Workers’ Comp Rates Decrease by 13.8 Percent

Automation and Employers’ Efforts to Create Safer Workplaces Produce Short-Term Rate Reduction, but Increased Attorney Fees Poised to Have Greater Impact on Future Rates

On Friday, November 9, 2018, the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) approved an average 13.8 percent decrease in workers’ comp rates to take effect January 1, 2019 for new and renewal policies. This is based on the National Council on Compensation Insurance’s (NCCI) filing for a 13.4 percent decrease to OIR at the end of August, 2018. When making its filing, NCCI pointed to improved loss experience as the reason for the decrease. More information and an analysis of NCCI’s August filing can be found here.

In a statement, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said:

“A workers’ compensation insurance decrease of 13.8 percent amounts to almost a half billion dollars in savings for Florida’s business community who support local economies, employ our neighbors, and give back to our communities. We must continue to do all we can to support and fuel Florida businesses, the backbone of our economy. While today’s news is good news, we must keep a close watch on Florida’s workers’ compensation insurance market so that we don’t go back to the time of skyrocketing rates.”

The Florida Chamber will continue to advise businesses on the impact of rising attorney fees and other cost drivers to the system. Friday’s rate decrease is good news for Florida job creators, but employers should be prepared for potential rate increases on the horizon as attorney fees continue to exert pressure on the workers’ comp system. As more time passes following the Castellanos decision in April 2016, these increased costs will be included in future experience rate filings.

Does Florida’s Workers’ Comp System Work For You?

Join us in advance of the 2019 Legislative Session to discuss workers’ comp and other issues important to Florida’s job creators by registering for the 2019 Florida Chamber of Commerce Legislative Fly-In on February 19-21, 2019.

Workers’ Comp Rates Decrease 1.8 Percent Next Month

 

Join the Workers’ Comp Task Force      Learn More About Workers’ Comp

 

On May 1, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation approved a law-only filing that decreases workers’ comp rates by 1.8 percent, effective June 1, 2018.  This decrease is the result of the federal tax cut package signed into law at the end of last year, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which produced an increase to many carriers’ profit and contingency margins. In response, the National Council on Compensation Insurance filed a corresponding rate decrease to offset the increases to insurance carriers.

What This Means for You

As a result of federal tax reform, job creators will experience lowered costs of doing business in the form of needed workers’ comp rate relief. However, this relief may only be temporary. The result is modest, albeit temporary, rate relief for businesses across the state of Florida.

It is expected that the National Council on Compensation Insurance will file its annual experience filing in late summer, and rate increases could be on the horizon.  The fact remains that while businesses across the state have continued to become safer and the severity of claims have decreased, attorney fees remain a cost driver in Florida’s workers’ comp system.  Recent data by the Office of Judges of Compensation Claims show that attorney fees increased by 36 percent over the previous year, and hourly attorney fees have jumped by 200 percent.

The experience rate filing expected in late summer will start to reflect some of this new data as a result of the Florida Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Castellanos v. Next Door Company.

Join the Task Force

We need your help in pushing legislators to enact meaningful and comprehensive workers’ comp reform by addressing skyrocketing attorney fees. Join the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Workers’ Compensation Task Force by contacting Carolyn Johnson at (850) 521-1235 or cjohnson@flchamber.com.

Despite Rate Decrease, Workers’ Comp Reform Should Be Top of Mind for Lawmakers

 

This August, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) recommended an average Florida workers’ comp premium decrease of 9.6 percent effective January 1, 2018. This comes following two landmark Florida Supreme Court cases that brought uncertainty to the state’s workers’ compensation system and in turn raised rates by 14.5 percent in 2017.

While the 9.6 percent rate decrease is welcome and business owners should be relieved, the problem still persists.

NCCI recommended a decrease, not because of any reform or changes, but because it is using claims data from 2014 and 2015.

Unfortunately, too many groups are laying down the sword despite Florida having among the highest workers’ compensation rates in the Southeast, with rising rates leading to a $1.5 billion cost shift for Florida businesses. Various organizations and associations have openly proclaimed that the fight for reform is unlikely this year.

The truth is that business owners will soon experience sticker shock after their workers comp rates skyrocket again and they will be knocking at their lawmaker’s door, asking “Why didn’t you do something about this?”

Florida was once hailed as a leader on workers’ comp reform but our current workers’ compensation system is unsustainable for the state. Fees and claims will continue to rise, hampering Florida’s business climate and causing our 46th ranked legal system to fall even further.

A competitive and predictable workers’ compensation system that protects workers and job creators is vital to making Florida more competitive. Lawmakers should consider the long-term ramifications for the future of the state if they fail on reform this session. Hopefully, it will spark the urge to fix our broken workers’ compensation system.

