If you suffer an injury or a work-related illness, you can receive Worker compensation benefits until you return to work. These benefits are paid by the insurer for your employer. In turn, your employer pays premiums, just like your car or homeowners insurance premiums, to maintain coverage. But the cost of Worker compensation insurance may be going up.
Wherever you work, chances are good you are covered by your employer’s Worker compensation insurance. By Florida statute, the following types of employers must carry Worker compensation insurance:
- Non-construction: Businesses that employ four or more full- or part-time employees
- Construction: Employers or contractors that hire one or more full- or part-time employees
- Non-local business: Business owners who employ one or more full- or part-time employees who work in Florida
- Agriculture: Employers with six or more regular employees or 12 or more seasonal employees who work for more than 30 days
Employers may arrange for Worker compensation coverage in a number of ways, including through an insurance agent, insurance company or self-insurance. A purchased policy is generally subject to premium increases.
In August 2013, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) proposed a rate level increase of 1 percent on Florida Worker compensation insurance premiums, noting the following:
- Worker compensation losses have stabilized in recent years.
- Medical costs continue to rise faster than wages and cuts in other expenses.
- The rate increase would become effective Jan. 1, 2014.
Scheduled for a public hearing in October, the rate increase proposal reflects the cost of providing appropriate compensation for workers injured or made ill on the job. If you are injured and have trouble gaining eligible benefits in Florida, you may want to seek reputable legal advice.