Florida Workers' Compensation Insurance

Workers Comp 
Florida Workers' Compensation Insurance

Being a small business owner often means juggling limited resources, and that can make meeting all the different legal obligations a bit challenging.

This is especially true in the state of Florida, where they take worker safety seriously, requiring all businesses with four or more employees and all construction businesses, regardless of their number of employees, to purchase workers' comp. Remember, it's always wise to put safety first, even when you're in paradise!

Having workers' comp coverage means that if an employee has a work-related injury or illness, their medical bills, disability benefits, and a portion of their wages will be covered by the insurance policy. It also prevents employees from suing businesses if they get hurt.

While this is comforting news for employees and employers alike, especially in higher-risk professions, navigating the ins and outs of Florida's workers' compensation laws can be confusing for everyone involved. So let's dive in!

Get a free quote

Who Needs Workers' Comp Coverage in Florida?

State law requires any non-construction business with four or more employees (part-time or full-time) to carry workers' comp. 

All construction businesses, contractors, and subcontractors with one or more employees (including the business owner) must have workers' comp coverage. 

Be sure to verify that every subcontractor you work with has a certificate of insurance. If you hire a subcontractor and they do not have coverage, your business may be liable to cover any medical expenses related to injuries or illnesses incurred on the job.

If you have an agricultural business with 6 or more regular employees and/or 12 or more seasonal employees who work for more than 30 days in a calendar year, you will need to obtain workers' comp to cover them as well.

What Does Workers' Comp Insurance Pay in Florida?

In the Sunshine State, workers' comp pays two-thirds of an employee's average weekly wage, up to the statewide average weekly wage, which is $1,197 in 2023.

How Do I Get Workers' Comp Coverage in Florida?

The simplest and most common way to get workers' comp insurance coverage is through an agent or broker. You can get a quote from our team here at Hourly for easy, pay-as-you-go workers' comp.

In the case that you cannot obtain coverage through the standard workers' compensation market, you may contact the Florida Workers' Compensation Joint Underwriting Association (FWCJUA)

Note: The workers' compensation rates in the FWCJUA will be higher than the rates in the standard market.

If your business is on the larger side, you may even have the option to self-insure. You can apply for permission to self-insure through the Florida Self-Insurers Guaranty Association.


In order to qualify, your company needs to have a minimum net worth of $10 million, make a down payment of $100,000, and submit financial documents from the last three years so they can determine whether you have the financial strength necessary to ensure timely payment of all current and future claims.

If none of these options is a good fit for you, try contacting the Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) Coverage Assistance Program at: https://minimarket.fldfs.com

Get a Free Workers' Compensation Insurance Quote 

Hourly offers workers comp policies for small businesses in Florida. We have a pay-as-you-go system with premiums based on your actual payroll, so you can skip those nasty audit surprises. Try it out today.

Lower your audit bill with Hourly
Learn more!

Who Doesn't Need Workers' Comp in Florida?

There are some businesses and workers who are exempt from workers' comp coverage:

  • Business with three or fewer employees (excluding the construction industry).
  • Sole proprietors and partners, including construction companies with no employees (if you file for an exemption).
  • Independent contractors are not technically employees, so they do not require workers' comp.
  • Corporate officers and members of limited liability companies who wish to exclude themselves as employees. 
  • Corporate officers at construction companies if they can each demonstrate ownership of at least 10% of the company. Only up to three corporate officers can be exempted though.
  • Agricultural companies with five or fewer regular employees or 11 or fewer seasonal workers.

If you fit the profile and want to apply for an exemption, you can do so through The Florida Department of Financial Services. Even if it's not mandatory for you to have workers' compensation coverage, it's a wise decision to have it in place as it not only covers medical care but also lost wages and other expenses that may not be covered by a regular medical insurance policy. 

What Does Workers' Comp Cover in Florida?

Different accidents call for different benefits, depending on the circumstances. The following is a list of the various types of wage compensation benefits covered by workers' comp.

Temporary Total Disability

If an injured employee cannot work at all, it is considered Temporary Total Disability (TTD), and they are eligible for 66.6% of their lost wages for up to 104 weeks–up to the state max

Temporary Partial Disability

If an injured employee can do some work but isn't able to make 80% of what they were earning before, that would be considered Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), in which case they would be eligible for benefits that would partially make up the difference, also for up to 104 weeks. 

Impairment Income Benefits

If a doctor determines that an injured employee is at maximum medical recovery and is not expected to improve, they may receive Impairment Income Benefits (IIB), which are based on a rating system

Permanent Disability

Should an employee's injuries be so severe that they cannot work again, they will receive Permanent Total Disability benefits, PTD, which pay 66.6% of their wages up to the state max, for the rest of their lifetime. 

