Fla. Workers Comp Insurers File for 13.3% Rate Reduction

Workers compensation insurers have filed to reduce rates in Florida an average 13.3 percent statewide next year.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said the cut, if approved, would produce a savings of over $400 million for Florida employers.

If approved, the rate decrease would be the fourth consecutive drop since the stat enacted reforms in 2003. The cumulative overall statewide average rate decrease for the period would total -38.9 percent.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance, which produces and files rates for insurers in many states, said the rate decline was primarily due to a significant drop in claims frequency and a reduction in the costs of claims.

“This is great news for Florida businesses and a boost for our economy,” said McCarty upon receiving the filing. “Our workers are seeing benefits delivered more fairly and efficiently, and our employers are paying lower rates that reflect a reduction of fraud and abuse in the system.”

A rate hearing on the filing will be scheduled by the Office of Insurance Regulation in September or October, and the rate change would be effective for new and renewal business as of January 1, 2007.

The law passed in 2003 instituted provisions for enhanced fraud compliance and revised permanent and temporary disability definitions. It also set new parameters for attorney and physician compensation and improved dispute resolution procedures, in addition to making many other improvements to the system.

Since the workers’ compensation reforms, rate filings and approved levels in Florida have been:
Proposed Approved
Date Change Change

10-1-2003 -14.0% -14.0%
1-1-2005 -2.3% -5.1%
1-1-2006 -7.2% -13.5%