Workers Comp Insurance in Florida: How it works

In Florida, workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for most employers. It benefits employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job. These benefits may include medical treatment, wage replacement, and death benefits. Employers may purchase insurance from a private insurance company or self-insure. The Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation oversees the state’s workers’ compensation system and ensures that employers comply with the state’s laws and regulations. Here is how workers’ comp insurance in Florida works.

How Workers’ Comp Insurance in Florida Works

Which Employers Are Required To Have Florida Workers Comp Insurance?

Florida law mandates that certain companies obtain workers’ compensation insurance. These include

  • Employers in the agricultural industry with six regular employees or a combination of regular and seasonal employees totaling 12 who work 30 or more days during a season but fewer than 45 days
  • Businesses with four or more employees, including owners who hold corporate positions or are members of an LLC.
  • Construction companies with at least one employee, including those where the owner holds a corporate position or is a member of an LLC.

Employees’ Responsibility For Reporting An Injury

Workers comp insurance in Florida process begins with filing a claim; which requires interaction between the injured employee, their employer, and any insurance carrier.

The injured employee must inform their supervisor immediately after an accident and seek medical treatment as necessary; whether at a doctor’s office, clinic, or emergency room. Although the law allows for a 30-day window to report an injury; its recommended to report it immediately to ensure proper documentation. This is especially important if the injury may worsen, such as a cut becoming infected or a muscle pull worsening. In the long run, immediately reporting the injury will benefit the employee.

Employer’s Responsibility for Submitting Claim

Upon notification of a work-related injury or illness; the employer must file a report to their insurance carrier within seven days; containing information such as the employer’s identification, employee’s identification, cause of injury, and specific details of the accident.

Additionally, if the injured worker misses more than seven days of work due to the injury; the employer must notify the insurance carrier within 14 days.

The employee becomes eligible for lost wages benefits on the eighth day of missed work. In cases where the employer fails to report the injury, the employee can report it directly to the insurance carrier.

Responsibility of Insurance Carriers

The insurance carrier plays a crucial role in the workers’ comp insurance in Florida claims process by filing the First Report of Injury with the Florida Division of Workers Compensation. They should share this report with the employee and employer to ensure accuracy.

In addition, the carrier must send a brochure to an injured employee within three days of notification. This pamphlet outlines a person’s rights and benefits under Florida law and the penalties for violating those laws. The carrier should also update the injured employee’s file with new medical reports; and wage statements, if applicable, for indemnity pay during recovery.

Conclusion

Employees are protected legally through workers’ compensation when they experience injury or illness because of their job. Workers’ compensation guarantees that the employee’s medical expenses and rehabilitation costs are covered if they file a claim. In addition, if the employee is temporarily or permanently disabled; workers’ comp may determine how much their lost wages will be paid.

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