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What is workers’ comp and what does it cover?
Workers’ comp is a form of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits for employees who are injured in the course of employment. This protects you the employer from lawsuits by an employee who is hurt on the job.
Here's some answers you might be looking for....
Who needs workers’ comp coverage?
Almost every business in the US that has employees is required to have a workers’ compensation insurance policy in place:
• If you are in an industry, other than construction, and have four (4) or more employees, full-time or part-time, you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage (an exempted corporate officer does not count as an employee).
• If you are in the construction industry, and have one (1) or more employees (including yourself), you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage (an exempted corporate officer or member of a limited liability company does not count as an employee).
• If you are a state or local government, you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage.
If you are a farmer, and have more than five (5) regular employees and/or twelve (12) or more other workers for seasonal agricultural labor lasting thirty (30) days or more, you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. Questions? Call the experts at WorkComp Specialists Now: 800-508-9126.
What factors are considered in setting my company’s cost?
As a business owner, the rates you will pay depend on the type of business you are in, your workers compensation track record and how much you pay your employees. A number of factors go into determining the annual premium your insurance carrier will charge. These include your industry classification, your company’s past history of work related injuries (known as your experience modification, MOD), your payroll, any special underwriting adjustments and any special group or dividend programs.
Does my coverage and cost vary by insuring company?
No. By Florida statute workers’ comp coverage is the same from insurance carrier to carrier. Questions? Call the experts at WorkComp Specialists Now: 800-508-9126.
Can anyone be exempt from workers’ comp?
Yes. Any individual that is an officer of a corporation that is registered with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, can elect to be exempt from workers’ compensation coverage.
Why do I need an insurance agent to purchase workers’ comp coverage?
An insurance agent represents a variety of approved insurance companies and is in the best position to save you time and money in deciding what company will best meet your business needs.
Unlike other business insurance, workers compensation is complicated. Your relationship with an agent should be an ongoing partnership. The agent you choose can have a big impact on your results, including application and renewing your policy, managing the claim process, creating light duty return-to-work options, and complying with the annual audit process.
"Our goal is to provide your business with workers compensation coverage at the lowest possible price.." Kevin Campbell CEO
Do I have to pay the entire year’s premium at one time?
No. Some Florida workers’ compensation carriers offer you the ability to pay your premium on a monthly or per-pay-period basis. To qualify, you must be partnered with an approved payroll company. These cash flow friendly plans also feature a low down payment of $200 to start your policy.
WorkComp Specialists can provide you with a choice inflexible payment plan options.
• Monthly Pay As You Go: pay your premium based on your actual payroll not estimated payroll. This prevents audit balances at the end of the policy. Most of our clients choose this method of payment.
• Per Pay Period Pay As You Go: available through one of our payroll company partners.
• Monthly installments* based on estimated premium, usually 10 installments.
• Quarterly installments* based on your estimated premium.
• Annual installment based on your annual premium.
*No finance charges.
How will my premium be calculated?
The premium or cost for each employee classification code is determined by multiplying a rate times a premium basis.
Gross payroll by class code is the most common premium basis. This includes payroll and all other remuneration paid or payable during the policy period for the services of employees and all others engaged in work on behalf of the employer for which the carrier is covering or could be liable. The rate charged is based on every $100 dollars of payroll. This is called the “manual premium” or your “starting premium.”
Class Code Rate x Payroll/$100 = Manual Premium
*Note: These rates are for illustration purpose only and may not be reflective of current carrier premiums.
There are many other factors that can increase or decrease your premium amount. If your business qualifies (based on minimum premiums paid in the past), your business could be subject to an experience rating (MOD), which calculates a credit (or debit) factor based on your claim history compared to others in your industry. Questions? Call the experts at WorkComp Specialists Now: 800-508-9126.
Why do I have to have an experience mod rating?
The purpose of an experience mod rating is to compare your claims experience to that of your industry, i.e., your report card. An average mod is 1.00. A debit mod will increase premium and a credit mod will reduce your premium.
An experience mod rating is mandatory and applies to all insurers that qualify for a mod. To qualify for a mod rating, an insured must have had coverage of a minimum premium of $10,000 for one policy period or $5,000 for two consecutive policy periods.
How do I add employees to my policy, and how does this work is the employee is short-term for a particular job or project?
A certificate is simply an informational document issued by an insurance company/agency that provides proof of insurance. The certificate supplies policy information about the type of, and existence of, workers’ compensation insurance coverage. At WorkComp Specialists we know how valuable fast turn-around is. Certificates of insurance are issued by us as quickly as possible via fax, email, or mail. For the fastest service, we offer our insured’s the opportunity to print their own certificates of insurance 24/7 from their desk top with our online service, Certificates 24/7. This free service allows our clients to print their certificates at their own convenience. No more delays to be paid on a job because you are waiting on your agent to fulfill your certificate request. Questions? Call the experts at WorkComp Specialists Now: 800-508-9126.
Should I Exempt Myself from Workers’ Comp?
