The economy in Cape Coral revolves mainly around construction, health care services, restaurants, hotels, and retail stores. Regardless of the type of business they work for, employees sometimes get injured on the job. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover the associated costs.
Independent insurance agents in Cape Coral can help you find the best and most affordable workers’ compensation policy to cover your business. Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Required in Cape Coral, FL?
Many Cape Coral businesses need to have worker’s compensation insurance. The state of Florida mandates the following must carry this coverage:
- All construction business with at least one employee
- All agricultural businesses with either:
- Six or more regular employees
- Twelve or more seasonal employees who work for at least 30 days
- All other businesses that have four or more employees
Subcontractors must cover their own employees. If they do not have coverage, the primary contractor is responsible for paying for any injuries sustained on the job, so it is important that if you hire subcontractors that you ensure that they have this coverage.
Out-of-state employers are required to carry a workers’ compensation policy through a Florida-licensed insurer.
Corporate officers, sole proprietors, and LLC members in non-construction businesses are permitted to exempt themselves from coverage.
Failure to carry this required coverage in Florida is illegal and can result in fines that are double what you would have paid for coverage for the previous two years, or $1,000, whichever is greater. Your company can also be hit with a Stop-Work Order until coverage is purchased and all fines are paid.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in Cape Coral?
Workers’ compensation costs are calculated based mainly on your company’s overall payroll and how likely your employees are to be hurt on the job according to the types of jobs they do. Therefore, rates can vary significantly from one business to another.
Florida is an NCCI state. Every occupation is assigned a classification code and coverage rates for each of these class codes are regulated by the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Insurance companies use these designated base rates when calculating costs, but are permitted to offer discounts, dividends, and credits at their discretion. This is why shopping around for the best rate can save you money.
Base rate examples
The more likely a worker is to be seriously injured on the job, the higher the rates for workers’ compensation insurance will be.
Let’s take a look at the average rates paid per every $100,000 in employee payroll for three of the top industries in Cape Coral, FL:
- Construction industry: $19,400/year
- Health care industry: $2,790/year
- Accommodation & food services industry: $3,980/year
A construction worker may fall and be seriously injured while building a new home. A nurse at Cape Coral Hospital may suffer a debilitating back injury while moving a patient. A prep cook at a diner may accidentally cut themselves while chopping vegetables.
Of course, these are merely average rates for businesses within large industry segments. Rates within industries can vary. For instance, within the health care industry, it would cost more to cover a team of emergency medical technicians than it would to cover workers at a dental office.
The only way to know how much a workers’ compensation policy will cost for your business is to request customized quotes. A local independent insurance agent can help.
How Can Cape Coral Businesses Get Discounts on Their Workers’ Comp Coverage?
Insurance companies can offer incentives and discounts to their policyholders. As a business owner in Cape Coral, you can save money on your workers’ compensation through three methods:
By setting up an employee safety program
Providing your employees with safety education and maintaining strict safety protocols at your place of business can result in a 2% discount on your coverage.
Insurance companies that specialize in covering businesses in your industry can offer guidelines you can follow to earn this discount, which will need to be renewed annually.
By maintaining a drug-free workplace
Businesses that subject their employees to regular drug-testing can earn up to a 5% discount on their workers’ compensation insurance. This can mean very large discounts for businesses in dangerous fields like trucking and construction.
Through experience modifiers
Experience modifiers (or experience mods) can raise or lower your insurance rates based on your company’s injury record as compared to other companies that operate in the same fields. Your experience modification factor will be updated annually.
If your company has a solid history of employee safety, you can save a significant amount of money on your workers’ compensation insurance premiums, usually up to 20%.
What Does Cape Coral Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
In Florida, workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover the various costs associated with on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses. You can expect your policy to cover the following:
- Medical treatments: Workers’ compensation will cover all costs for necessary medical treatment related to occupational illnesses and injuries. This includes any associated follow-up care, medications, physical therapy, and other treatments. Except for emergency care, all treatments must be handled through an authorized treating physician, who has been designated by the employer and insurer.
- Travel reimbursement: Workers’ comp insurance can reimburse employees for miles driven to and from medical appointments and the pharmacy. In Florida, mileage reimbursement rates are determined by each individual insurance provider.
- Temporary disability: If an employee needs more than seven consecutive days to recuperate from a work-related injury, they will be able to collect a bi-weekly benefit of two-thirds of their average pay until they can return to work. Employees are not paid for the first seven days of disability unless their recuperation takes longer than 21 days.
- Permanent disability: If a work-related injury is so severe that the injured worker will be unable to ever return to their job, workers’ compensation insurance can provide them with a weekly benefit of two-thirds of their average wage until they reach the age of 75. These benefits come with an annual 3% cost of living increase until the injured worker reaches the age of 62.
- Death benefits: If a work-related injury or illness is fatal, workers’ compensation can ease the financial burden on surviving family member by covering burial expenses up to $7,500, offering education benefits to the employee’s spouse, and providing the employee’s spouse and dependents with bi-weekly compensation of two-thirds the employee’s average wages up to $150,000.
Weekly disability benefits cannot exceed the state’s maximum rate, which is designated according to the average weekly wage determined by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. As of January 1, 2021, the weekly maximum payment is $1,011. This number typically increases every year.
You can learn more about workers’ compensation insurance by speaking with an independent insurance agent in Cape Coral.
What Is Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Cape Coral?
Insurance companies sometimes deny workers' compensation claims. This might happen if the incident in question is not covered. Examples of things that insurance companies in Florida will not cover:
- Mental or nervous injury due to stress, fright, or excitement.
- Injuries that occurred outside of working hours, such as at a company picnic.
- Injuries that were not at least 50% caused by doing the job. For example, if doing a job aggravates a pre-existing shoulder injury.
- Injuries that were deemed to have been intentionally self-inflicted.
- Injuries sustained while committing a crime.
- Injuries that occurred while the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Injuries incurred by someone who was not an official employee of the company at the time of the accident.
Additionally, this insurance does not provide compensation for “pain and suffering.”
Where Can Cape Coral Business Owners Purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Most businesses in Cape Coral purchase their workers’ compensation insurance through a commercial provider.
Alternatively, your company may opt to either self-insure or join in a commercial self-insurance fund, wherein member pool resources and spread liabilities. In order to self-insure, you will need to apply for approval and demonstrate that your company has the financial means to do so.
Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Cape Coral, FL
If you are looking for the ideal workers’ compensation policy to cover your Cape Coral business, look no further than a local independent agent. These agents can help you obtain and review customized quotes from a selection of insurance providers that specialize in covering businesses in your industry. That way, you can be sure you are getting your coverage at a competitive price.
Discover how easy it can be to find an affordable workers’ compensation policy for your business. Contact an insurance agent near you to set up an obligation-free consultation.
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