Today, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), the industry’s provider of workers’ compensation analysis and rates, announced that they are requesting an average 3.3 percent decrease in workers’ compensation rates, effective January 1, 2015 – a step in the right direction from the 2.5 percent proposed decrease in August.
Despite this reduction, there are still a number of cost drivers in the workers’ comp system. According to a 2013 report by the Department of Financial Services’ three member panel, medical costs, especially those related to hospital inpatient and outpatient services, are a significant cost driver. Although the Florida Legislature did not pass the Florida Chamber-backed bill during the 2014 session that would address rising medical costs by researching an appropriate fee schedule for workers’ comp claims, the Florida Chamber remains committed to continuing our efforts to help pass legislation that reduces rates.
NCCI warns that while they are currently seeking a 3.3 percent rate decrease, court decisions related to Castellanos v. Next Door Company, Westphal v. St. Petersburg, Morales v. Zenith Insurance Company, and Padgett v. State of Florida could dramatically increase rates.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce has filed amicus curiae briefs on the three cases currently before the Florida Supreme Court, and will monitor the appeal of the Padgett case to the Third District Court of Appeal.
This rate decrease still must be approved by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. The Florida Chamber will continue to monitor workers’ comp rates, increasing costs in the system and pending litigation that might impact rates.
2014 Florida Chamber Election Guide
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