• Construction Employers who have 1 or more employees, including any non-exempt business owners;
  • Non-Construction Employers who have 4 or more employees including any non-exempt business owners;
  • Agriculture – when there are 6 regular employees and/or 12 seasonal workers who work more than 30 days during a season but no more than a total of 45 days in a calendar year
  • Reference: Section 440.02(17), Florida Statutes
  • Yes, each sub-contractor is responsible for providing Workers’ Compensation insurance for their workers in the event of a work related injury, illness, or fatality.
  • However, the primary contractor is responsible for ensuring that the sub-contractor has provided the coverage for its workers.
  • If a worker is injured, without being protected by insurance, then the contractor becomes responsible for the payment of benefits.
  • For more information please review Section 440.10, Florida Statutes

Prior to the beginning of the job the contractor must obtain the following:

  • If the sub-contractor has a Workers’ Compensation insurance policy, obtain any of the following from the sub-contractor:
    • A copy of the “Information Page” of the subcontractor’s workers’ compensation insurance policy;
    • A screen print from the Division of Workers’ Compensation, Proof of Coverage database confirming that workers’ compensation coverage is in effect for the subcontractor. or
    • A Certificate of Liability Insurance and written documentation obtained either from the producer or carrier confirming that workers’ compensation coverage is in effect for the subcontractor.
  • If the sub-contractor is a client company of an employee leasing company, you must obtain a Certificate of Liability Insurance and a list of the employees leased to the subcontractor obtained from the employee leasing company as of the date the subcontractor commenced work for the contractor on each project.
  • If the sub-contractor has an exemption for the business owner(s) then you may obtain either a copy of the exemption from the sub-contractor or a screen print of the exemption page from the Division of Workers’ Compensation, Proof of Coverage database.

For more complete information please review 69L-6.032, Florida Administrative Code.

  • The cost of Workers’ Compensation insurance is based upon 3 primary factors: the payroll for the business, the type of work performed by the employees, and the individual employer’s claims history.
  • Premium discounts may also be available to employers. Two of the more common discounts include a 2% discount for a workplace safety program and a 5% discount for a drug free workplace program.  Each of these programs must be renewed every year in order to receive the discount.
  • When an injury is reported to the carrier, the carrier is responsible for sending a notice containing their rights and responsibilities to the injured worker.  This notice also contains a Fraud Statement which must be signed by the injured worker and returned to the carrier, prior to any indemnity benefits being paid.
  • The law is very specific on this point. It is the employer’s responsibility to pay the entire premium for workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
  • For more information please review Section 440.105(4)(a)(2), Florida Statutes.
  • 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 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 or Illness (DWC-1) with your insurance carrier for determination of responsibility within 7 days of your first knowledge of the accident/injury.
  • For more information please review Sections 440.02(1) & 440.16, Florida Statutes.
  • The law does not provide compensation for the following conditions:
    Mental or nervous injury due to stress, fright, or excitement;
  • 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. The employer may not sue an injured worker for causing a catastrophe nor can the injured worker sue the employer for their injury. This trade-off makes it possible for injured workers to receive immediate medical care, at no cost to the injured worker, without any consideration for who was at fault, the employer or the employee. In civil law, negligence must be established through litigation before any compensation is awarded.
  • For more information please review Section 440.02(1), Florida Statutes.
  • Under the provisions of Chapter 440, Florida Statutes, an injured worker has two years from the date of the accident to file a petition for benefits with the Division of Administrative Hearings. 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’ compensation insurance carrier for statistical purposes.
  • Make certain that the claim is filed and discuss the situation with your insurance carrier.
  • 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 chooses not to use a safety appliance which the employer has directed him to use.
  • For more information please review Section 440.09(5), Florida Statutes.
  • The University of South Florida Safety Florida Consultation Program has several services that are offered to Florida’s small employers. Those services include helping to establish a Safety Plan; free consultation program; and the ability to check out training videos to provide safety training to your employees.
  • If you implement a drug-free workplace program in accordance with the criteria set forth in s.440.102, Florida Statutes, you may be eligible for a 5 percent premium credit from your insurance carrier to your workers’ compensation insurance premium. In addition to the premium credit, having a Workers’ Compensation Drug-Free Workplace Program may make your workplace safer, resulting in fewer accidents, which may reduce your workers’ compensation costs.
  • For more information please review Sections 440.101 & 440.102, Florida Statutes
  • What you’re really asking is, “What are my policy limits?” A limit is the total amount your policy can pay out. There are two limits for General Liability policies:
    • i. Aggregate limit is the most your policy will pay in a single year for all claims.
    • ii. Occurrence limit is the amount your policy can pay for any single claim.
  • The amount varies depending on what the business has purchased – often you will see a policy with limits of $1,000,000 Aggregate limit / $1,000,000 Occurrence limit – which means the most your policy will pay is $1,000,000 total in a single year for all claims, and $1,000,000 limit means the maximum amount your policy will pay for one single claim.
  • You need commercial auto insurance for any automobile, taxi, van, limo, bus or small truck that you use for business because a personal auto policy will not cover your vehicles used for business.
  • Your commercial vehicle coverage will protect you and your business from the costs of property damage, injury and liability claims that you may incur in the use of your commercial vehicles.
  • For larger commercial vehicles such as tow trucks, cement trucks, construction vehicles, tractor trailers or semi-trucks, you will need a commercial truck insurance policy. Not only is your commercial vehicle policy critical for protecting your business financially, but it is required by law.

