Florida Workers’ Comp Rates to Drop For 6th Consecutive Year

August 28, 2008

The latest workers’ compensation filing in Florida calls for an overall average rate decrease of 14.1 percent statewide, which would produce a savings of more than $465 million for Florida employers, according to state officials.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty received the latest rate filing from the National Council on Compensation Insurance for rates due to become effective next year.

If approved, the rate decrease would be the sixth consecutive drop since the Legislature passed sweeping reforms to the state’s workers’ compensation system in 2003. The cumulative overall statewide average rate decrease since 2003 would total 58.3 percent.

Prior to the legislative reforms, Florida consistently ranked first or second in the country for the highest workers’ compensation rates; however, post-reform, Florida has dropped out of the top 10 rankings.

NCCI, 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.

A rate hearing on the filing will be scheduled by the Office of Insurance Regulation in October, and the rate change would be effective for new and renewal business as of Jan. 1, 2009.

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.

Source: Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

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