Fixing Florida’s Workers’ Comp System

 

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Why It Matters to Florida

The Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Comp Task Force knows an unstable and unpredictable workers’ comp system leaves injured workers and job creators footing the bill. Business growth requires workers’ compensation premiums to be fair and not inflated by unnecessary costs, and an improved business climate overall will allow Floridians to get back to work and reduce the cost of living for families and small businesses.

Florida’s Competitiveness Agenda

From increases in rates by 14.5% due to cases ruled by the Florida Supreme Court (Castellanos v. Next Door Company and Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg) to a proposed decrease to 9.6%, the instability of the workers’ comp. system leaves attorneys and trial lawyers benefiting off injured workers.

Plaintiff attorney maneuvers like we’re seeing with workers’ comp. are reflective of a larger lawsuit abuse problem in Florida. In fact, according the American Tort Reform Association Florida is the worst legal climate in the nation, second only to California. And that’s important, because a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions a such as where to locate a company or whether or not to expand.

Keeping our workers’ comp system fair and not inflated by trial lawyer tactics and other unnecessary costs will help lower the cost of doing business in Florida. The Florida Chamber has a long history of helping to keep Florida’s workers’ comp system working. As a result, workers’ comp rates were lowered by more than 60 percent in the last 15 years, and we will continue to fight for policies and workers’ comp reform that will reduce rates, protect injured workers and bring stability to the system.

The Fight for Free Enterprise Continues

With rates fluctuating significantly, the Florida Chamber is leading the effort to reform workers’ comp. To secure Florida’s future, we must keep Florida’s workers’ comp system working.

Act Now:

How are increased workers’ comp rates impacting your business? Let us know by contacting Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@flchamber.com.

Senate Takes Steps Toward AOB Reform 

 

Consumer Protection Coalition

 

On January 22, the Senate Committee on Banking & Insurance met to discuss an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) reform bill that will help reign in AOB abuse — Senate Bill 122.

The Florida Chamber applauds Senator Doug Broxson for proposing SB 122 and the committee for engaging in bold dialogue and seeking meaningful insights from industry experts, including Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, the Office of Insurance Regulation and Citizens Property Insurance. 

Meaningful reforms have failed to cross the finish line in past years and as a result, we have seen hardworking individuals continue to fall victim to shady contractors who have convinced them to sign away their rights— ultimately leaving them high and dry without recourse.

Consider that, in 2006, there were only 405 AOB-related lawsuits. Last year, the number skyrocketed to more than 34,000.

We cannot afford another year without AOB reform. 

Engage With Us

  1. Visit the Consumer Protection Coalition to see how you can fight fraud today.
  2. Connect with Florida’s new Governor, members of the Cabinet and the Florida Legislature during the Florida Chamber’s 2019 Legislative Fly-In and Global Florida Dinner.

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis Joins 2018 Insurance Summit Line-up

 

Register

 

Florida’s CFO Shares His To-Do List

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, will discuss his plans to address issues plaguing Florida’s insurance industry.  The time is NOW to stabilize Florida’s insurance markets and lower costs for Florida policy holders. REGISTER TODAY and take part in informative discussions focusing on -crucial issues facing insurers, business leaders and consumers.

Panel Discussions Will Include:

– Managing CAT Risk: A Key to Financial Security
-Citizens at Work: Responding to Challenges
-Innovation at Work: Growing Florida’s Private Flood Insurance Market
-And More

CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Additional Workers’ Comp Cost Reductions for Florida Businesses

On June 13, 2018, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced additional workers’ compensation cost reductions that will save carriers an estimated nearly $20 million in 2019, allowing carriers to help further alleviate costs on Florida businesses. These reductions are a direct result of the sound financial management of the Workers’ Compensation Administration Trust Fund (WCATF) and the Special Disability Trust Fund (SDTF), two funds that workers’ compensation carriers contribute to.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Just last month, we announced that a 1.8 percent decrease in workers’ compensation rates could mean a $79.5 million savings for Florida businesses. Reducing the cost of doing business for workers’ compensation carriers by $20 million means additional savings could be passed on to Florida businesses, easing financial burdens. Anytime we can reduce the cost of doing business we should. Doing so supports our neighborhood businesses and ultimately, both our local and state economy.”