At Work Comp Specialists, we take the time to educate you on the pros and cons of exempting yourself from your work comp policy so you can make an informed decision. Not every business owner can be exempt. For example, members of a non-construction LLC are not eligible to file an exemption with the State of Florida. Additionally, a construction sole proprietor is automatically included under Florida workers’ compensation.
Any individual serving as an officer of a corporation (the corporation must be registered with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations), who elects to be exempt from workers’ compensation coverage.
Should I consider a workers’ comp PEO employee leasing plan?
Depending on your company’s situation, it may make sense to explore the option of using a PEO for your Florida workers’ compensation coverage. Employee leasing is the practice of outsourcing the payroll and other human resources administration tasks by one company (client) to another company (employee leasing company) that provides those services.
The employee leasing company and the client share what is known as a co-employment relationship with the employee. In recent years, the term employee leasing has often been replaced with professional employer organization, or PEO.
Employee leasing companies switch their clients’ payroll to their own system and become the legal employer of record for their client company. The client business is left with fewer administrative tasks, thus allowing it to focus on its core competencies. The leasing company is responsible for taxes and employment law and policy. In exchange for these services, a PEO will charge the client company an administrative fee, which is typically a percentage of the gross payroll. Questions? Call the experts at WorkComp Specialists Now: 800-508-9126.
What kinds of employee injuries are covered under workers’ comp for Florida businesses?
The law covers all accidental injuries and occupational diseases arising out of, and in the course and scope of, employment. This includes diseases or infections resulting from such accidental and occupational injuries.
The law also covers death resulting from such injuries within specified periods of time. Even if you do not think an injury is covered, you must still file the First Report of Injury with your insurance carrier for compensability determination within 7 days of your first knowledge of the accident/injury.
What injuries are not covered under workers’ compensation in Florida?
• A mental or nervous injury due to stress, fright, or excitement
• A work related condition that causes an employee to have fear or dislike for another individual because of the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap.
• “Pain and suffering” has never been compensable in Florida, nor is it compensable in any other state.
• If the injury is caused by the employee’s willful intention to injure or kill himself or another.
• If the injury is caused primarily because the employee is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
• If the injury or death of the employee is covered by the Federal Employer’s Liability Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or the Jones Act (if the injured worker is a “seaman” or member of a crew).
Questions? Call the experts at WorkComp Specialists Now: 800-508-9126.
Why do I need a back-to-work / light duty program?
The short answer is that being prepared and bringing an employee back to work on light duty will save you money, and increase employee goodwill. When you do have an employee on workers’ comp, the treating physician will determine when they are able to come back to work and in what capacity.
Often times, the worker may be released for light duty with restrictions. These are requirements that the doctor says must be followed in order for you to return the person to any type of work.
Your use of an effective light duty policy can lead to lower workers’ comp costs. Keep in mind as a Florida workers’ comp policyholder, you only have to pay a worker that is on light duty 80% of the pre-injury average weekly wage.
When you allow Work Comp Specialists to assist you with developing and implementing your light duty program, you benefit. First, if the claim can be kept in medical only status (a claim where no indemnity or lost time benefits are paid), the total cost of the claim is discounted 70% when it is used in your NCCI experience MOD factor calculation. You save money.
The second benefit is the value of employee goodwill when an employee feels like a valued member of your company.
Why are the first 30 days in a workers’ comp claim critical?
The first 30 days of a work comp claim can determine how a claim proceeds and how much is paid out. Many factors will affect your outcome, including how the injured worker feels about your level of concern for their well-being.
At Work Comp Specialists we have dedicated experts that monitor your claims daily to minimize their impact on your loss experience. This helps keep your MOD factor low and the amount of dividend you earn back high. We will also advise you on steps to take in communicating with the worker and the workers’ family. These proven methods translate into lower workers’ comp premiums and more profits in your pocket. Questions? Call the experts at WorkComp Specialists Now: 800-508-9126.
Is compensation payable from a workers’ compensation policy in Florida if an employee refuses to use a safety appliance like a hard hat, safety goggles or observe a safety rule?
Compensation will still be paid, but indemnity benefits (partial wage replacement) may be reduced by 25 percent if the employee knew about the safety rule prior to the accident and failed to observe the rule, or if the employee knowingly chose not to use a safety appliance that the employer had directed him to use. Ready to Get Started? Get an Online Quote.
How can I be sued by an injured worker if I provided all the necessary care, light duty work, and offer to retrain the employee?
Under the provisions of Chapter 440 in the Florida Statutes, an injured worker has two years from the date of the accident to file a petition for benefits.
If an employer is providing benefits and return-to-work options, that should be sufficient to meet the ultimate goal of returning an injured worker to gainful employment. However, an employer/carrier’s definition of necessary care and that of an injured worker may differ.
When that happens, the injured worker has no remedy except to file a petition for benefits and have a judge of compensation claims determine whether the benefits that are being provided are sufficient, or if additional benefits not being provided are required by Florida law.
If the employer is providing benefits, all expenditures must be reported to the employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier for statistical purposes
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