The Top 6 Worker’s Compensation Insurance FAQs for General Contractors in Florida

As a general contractor in Florida, you need to understand how worker’s compensation works to ensure that your business and employees are covered. To help general contractors understand the basics, we’ve answered the top 6 questions frequently asked by our clients.

Who needs workers’ compensation coverage?

Workers’ compensation coverage is needed for all construction employers who have one or more employees (including any non-exempt business owners). And, for non-construction employers, four or more employees (which also includes any non-exempt business owners).

Trades that are considered to be in the construction industry can be viewed in Florida’s Administrative Code.

Do I need worker’s compensation insurance if I hire sub-contractors?

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Sub-contractors are responsible for their own insurance that will cover workers in the event of a work-related incident. But it is the responsibility of the primary contractors to ensure that the sub-contractor has coverage for its workers. The contractor is responsible for the payment of benefits if a worker is injured without being protected by insurance.

What proof does a contractor need from a sub-contractor to verify insurance coverage?

For a sub-contractor that has a workers’ compensation insurance policy, before beginning a job the contractor must obtain any of the following:

  • A copy of the ‘information page’ from the insurance policy
  • A screen print from the proof of coverage database confirming that coverage is in effect
  • A Certificate of Liability Insurance along with documentation from either the producer or carrier confirming that workers’ compensation coverage is valid

For a sub-contractor that is a client company of an employee leasing company, the contractor needs to obtain:

  • A Certificate of Liability Insurance
  • A list of the employees leased to the subcontractor for the date that the subcontractor commences work for the contractor

For a sub-contractor that has an exemption for the business owner or owners, the contractor needs either:

  • A copy of the exemption
  • A screen print of the exemption page from the Proof of Coverage database.

What is the Cost of Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

There are 3 factors that influence the cost of insurance: the type of work being performed by employees, the employer’s claims history and the payroll for the business. There are some discounts that may be made available such as a discount for a workplace safety program (2%) and a drug-free workplace program (5%). These programs need to be renewed on an annual basis in order to qualify for the discount.

What is a Worker’s Compensation Exemption?

An exemption can be filed for an officer of a corporation or member of a limited liability company. The purpose is to be excluded from the workers’ compensation laws. The office or member will not be classified as an employee and cannot claim workers’ compensation benefits once they have been issued a Certificate of Election to be Exempt.

How Do You Apply for an Exemption?

To apply for, or renew an exemption from workers’ compensation law, the applicant needs to complete and submit a Notice of Election to be Exempt application. If the applicant is eligible, this can be done online. It is important to note that the application needs to be personally signed by the applicant attesting that they have reviewed, understood, and acknowledged the information included on the application.  It may be considered a felony of the third degree if anyone other than the applicant signs the application.

If you need help with applying for a workers’ compensation exemption or need some assistance with additional general contracting questions, please get in touch with us. Contractors Reporting Services in Tampa, Florida offers reliable results building on reputation and experience of over 50 years in business. We understand that general contractors have a vast range of paperwork that needs to be done from financial reports, licensing or business services, and we’re confident that we can help you tackle them.