Even when companies adhere to strict OSHA guidelines and safety protocols, people sometimes get injured on the job. When this happens, worker's compensation insurance can protect the finances of both the employer and the employee by covering the associated costs.
If you are an employer in Deerfield Beach, an independent insurance agent can help you find the best and most affordable worker's compensation policy to cover your business. Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Are Businesses in Deerfield Beach, FL Required to Have Worker's Compensation Insurance?
Many Deerfield Beach companies are required by Florida law to carry worker’s compensation insurance. The state mandates that employers must carry this insurance if they are:
- A construction business with at least one employee
- An agricultural business with at least six regular employees and/or 12 seasonal employees who work at least 30 days out of the year
- Any other kind of business with at least four employees.
You are not required to purchase coverage for sole proprietors, LLC members, or partners in non-construction companies, but you can if you want to. Out-of-state businesses are required to carry coverage for their in-state workers through a Florida-licensed provider.
The Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation enforces these requirements. Failure to carry required coverage can result in your business being issued a Stop-Work Order and assessed a fine of double what you would have paid for coverage over the last two years or $1,000, whichever is greater. The Stop-Work Order will not be lifted until your business has paid all assessed fines and has purchased coverage.
How Much Does Worker's Compensation Insurance Cost in Deerfield Beach?
Every business is different, so it follows that worker's compensation rates can vary significantly from one company to the next. Costs are based on:
- The number of employees you have and your company’s overall payroll amount
- The types of jobs your employees do and the likelihood they will be hurt while doing them
- Your company’s claims history and safety record
Every occupation is assigned a classification code. Base rates per every $100 in payroll for each of these class codes are assigned and regulated by the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Insurance companies are required to use these base rates when calculating premiums, but they are permitted to offer their policyholders discounts, credits, dividends, and incentives. Comparing rates enables you to purchase the policy that is offered at the most competitive price.
Base rate examples in Deerfield Beach
Let’s take a look at the base rates per every $50,000 in employee payroll for three very different jobs that can be found in Deerfield Beach, FL:
- Package and parcel delivery person: $5,690/year
- Home healthcare worker: $1,000/year
- Clerical and office worker: $85/year
As you can see, the rates for these different jobs vary significantly. Because office employees have a very low risk of being seriously injured on the job, rates for coverage are nominal. However, because delivery people risk back injuries due to heavy lifting and being injured in vehicle accidents, rates to cover them are much higher.
The only way to find out how much a worker's compensation policy will cost for your business is by requesting a few customized quotes. A local independent insurance agent can obtain quotes from some competing providers on your behalf.
What Can Deerfield Beach Business Owners Do to Lower Their Worker's Comp Insurance Rates?
As a business owner, you can't change the worker's compensation base rates or the jobs your employees do, but there are some ways that you can earn lower costs through discounts.
Maintain a drug-free workplace
In the state of Florida, insurance companies can offer rate discounts of up to 5% to businesses that maintain a drug-free workplace. These businesses will be required to enforce this directive through mandatory drug testing as required by their insurance providers.
Companies that apply for the drug-free workplace discount will need to cover the cost of employee drug testing themselves. For businesses that have high worker's compensation costs, such as trucking companies and construction firms, the potential discounts can far outweigh the cost of drug testing, which runs about $30 per test.
Take a package and parcel delivery person. If this worker makes $50,000 a year, their employer would pay about $5,690 a year to cover them. With a drug-free discount of 5%, this cost can be reduced to $5,406, for a savings of $284 per year, just for this one employee. That is significantly more than the $30 it would cost to run the drug test.
Implement an employee safety program
Companies that provide their employees with regular safety training and instructions on how to use provided safety equipment can earn a worker's compensation insurance discount of up to 2%.
For the delivery person, this can mean savings of $114 a year just for that one employee. Safety programs are inexpensive to run and are good, whether or not you will be earning an insurance discount. A strong safety record is good for your company’s reputation and can also earn you a good experience modification factor.
Have a good experience modification rating
Experience modifiers are assigned to some Florida companies and are regulated by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). In this state, you can qualify for an experience modification factor (or X-mod) if your company has paid more than $10,000 in worker's compensation premiums over the last two years.
An experience modification factor is applied according to how your company’s safety record compares to other companies in your industry.
- If employee injuries are comparable to what is expected for a business like yours, your modification factor will be equal to 1, and base rates for coverage will remain the same.
- If employee injuries are less frequent and severe than expected for a business like yours, your modification factor will be less than 1 and your base rates for coverage will be reduced accordingly.
- If employee injures are more frequent and more severe than expected for businesses like yours, your modification factor will be greater than 1, and your base rates for coverage will be increased accordingly.
This is why maintaining a safe workplace can save your business a lot of money.
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What Does Deerfield Beach Worker's Compensation Insurance Cover?
Worker's compensation insurance is designed to cover the various costs that are associated with on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses. You can expect your policy to cover the following:
- Medical treatment: Injured employees can get all necessary medical costs covered in full. This includes ambulance services, hospital stays, doctor appointments, physical therapy, follow-up care, prescription medications, and other related expenses. These employees will need to have their care coordinated through an authorized provider.
- Mileage reimbursement: Injured employees can be reimbursed for miles driven to and from medical appointments and the pharmacy. Reimbursement rates and terms are determined by each insurance company individually.
- Temporary disability benefits: If they must take more than seven consecutive days to recover from a job-related injury or occupational illness, employees can collect a weekly benefit of two-thirds of their average weekly pay until they are able to return to work. The first seven days of disability will not be covered unless the employee must remain out of work for more than 20 days.
- Permanent disability benefits: If a work-related injury is so severe that the injured worker will never be able to return to work, they can receive 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 employee reaches the age of 62.
- Death benefits: If a work-related injury or illness leads to a fatality, worker's compensation can cover burial expenses up to $7,500, offer education benefits to the employee’s spouse, and provide the employee’s dependents with compensation of two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wages, up to $150,000.
Weekly disability benefits cannot exceed the state’s average weekly pay, as determined by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. As of January 1, 2021, the maximum weekly disability payment is set at $1,011. This rate is updated annually on January 1st.
You can learn more about worker's compensation insurance by speaking with an independent insurance agent in Deerfield Beach.
Where Can Deerfield Beach Business Owners Buy Worker's Compensation Coverage?
Business owners in Florida can purchase coverage through any of the many commercial providers that are authorized to sell Florida worker's compensation insurance policies.
High-risk businesses that are unable to find a commercial provider willing to insure them can get coverage through the Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association (FWCJUA). These policies tend to be a lot more expensive, but coverage is guaranteed.
Alternatively, if your company can demonstrate the financial means to do so, you may opt to self-insure. Most businesses in Deerfield Beach purchase coverage through a commercial provider.
Find the Best Worker's Compensation Insurance in Deerfield Beach, FL
Local independent agents can help you find the best worker's compensation policy to cover your Deerfield Beach business. These agents can provide you with customized quotes from a selection of top-rated insurance providers that specialize in covering businesses like yours. That way, you can be sure you are getting your policy at a competitive price.
Discover how easy it can be to find an ideal worke's compensation policy for your business. Contact an insurance agent near you to get started.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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