Authored by Carol Roberts, President & CEO of Bay County Chamber of Commerce

Tentative Workers’ Comp Rate Proposal Announced

On August 28, 2017, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) recommended a 9.6 percent workers’ comp rate decrease to Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation, effective January 1, 2018. If approved, this decrease is temporary relief for Florida job creators who faced a 14.5 percent increase that took effect earlier this year.

While we are still reviewing the specifics of the rate proposal, of particular interest to job creators is the decision by NCCI to only utilize 2014 and 2015 claims data for this rate proposal. This means that claims from 2016, which were not subject to trial attorney fee caps overturned by the court in last April’s Castellanos decision, are largely not included in the rate proposal.

In April 2016, Florida’s activist Supreme Court ruled against small businesses and injured workers and in favor of trial lawyers in Castellanos. By throwing out Florida’s attorney fee structure, the cost of lawsuits have increased significantly, and in some instances, trial lawyers are receiving attorney fees as high as $400 an hour.

During the 2017 session, the Florida Legislature failed to pass meaningful workers’ comp reform, despite the $1.5 billion cost this rate increase had on job creators, their employees and customers. The Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Comp Task Force has been working over the summer to improve upon last year’s legislation in the hopes of getting the Legislature to act in 2018. Unfortunately for businesses, until the Legislature passes reforms, costs can continue to increase. And while a rate decrease would be great news for businesses, it doesn’t make the chances of meaningful workers’ comp reform next session more favorable.

This rate still must be approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation. The Florida Chamber will continue to keep you informed of ongoing ratemaking process and legislative action.

Here Are Two of the Ways You Can Make Your Voice Heard

With No Legislative Fix In Sight, Court Reinstates Workers’ Comp Rate Increase

First District Court of Appeals Officially Reinstates 14.5 Percent Increase

Just one day after lawmakers closed out the 2017 Legislative Session without fixing Florida’s broken workers’ compensation system, the First District Court of Appeals (DCA) today issued a ruling reversing a lower court’s ruling and officially reinstated the 14.5 workers’ comp rate increase  which originally took effect December of 2016.

The DCA made its ruling on the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) and Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) v. James Fee case. Fee is a workers’ comp trial attorney. Fee filed a lawsuit against NCCI and OIR arguing that they violated the Sunshine Law while determining the rate increase associated with two Florida Supreme Court rulings. Days before the rate increase was to take effect, the Leon Circuit Court invalidated the 14.5 percent workers’ comp increase under the grounds that the Sunshine Law had been violated. After the case was appealed to the First DCA, a stay was issued, allowing the rate increase to take effect. The First DCA found that NCCI and OIR complied with the multiple elements of the Sunshine Law and that the rate increase should take effect.

Unfortunately, this decision comes the day after the Florida Legislature concluded the 2017 Legislative Session without taking steps to protect job creators from this rate increase. Throughout session, NCCI and Florida’s workers’ comp ratemaking process were consistently under attack by the trial bar.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce fiercely advocated for a fix to Florida’s broken workers’ comp system, and believe that this case was designed to serve as a distraction from the real issue at hand – resolving the Florida Supreme Court decision that led to the 14.5 percent – or $1.5 billion – workers’ comp rate increase in the first place.

 

Join the Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Comp Task Force

Support our efforts to help make workers’ comp rates affordable for job creators. Join the Florida Chamber Workers’ Compensation Task Force.

Florida Chamber Calls on Florida Senate to Help Fix Pending Workers’ Comp Crisis

The Florida Chamber of Commerce today testified for a legislative fix to Florida’s workers’ compensation crisis during today’s Florida Senate Banking & Insurance Committee meeting.

“A $1.5 billion tab that is not about employee safety or protecting workers, but about increasing compensation for plaintiff trial lawyers is harmful to Florida’s competitiveness,” said CAROLYN JOHNSON, Director of Business, Economic Development & Innovation Policy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “The Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Comp Task Force believes that a legislative solution should include tying attorney fees to the amount of benefits secured for the injured worker.”

Florida’s employers are now having to foot a $1.5 billion workers’ comp bill as the result of two overreaching Florida Supreme Court decisions earlier this year declaring portions of Florida’s workers’ comp system unconstitutional.

“We support legislative efforts to normalize rates… to prevent future spikes so our businesses can plan for their future,” said TODD THOMSON, Vice President of Public Affairs, Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce during his testimony.