Florida Chamber of Commerce Endorses Jimmy Patronis for Florida’s Chief Financial Officer

 

“CFO Patronis is concerned about fiscal accountability as well as protecting Floridians from shady activities that have led to rising home and auto insurance rates.”

– Mark Wilson, Florida Chamber of Commerce

 

TAMPA, Fla. (May 9, 2018)— Against the backdrop of the historic La Segunda Bakery in Ybor City, the Florida Chamber of Commerce today endorsed Jimmy Patronis for Chief Financial Officer. The announcement was made by Florida Chamber CEO Mark Wilson, Mike Sheely of Allstate Insurance, and Representative Jackie Toledo.

A fourth generation Floridian, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is a public servant that’s focused on Floridians.

 

“I am so grateful for the support of the Florida Chamber of Commerce in my bid for another term as Chief Financial Officer,” said CFO JIMMY PATRONIS. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Florida Chamber to further Governor Scott’s legacy of tax cuts and job creation. This will ensure all businesses, both large and small, have a friendly climate to grow our economy. Together, we must keep fighting for Florida businesses and the opportunities job creators provide for the families in our state.”

 

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer is one of four cabinet members that regularly votes on issues impacting all Floridians. Florida’s CFO oversees the Department of Financial Services, the Division of Consumer Services, the Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, and more. It’s focused on protecting consumers from fraudulent insurance and financial activities, supporting first responders, protecting job creators and their identities, securing Florida’s “AAA” bond rating and more.

During his time in public service, CFO Patronis has been a member of the Public Service Commission, the Florida Ethics Commission, and recently the Constitution Revision Commission. He served eight years in the Florida House of Representatives, consistently earning an “A” grade on the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card.

As a partner in his family’s historic Captain Anderson’s Restaurant, CFO Patronis understands the important role this Cabinet level position plays in helping to keep Floridians protected during their times of need and ensuring Florida’s businesses continue to grow.

 

“Jimmy Patronis is a Floridian, born and raised in Panama City, Florida, who understands the needs of Florida’s families,” said JACKIE TOLEDO, Florida House of Representatives, District 60. “He is the leader that Florida needs to move forward for the next eight years.”

 

Florida needs a leader who can help keep us on the path of fiscal accountability, help reduce fraud that’s raising insurance rates, and ensure that Floridians have the resources they need to make informed financial decisions.

 

“CFO Patronis is especially concerned about protecting Floridians, and that’s a priority we can all support,” said MIKE SHEELY, Field Senior Vice President, Allstate Insurance Company. “I am proud to stand by the Florida Chamber’s endorsement of Jimmy Patronis as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer.”

 

“From ensuring that Floridians have the tools they need to make smart financial decisions to promoting an environment where businesses in Florida can continue to grow, Jimmy Patronis is on the front lines ensuring Florida continues to prosper,” said MARK WILSON, President & CEO, Florida Chamber. “We are proud to endorse Jimmy Patronis as Florida’s next Chief Financial Officer.”

 

Also joining the event was Copeland More a fourth-generation purveyor for La Segunda Bakery.

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Join Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis at 2018 Capitol Days

 

Register

 

The fight to make Florida more competitive for job creators is more important than ever. Join Florida’s CFO Jimmy Patronis, top business executives, legislators and state leaders for in-depth discussions on securing Florida’s future. If you believe strengthening Florida’s economy, spurring growth, creating jobs and lifting incomes are vital to securing Florida’s future, make sure your voice is heard.

Join us at the Florida Chamber’s 2018 Capitol Days as we start our day with Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis saoff during breakfast on Wednesday, January 10.

 

Topics of Discussion During Capitol Days Will Include:

-Lowering the Cost of Doing Business in Florida
-Once Every 20 Years: Constitutional Solutions or Problems?
-Politically Speaking – What Do Floridians Really Think?
-What You Can Do Now to Secure Florida’s Future
-And More

Florida Chamber’s 2017 Insurance Summit: Two Weeks Left to Register!

 

Register

 

Join Florida’s legislative leaders, insurance executives, and political insiders to address workers’ compensation, Assignment of Benefits, CAT Fund and other crucial issues facing insurers, business leaders and consumers.  Register today for the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Insurance Summit.