insurance coverage, you’ll be able to make sure your company stays compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

What Are The Consequences of Not Having Workers' Compensation Insurance in Florida?

Since in Florida, workers’ compensation insurance is a mandatory requirement for businesses that employ four or more workers, failure to carry workers’ comp for eligible employees can lead to severe consequences. 


Specifically, workers who are exempt from workers’ compensation cannot seek recovery from their employer if they are harmed on the job.


This puts workers in high-risk jobs, such as construction and maintenance workers, at risk of inadequate coverage in the case of an injury. Without workers’ compensation insurance, employers are subject to lawsuits from workers seeking compensation for lost wages, medical benefits, pain, and suffering due to workplace injuries


Overall, not having worker’s compensation insurance in Florida can be very costly and lead to serious detriments both for workers and businesses.

How Much Does Workers' Compensation Insurance Cost in Florida?

According to The Balance Small Business website, the average cost in Florida is between $2-$6 per $100 of payroll (or 2-6%). That means that if an employer has 10 employees earning $1,000 per week ($52,000 annually), their estimated annual premium would be around $1,040 -$3120. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate; actual costs may vary based on your individual business circumstances.  


As an employer, it is important to understand the costs associated with protecting your business from potential worker injury or illness. So, what does it cost? Let’s take a look at the factors that go into determining workers’ compensation insurance costs in Florida and what you can expect when getting a quote for your business. 


Florida’s workers’ compensation insurance rates are set by the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). 


The OIR sets two basic rates each year—an experience modification rate (EMR) and an assigned risk rate—which are then used to calculate workers’ compensation premiums. 


Each insurer will use its own calculation method, depending on the company’s risk profile and other factors, but all insurers must adhere to the OIR’s rate guidelines. 


The amount you pay for your workers’ compensation policy will vary depending on several factors, including the type of business you operate and how many employees you have. 


Generally speaking, larger companies tend to pay higher premiums because they have more employees who could potentially become injured or ill while working. Additionally, businesses that are considered high-risk may be subject to higher rates due to their increased potential for workplace accidents or injuries. 


The best way to determine your exact premium cost is by obtaining quotes from different insurers who specialize in providing coverage for type of business you operate. 


In some cases, businesses may qualify for discounts or credits on their workers’ compensation insurance premiums if they meet certain criteria set forth by the state and/or their insurer. For example, companies that adopt safety practices designed to prevent workplace injuries may be eligible for a discount on their premium rates. 


Additionally, businesses that demonstrate good claims management practices may also qualify for lower premiums as well as credits from their insurers. 


Here at OCMI, we make it our goal to find available discounts when obtaining quotes, so you can get the most comprehensive coverage at the lowest possible price.

Are There Any Other Options Available for Businesses That Don't Want to Purchase Workers' Compensation Insurance?

Businesses that do not want to purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance may have other options available to them. Factors such as employer rates, size, payroll, number of employees, industry, and risk factors can all influence the insurance premiums that a business pays, so it is worth exploring alternative providers and negotiations that could better fit a business’s budget. 


In some cases employers can self-insure if they meet certain criteria or their state allows them to, however this option should only be considered after taking into account the employer’s financial stability and commitment to compliance (as well as any other terms of self-insuring in their state). 


Though the path of purchasing an employer’s insurance coverage is still the best for most businesses, researching other possibilities could help businesses find affordable coverage without compromising on quality or support.


Call us today to discuss the options available for you. Or, you can click on the button below to get your quick quote!

Can I be exempt from workers' comp in Florida?

If you work in a job that is especially dangerous or has high risk of injury, your employer might offer you the option of opting out of workers’ compensation coverage.


This may sound like it gives you more control over your own financial future, but in many cases it’s simply a sneaky way for employers to avoid paying benefits for injuries sustained on the job.


In almost every state, businesses are required to offer their employees some kind of workers’ comp insurance policy.


These programs are designed to pay damages for any injured employee who can prove they suffered an occupational accident while working for that company. Because of this, businesses may try to convince their employees that they won’t be eligible for benefits if they opt out and instead sign up with a private company offering what’s called “alternative workplace compensation” (or something similar).


These policies tend to have high premiums and low payout limits.


They also usually require employees to pay deductibles as well as covering some portion of medical bills themselves. In other words, these plans offer less financial security than traditional workers’ comp coverage.