According to research from a Florida Chamber Workers’ Compensation Task Force survey, of the businesses impacted by the rate increase, 90 percent said the impact is significant. An overwhelming 96 percent of those surveyed believe that the Florida Legislature should take action to remedy the Supreme Court decisions that resulted in a 14.5 percent increase.

Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, a Leon Circuit Court judge voided the 14.5 percent rate increase under the grounds that the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) and the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) did not follow the requirements of the “Sunshine Law.” This decision has since been appealed, meaning the rate increase took effect on December 1, as planned. Yesterday evening, the First District Court of Appeals ruled that the 14.5 percent rate increase, which equates to $1.5 billion, will continue to be in effect while the OIR and NCCI appeal a case from the Leon Circuit Court last month.

“Many businesses are telling us that a $1.5 billion increase means they will be forced to raise prices, reduce benefits, delay hiring, or even cut existing jobs, in order to cover this increase in their premiums,” said JOHNSON. “The Florida Chamber has led the charge to lower rates more than 60 percent in the last 13 years and has helped injured workers return to work 10 days faster- we will not be distracted by trial lawyer tactics and will continue to advocate for a legislative remedy to this issue.”

 

Did You Know the Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Comp Task Force is Working on a Solution to the $1.5 Billion Increase?

Learn more about the Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Comp Task Force and its work on a legislative solution to the $1.5 billion increase to Florida’s business community.

Workers’ Comp Rate Increase to Stay in Effect During Appeal

Yesterday evening, the First District Court of Appeals ruled that the 14.5 percent rate increase will continue to be in effect while the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) and National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) appeal a case from the Leon Circuit Court last month. This case, brought forward by a trial lawyer, argued that the rate-making process violated Florida’s Sunshine Law. The DCA also granted NCCI’s motion to expedite the case, and set the following timeline:

  • January 11, 2017
    OIR and NCCI must file arguments on the merits of the case
  • January 23, 2017
    James Fee, the trial attorney who brought forward the case, must respond to OIR and NCCI’s filing, and
  • February 2, 2017
    Final briefs must be filed.

What This Means for Florida Businesses:

The Leon Circuit Court in its decision invalidated the rate increase, but the District Court of Appeals allowed the rate to take effect on December 1 for all new and renewal policies. This case is a red herring, meant to distract from the real problem- increased attorney fees as a result of the Castellanos v. Next Door Company Florida Supreme Court decision. In fact, claimant attorney fees are up over 20 percent since the Supreme Court’s decision in April.

 

What’s Next:

Today, the Florida Chamber will testify before the Florida Senate’s Banking & Insurance Committee to fight for a workers’ comp system that works. Share your story with us by contacting cjohnson@flchamber.com today.

Learn how the Florida Chamber of Commerce Workers’ Comp Task Force is working on a legislative solution to the $1.5 billion increase to Florida’s business community.

Workers’ Comp Rate Goes Into Effect

Total Costs Resulting From Court Rulings to Top $1.5 Billion

Today, December 1, 2016, workers’ compensation rates will increase by 14.5 percent for all new and renewal policies, an increase which equates essentially to a $1.5 billion transfer of wealth from Florida businesses to trial lawyers the Florida Chamber of Commerce said.

“Today, job creators across Florida are opening their doors and facing a $1.5 billion tab that is not about employee safety or protecting workers, but about increasing compensation for plaintiff trial lawyers,” said CAROLYN JOHNSON, Director of Business, Economic Development & Innovation Policy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, a Leon Circuit Court judge voided the 14.5 percent rate increase under the grounds that the National Council on Compensation Insurance and the Office of Insurance Regulation did not follow the requirements of the “Sunshine Law.” This decision has since been appealed, meaning the rate increase will take effect today.

“Many businesses are telling us they will be forced to delay hiring, or even cut existing jobs, in order to cover this increase in their premiums,” said JOHNSON. “A rate like this puts Florida’s competitiveness and job creation directly at risk.”

According to research from a Florida Chamber Workers’ Compensation Task Force survey, of the businesses impacted by the rate increase, 90 percent said the impact is significant. An overwhelming 96 percent of those surveyed believe that the Florida Legislature should take action to remedy the Supreme Court decisions that resulted in a 14.5 percent increase.

This $1.5 billion increase is the result of two Florida Supreme Court decisions earlier this year declaring portions of Florida’s workers’ comp system unconstitutional. In one case in particular, the plaintiff argued that the plaintiff trial lawyer should receive $38,000 in attorney fees for a case in which the injured worker was awarded only $800. That’s $800 for the injured worker and $38,000 for the trial lawyer. This accounts for nearly two-thirds of the rate increase. And although the rate officially increases today, since the decision in April, the number of lawsuits and trial lawyer pay-days have already increased.

