For Contractors working in Florida, the Division of Workers’ Compensation offers several databases that show the workers’ compensation insurance coverage by Florida companies, including construction contractors. Best of all, these tracking and information sources are free to use. As a back up to the physical collection of insurance coverage certificates at the time you contract with a subcontractor, consider using these databases to limit your risk from uninsured companies.
First, the Proof of Coverage Database (Compliance) – The Compliance Database provides information regarding workers’ compensation coverage and exemptions from workers’ compensation. Beginning in May 2002, this information is kept up to date and is available to the public. By entering the employer name and city, you will see if the company has a workers’ compensation policy in place. Results will appear by FEIN/employer name. Exemption data is also maintained and is available. Remember, there is always some lag time between the database status and insurance carrier activity (renewal/cancelation etc..) and direct contact with the insurance carrier may be needed to obtain real-time status. The Bureau of Compliance takes referrals for investigation of civil non-compliance through the Internet, in person, by phone (toll-free referral hotline is 1-800-742-2214), or by e-mail.
Second, the Construction Policy Tracking Database – The Construction Policy Tracking Database provides information to contractors regarding the coverage status of the contractors they use. After registering as a User, the easy-to-use system will send contractors automatic electronic notification of any changes to their contractor’s coverage status. The only action required of the contractor is to register and list the contractors for whom they would like to receive coverage notification. According to the site, policy and exemption data is updated in the system Monday – Friday evenings. Employer names reported to the FL Division of WC can vary slightly from those specifically typed on a policy. Older data may reflect multiple employer names under the same FEIN; therefore, it is recommended that employer information be reviewed carefully prior to selecting employers to track. Notification of changes to an employer’s policy information or exemption status will be sent via e-mail on the next business day after receipt of the change, for any employer that a requestor has on their tracking list. Florida Statutes allow insurance companies 21 days after the effective date of a policy or change, to report that policy or change to the Division, so there will likely be a delay in finding an employer’s policy in the database.