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Proposed Workers' Comp Rates Would Drop for Seventh Straight Year

Source: Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

Posted on 26 Aug 2009

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Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty announced today that he has received the latest rate filing from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) for workers' compensation insurance rates due to become effective Jan. 1, 2010. The filing includes an overall average rate decrease of 6.8 percent statewide, which would produce a savings of more than $166 million for Florida employers.

If approved, the rate decrease would be the seventh consecutive decline 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 63.2 percent.

"I am very pleased to receive another request for a reduction in workers' compensation rates," said Commissioner McCarty. “This is welcome news to Florida employers during these challenging economic times.”

Before the 2003 legislative reforms were passed, Florida ranked as the first or second state with the highest workers’ compensation rates in the country. Last year, studies showed that Florida had dropped to the 28th highest. However, updating those studies with the rate changes the Office approved earlier this year, plus today’s NCCI filing, Florida’s ranking could now be among the 10 lowest states in the country.

NCCI, which produces and files rates for insurers in many states, noted the rate decline was primarily due to a significant reduction in claims frequency although there are signs the pace of improvement has moderated.

The Office will schedule a rate hearing in October, and the rate change would be effective for new and renewal business as of Jan. 1, 2010.

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.