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 13 years, and injured workers returned to work 10 days faster. Those efforts continue today with the Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Compensation Task Force, which is working to secure a legislative fix.

In Case You Missed It:

 

Division of Workers’ Comp Wants Your Input on Rate Increase

$1.5 Billion Workers’ Comp Increase Takes Effect December 1

December 1, workers’ compensation rates will increase by 14.5 percent for all new and renewal policies, an increase which equates essentially to a $1.5 billion transfer of wealth from Florida businesses to trial lawyers. This is your chance to share with the Division of Workers’ Comp your thoughts on how to fix Florida’s current workers’ comp system. If the business community does not weigh in, plaintiff trial lawyers, not job creators, will inform the Division’s proposed recommendations. Please take a few minutes to provide your feedback. The survey closes Thursday, December 8, 2016.

Background:

This $1.5 billion increase is the result of two Florida Supreme Court decisions earlier this year declaring portions of Florida’s workers’ comp system unconstitutional. In one specific ruling, the Court said a plaintiff trial lawyer could receive $38,000 in attorney fees for a case in which the injured worker’s injuries totaled $800. That’s $800 for the injured worker and $38,000 for the trial lawyer and higher rates for everyone.

Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, a Leon Circuit Court judge voided the 14.5 percent rate increase under the grounds that the National Council on Compensation Insurance and the Office of Insurance Regulation did not follow the requirements of the “Sunshine Law.” This decision has since been appealed, allowing the rate increase to take effect today, as planned.

While a delay sounds like it would have been great for businesses, the reality was that a rate increase was looming on the horizon. As I told the media last week:

“This might sound like a victory, but Florida businesses shouldn’t be fooled by this classic trial lawyer tactic. The rates may not go up on December 1st, but this is only temporary. What won’t stop, however, is that trial lawyers will use this time to continue enjoying the benefit of unlimited legal fees in workers’ comp cases, while they are also seeking higher attorney fees for claims retroactively impacted as far back as July 2009. It’s a lucrative deal for billboard trial lawyers.”

Join the Florida Chamber Workers’ Comp Task Force:

The Florida Chamber remains committed to addressing the Supreme Court’s decision when the Florida Legislature convenes in March. The Florida Chamber Workers’ Comp Task Force has been working on this remedy, as well as educating businesses on this rate increase.

Workers’ Comp Rate Finalized and Total Costs Resulting From Court Rulings to Top $1.5 Billion

Tallahassee, Fla. (Oct. 4, 2016) – A workers’ compensation rate increase finalized today will top more than $1.5 billion, and force Florida job creators to pay higher premiums designed to  benefit billboard trial lawyers – not injured workers, the Florida Chamber of Commerce said.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) today accepted the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s recommended 14.5 percent workers’ comp rate increase, and took necessary steps to begin assessing the increased rates on December 1 for new and renewal policies.

“Job creators across Florida will now be forced to pick up a $1.5 billion tab that, disturbingly is not about employee safety or protecting workers – it’s about increasing compensation for plaintiff trial lawyers,” said MARK WILSON, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“A rate increase this big, this sudden, hurts Florida’s competitiveness and employers large and small. Many businesses will be forced to delay hiring – or even cut existing staff – to cover this leap in their workers’ comp premiums,” WILSON added.

ICYMI: Let’s fix workers’ comp in Florida. (Tampa Bay Times, September 30, 2016)

The 14.5 percent workers’ comp rate increase follows two Florida Supreme Court decisions declaring portions of Florida’s workers’ comp system unconstitutional. In one case in particular, the plaintiff argued that the plaintiff trial lawyer should receive $38,000 in attorney fees for a case in which the injured worker was awarded only $800. That’s $800 for the injured worker and $38,000 for the trial lawyer. This accounts for nearly two-thirds of the rate increase.

Last week during the Florida Chamber’s Future of Florida Forum, Senator Bill Galvano and Representative Kathleen Passidomo discussed this issue with Florida Chamber Workers’ Comp Task Force Co-Chair Steve Knopik, CEO of Bealls, on the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line.

“It’s important that we educate the new members in the legislature who maybe didn’t live through those reforms (2003 reforms) at that time, make sure that the voice of the Florida Chamber is heard in those deliberations and make sure you understand who the decision makers are in that process,” said SENATOR GALVANO.

“I think it’s important that we hit it early on, look at it globally, make the change that needs to be made, and it’s not redoing the entire statute, but addressing the Supreme Court’s rulings and do it as soon as possible,” said REPRESENTATIVE PASSIDOMO.

