Competitive Fla. Workers’ Compensation Market Has a Few Gaps

The Florida workers’ compensation market is in good shape, although some small firms may be having difficulty obtaining coverage.

An analysis by Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty’s office shows the state’s workers’ compensation market is competitive compared to the country’s five other most populous states.

However, the state mandated annual report does note some continuing problems of availability for certain segments of the business community, most notably small firms, new firms and construction companies.

The report also documents a decrease in the number of policies written by the Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association and says this decline in residual market policies is also an indication of a healthy marketplace.

A decrease in Florida’s workers’ compensation rates of nearly 16 percent took effect on New Year’s Day, marking a fourth consecutive decrease in as many years.

The four-year cumulative decrease topped 40 percent, according McCarty’s office.

The report stipulates the decrease in workers’ compensation rates is due to the Florida Legislature’s modifications to the law enacted by the 2003 and 2004 legislative reforms. The reforms addressed attorneys’ fees, construction industry requirements, and medical fees.

“Due to the foresight of the Florida Legislature, these reforms have revitalized the market and increased competition,” McCarty said. “The resulting rate reductions have made the State of Florida a more attractive business environment.”