If you aren’t comfortable with those risks and aren’t sure if there are any disadvantages to not signing up for workers’ comp, keep reading.


Here are some answers regarding whether or not you can opt out of workers’ comp in Florida and how that affects your rights in the event of an accident at work.

What happens if I opt out of workers’ comp?

Technically, nothing.


You won’t be covered by any workers’ comp policy, but you still won’t be able to file a claim against your employer or their insurance. Because you’re no longer a member of their workers’ comp plan, your employer can simply claim you were never injured on the job, no matter what the doctor’s diagnosis says.


Because your employer has complete control over the situation, you’ll have a hard time proving that you were injured.


If you sign a contract agreeing to forgo workers’ comp coverage, you’ll have a tough time winning your case in court. Your employer can simply deny that there was any injury and the judge will have no other option but to side with them.

What Happens If I Don’t Have Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

Unfortunately, if you don’t have workers’ comp coverage, you may not receive any financial support at all if you’re injured on the job.


Your employer can simply deny that the accident ever occurred and, without workers’ comp, you’ll have no recourse to prove that it did.


Because your employer isn’t required to carry workers’ comp insurance, they don’t have to pay into the state fund that pays out claims to injured workers with coverage.


This means you won’t have any way to prove how your injury happened, who is responsible for it, or how much you should be paid in damages.


Your employer can simply deny that you were injured at all and you’ll have no way to prove otherwise.

Can I Be Exempt from Florida Workers’ Compensation?



Certain occupations don’t require workers’ comp coverage.


If you work in any of those fields, you can be exempted from the policy. If you’re not sure if the job you have is on the list, you can check the Florida Department of Financial Services website and do a search for “workers’ comp.”


If you don’t see your occupation listed as an exemption, you’re required to have coverage.


If your employer offers you the option of being exempt from workers’ comp, they’re probably trying to save money rather than provide you with better benefits. You can try to negotiate with your employer and see if they’ll provide better benefits and coverage if you stay on the workers’ comp plan.


If it’s clear they just want to save money and aren’t concerned with your well-being, you may want to look into hiring a Florida workers compensation lawyer and seeking legal advice on how to proceed.

What Is Workers’ Comp and Why Is It Important?

Workers’ comp is a mandatory state-run insurance policy most employers must carry.


When an employee is injured, workers’ comp will pay all reasonable medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages. It also covers death benefits for the family of an employee who dies on the job.


People who don’t have workers’ comp coverage may have to pay for medical treatment themselves. If they don’t have money saved to pay for doctor’s bills, they may not be able to get treatment at all and the injury may become worse.


If you don’t have workers’ comp and you’re injured on the job, you have no way of proving who caused your injury or how it happened.


In the best-case scenario, this leads to a drawn-out court battle where you have to prove you were injured. In the worst-case scenario, you never get the treatment you need and your injury gets worse or becomes permanent.

How Do I File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Florida?

If you’ve been injured on the job in Florida, you’re entitled to file a claim with the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation.


You can do this either online or over the phone. Once you file a claim, the state will assign you a personal claims representative who will help you navigate the process and provide updates about your claim.


Once you file your claim, you have one year to either settle the claim or go to trial. If you miss the one-year mark, your claim will be denied. If you don’t have workers’ comp, the burden of proof falls on you to prove that you were injured on the job.


Your employer will be required to provide proof that they are not at fault for your accident.

Can Employers Offer Better Coverage If I Don’t Opt Out of Workers’ Comp?



If you’re offered workers’ comp coverage and your employer wants you to sign up, they have to provide you with better benefits than if you opted out and signed up for an alternative workplace compensation policy.


If you don’t opt out, you’re entitled to certain minimum benefits that your employer must provide.


If your employer offers better coverage and you still want to opt out of workers’ comp, they must sign you up for their policy instead.


If you’ve been injured at work and are unsure whether you should sign up for workers’ comp coverage, try to speak with your employer to discuss your options.


In many cases, workers’ comp is a great deal that protects both you and your employer.


If your employer tries to push you towards an alternative compensation plan instead, be cautious and try to learn as much as you can about the policy they want you to sign. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.


Protecting your right to fair compensation is crucial to ensuring you don’t get left behind if you’re injured on the job.


To figure out your workers compensation, get your quote today! Click on the button below!