Medical Treatment

In addition to lost wage benefits, workers' comp covers the cost of treating a number of work-related injuries and illnesses. Some of the more common afflictions are listed below:

  • Sprains, fractures, and breaks
  • Lacerations (cuts or tears) 
  • Burns 
  • Allergic reactions
  • Carpal tunnel 
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Black lung disease
  • Asbestosis
  • Mesothelioma
  • Silicosis
  • Occupational asthma
  • Occupational hearing loss
  • Infectious diseases contracted on the job
  • Other illnesses or injuries incurred at or caused by a workplace accident or exposure

Additional expenses covered by workers' comp may take the form of the following:

  • Doctors' visits, referrals, and ongoing medical benefits
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Hospitalization
  • Funeral costs and death benefits for families

As you can see, workers' comp goes well beyond basic employee assistance, offering peace of mind for everyone involved.

How is Workers' Comp Calculated?

Workers' comp insurance premiums are calculated based on your industry, the type of work your employees do and the risks they carry, and the number of prior claims your business has had (expressed through your experience modifier or X-mod).

There may be other factors that go into your premium depending on your carrier and state. Get in touch with your agent to find out more.

At Hourly, we price policies based on your actual payroll, so there are no averages or estimates, and you avoid getting slammed with a big bill after your annual audit.

Discover how much you can save with Hourly's pay-as-you-go workers' comp
Join us!

FAQs About Florida Workers' Comp 

How do workers' compensation claims work in Florida?

  1. Employers must be notified about a workplace injury within 30 days of it occurring or when the worker feels symptoms. If the worker requires medical attention, send them to a healthcare provider approved by your insurance carrier.
  2. The worker must obtain a doctor's report that outlines the extent of the injury. This report may also be necessary to document reimbursement for related expenses. If the doctor has cleared the employee to work but not in their previous role, their report must outline what tasks the employee cannot perform and for how long.
  3. Employers have seven days to report a claim to their insurance carrier. If an employer fails to make this report, the employee may report their workers' compensation case directly to the insurance company. This claim will require documentation of medical treatment/diagnosis as well as proof of lost wages.
  4. If the claim is approved, the employee may be eligible for medical, wage replacement, and disability benefits. The insurance company has 30 days to make the first payment after receiving the claim.

What is the maximum workers' comp lost wage coverage? 

According to the Florida Bureau of Monitoring and Audit Statistics, the maximum amount an ill or injured employee can receive is $1,197 per week for 2023. 

How long can an employee collect workers' comp in Florida?

Depending on the severity of the injury, your employee may be able to collect two-thirds of their lost wages for up to 104 weeks, up to the state max.

Am I responsible for covering my subcontractors? 

Florida statutes require contractors to make certain that all subcontractors have workers' compensation insurance before they begin work on a project. You can do this by checking the public record of Proof of Coverage from the Department of Workers' Comp (DWC) database.


If a subcontractor doesn't have workers' compensation insurance for their employees, those workers are then treated as employees of the contractor. 

In the event of an injury, illness, or fatality, it becomes the contractor's responsibility to provide benefits for the work-related incident.

How much is a workers' compensation settlement in Florida?

The average workers' compensation settlement in the Sunshine State is around $20,000, but the amount of a settlement can be well above or below average. Here are some factors that can affect the amount of a workers' compensation settlement:

  • The severity of the injury or illness and the extent of the resulting disability
  • The cost of medical expenses incurred as a result of the injury or illness
  • The amount of lost wages due to the injury or illness
  • The length of time the injured worker is expected to be out of work
  • The type of benefits the injured worker is eligible for, such as temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, or death benefits

What are the death benefits for the family of a deceased employee?

Should an employee pass away due to a work-related accident, their surviving family members may be eligible for death benefits. The specific entitlements for the deceased employee's family include:

  • Coverage of funeral expenses, which can be up to $7,500.
  • Compensation benefits for dependents, which may amount to a maximum of $150,000. (These benefits are typically paid at approximately two-thirds of the deceased employee's weekly wage, up to the state max).
  • Education benefits for the surviving spouse.

Do these laws apply to out-of-state employers?

Out-of-state employers must notify their insurance carrier that they have employees working in Florida. 

If the current policy does not cover work performed in the state, the employer is required to obtain a Florida workers' compensation insurance policy with an approved insurance carrier that meets the requirements of the state statutes and insurance code.

What is the penalty for not having workers' compensation in Florida?

Failure to have workers' compensation coverage in the Sunshine State carries significant penalties. The Florida Division of Workers' Compensation can charge you a minimum fine for non-compliance of $1,000 per employee or up to double what you would have paid in workers' compensation premiums during the previous two years, whichever is greater.

Not having workers' comp for your employees can lead to some serious consequences. You could even get hit with a "stop-work order," or SWO, which basically forces your business to close until you get the required workers' compensation coverage. 

If the state feels you intentionally fudged your records in order to avoid paying workers' comp premiums, you might even be looking at potential jail time and extra fines. As you can see, it's definitely not worth the risk.

Make Workers' Comp Easy and Affordable

Need an easier, more affordable way to provide workers' compensation benefits to your employees?

Hourly is here to help. We offer a pay-as-you-go system with premiums based on your actual payroll in real-time, so you don't have to waste precious hours running the numbers yourself. 

Try it out today!

Improve your cash flow with Hourly
Learn more here!
Lower your audit bill with Hourly
Learn more!
A man holding his tablet receiving the newsletter from a man in a blue suit.

Don't miss out!

Get the latest news from Hourly and helpful tips to run your business

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.