The cost of auto insurance depends on a number of things including the size of your business, the types of vehicles and number of vehicles you need to insure, your risks, and the amount of coverage you need.

Generally, a passenger auto vehicle will cost much less than a heavy duty vehicle such as dump truck. However, insurance carriers also offer fleet insurance and these policies are typically available at a bulk discount.

The cost of insurance also depends on the driving records of the drivers who will be using your commercial vehicles. Employees who have bad driving records will cost you more to insure, so it is always important to perform a driving record background check on prospective employees. Drivers who are between the ages of 30 and 65 are typically given better insurance rates.

In terms of the cost for the type of vehicle being insured, rates are generally the least expensive for vehicles used in construction and farming. Vehicles used as passenger vehicles and for small deliveries are slightly more expensive. The most expensive vehicles to insure include heavy duty cargo vehicles that transport loads more than 10,000 pounds

Personal use will be covered for a company owned vehicle providing the company has commercial auto coverage. If you are driving your own vehicle to and from work without using your vehicle for commercial purposes then it would be covered under your personal auto policy.

If you are using your personal vehicle occasionally for commercial purposes, you will either need to have sufficient liability coverage under your personal auto policy, or purchase commercial auto insurance. The best option will depend on the circumstances; if you are using your vehicle for any kind of business purpose, be sure to talk with your agent. The business may be required to get a non-owned business liability endorsement for these situations.

If your personal vehicle is insured as a commercial vehicle and other members of your family use the vehicle for personal purposes, then you may have to get a “non-owned vehicle” endorsement. Ask your agent about what is required for these situations.

If you use your own vehicle to deliver pizza, there are several options you can consider:

  • Buy a commercial lines policy.
  • Get non-owner coverage from the pizza business owner. This will give you liability coverage for injuries and property damage to others, but will not cover property damage to your own vehicle.
  • Obtain coverage from insurance companies that offer policies specifically tailored for personal vehicles used for delivery situations. The insurance company may even discount the rates if you use the vehicle for seasonal use such as a summer job.

One of the best ways to find a commercial auto policy to suit your individual commercial vehicle insurance requirements is to speak with an independent agent like Garcia Lorenzo & Associates. An independent agent can compare policies and rates so you can find a policy you can afford.

If you use your vehicle for commercial purposes or plan to do so in the near future, contact us today to find the commercial vehicle coverage you need so that both you and your business are protected.

Hired auto coverage provides liability insurance for vehicles you lease, hire, rent, or borrow to use in connection with your business. For example you’ve taken on a special job that requires you rent a commercial van from a local company. While driving the van in your business on the job, you accidentally rear end a car and the driver of the other vehicle sustains a sprained arm, or any other type of injury. The other car sustains minor damage to the bumper. Since you were driving it for work, your hired auto coverage could cover the loss or claim for liability up to the limits that you purchased. Hired auto coverage does not protect vehicles you lease, hire, rent or borrow from any of your employees, partners, members, or member of their households.

You or one of your employees that will drive a vehicle for business purposes that’s not listed on your commercial auto policy, then yes you might need hired auto coverage for liability protection purposes. Call us for a comprehensive review of your needs.

Yes, your commercial auto, workers’ compensation, commercial general liability and any other business related insurance is tax deductible. There are many situations that allow you to deduct the cost for tax purposes for commercial or business use. Speak to your accountant to best direct you on what you can and cannot deduct from your taxes.