Fla. OIR Disapproves Workers’ Comp Rates

October 29, 2004

Florida Commissioner of Insurance Regulation Kevin McCarty, this week, disapproved the latest workers’ compensation rate filing because the decrease in rates was reportedly not enough. McCarty ordered the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) to re-file rates that reflect a larger rate decrease.

McCarty said that while NCCI does fine work, “I disagree with how they assessed parts of this filing. The reforms passed by the Legislature have reduced the high rates Florida’s businesses pay to protect their employees. I have to make sure all savings and costs are properly reflected in this filing, and I just do not believe they have been,” McCarty said.

NCCI had proposed an overall statewide average decrease in premiums of 0.9% in a Sept. 15, 2004 amendment to the filing. This was down from a 2.2% decrease that NCCI had initially filed for rates on new and renewal business beginning Jan. 1, 2005. A public hearing was held Oct. 5 to allow interested parties to testify on the filing.

In his order, McCarty said he would approve a revised filing with an overall statewide premium reduction of 5.1% and with an overall statewide premium drop of 11.8% for contractors. Among the reasons the filing was reportedly disapproved were disagreements with the supporting documents; with the loss trend calculations and with the filing’s reinsurance provisions. McCarty ordered the amendments to the filing be made as soon as is practicable.

Senate Bill 50A was passed by the 2002 Legislature. The bill ordered substantial reforms to Florida’s workers’ comp system. At the time Gov. Jeb Bush signed the bill into law, Florida’s employers were reportedly paying amongst the highest premiums in the nation while the state’s workers received amongst the lowest benefits.

McCarty’s order for the 5% reduction would be in addition to a 14% reduction that became effective on Oct. 1, 2003.

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