The Florida Chamber has a long history of helping to keep Florida’s workers’ comp system working. As a result, workers’ comp rates lowered by more than 60 percent in the last 13 years, and injured workers returned to work 10 days faster. Those efforts continue today with the Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Compensation Task Force which is working to secure a legislative fix.

 

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Choose Between Paying Higher Workers’ Comp Rates and Hiring New Employees

19.6% Workers’ Comp Rate Increase Could Impact You

It’s time for a legislative solution.

Today, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) announced a recommended 19.6 percent workers’ comp rate increase, proposed effective beginning October 1.

If the rate filing is approved as filed increasing rates by 19.6 percent, Florida will have the highest premiums in the Southeast.

The increase results from two recent Florida Supreme Court rulings that deemed Florida’s attorney fee provision unconstitutional (Castellanos v. Next Door Company), and declared the current cap for temporary total disability (104 weeks) unconstitutional (Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg). According to the release by NCCI, “NCCI estimates that the impact of Westphal will be an increase in overall Florida workers compensation system costs of +2.2%.”

The Florida Chamber believes the Florida Legislature must address this rate increase to avoid harming Florida’s growing economy and private-sector job growth.

Get Involved:

The Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Compensation Task Force has been engaging Florida’s highest elected leaders since last year, preparing them for this outcome, and advocating for a legislative solution. We need your voice to help find a solution. Learn how you can join the Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Comp Task Force.

Learn More:

Read the Florida Chamber’s full release on today’s workers’ comp recommendation.
Read Mark Wilson’s, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber, article in the Naples Daily News, Let’s Keep Florida’s Workers’ Comp System Working.

19.6% Workers’ Comp Rate Increase Could Jeopardize Florida’s 59 Month Job Growth Streak

Increased Costs Likely to Force Small Businesses to Choose Between Paying Higher Workers’ Comp Rates and Hiring New Employees

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (July 1, 2016) – Florida’s 59 consecutive months of private sector job growth may soon be in jeopardy as job creators prepare for a proposed 19.6 percent workers’ compensation rate increase, the Florida Chamber of Commerce said today.

The recommended 19.6 percent workers’ comp rate increase, proposed effective beginning October 1, was announced earlier today by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI,) the industry’s provider of workers’ comp analysis and rates. The increase results from two recent Florida Supreme Court rulings that deemed Florida’s attorney fee provision unconstitutional (Castellanos v. Next Door Company), and declared the current cap for temporary total disability (104 weeks) unconstitutional (Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg).

According to the release by NCCI, “NCCI estimates that the impact of Westphal will be an increase in overall Florida workers compensation system costs of +2.2%.”

If the rate filing is approved as filed increasing rates by 19.6 percent, Florida will have the highest premiums in the Southeast.

The Florida Chamber believes the Florida Legislature must address this rate increase to avoid harming Florida’s growing economy and private-sector job growth.

The Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Compensation Task Force has been engaging Florida’s highest elected leaders since last year, preparing them for this outcome, and advocating for a legislative solution. In addition to the Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Comp Task Force meetings, eight regional meetings have already taken place, and our local chamber federation is actively engaged – assessing the impact it will have on businesses in their communities and joining efforts toward solutions.

“Small businesses create two of every three jobs in Florida, and a workers’ comp rate increase as significant as this could force these businesses to choose between paying higher workers’ comp rates and hiring new employees,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “A 19.6 percent rate increase will cause uncertainty among job creators and may even force a decline in Florida’s job growth.”

The Florida Chamber has a 13 year history of leading efforts to help lower workers’ comp rates by nearly 60 percent, and is committed to leading the charge moving forward to ensure affordable rates despite personal injury trial lawyer efforts to make more money off the system.

“It’s clear that Florida’s workers’ comp system is under attack,” Wilson added. “A legislative solution will help bring certainty back to Florida’s job creators and injured workers that Florida’s workers’ comp system is working.”

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Employers May Have to Deal With Spooky Rates and Monstrous Expenses

Halloween is around the corner and ghouls in the shape of inflated workers’ compensation costs are waiting to pounce on Florida’s business owners.

Earlier this year, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), the industry’s provider of workers’ compensation analysis and rates, announced that they are requesting an average 1.9 percent decrease in workers’ compensation rates, effective January 1, 2016. That’s good news.

For the Florida Chamber of Commerce, this recommendation comes at a crucial time for our state.

The Florida Supreme Court is expected to rule on several workers’ comp cases in the very near future, and depending on the outcome of those rulings, job creators could potentially see their business’ workers’ comp rates increase and legislative action could be necessary.

“Plaintiff attorney maneuvers like we’re seeing with workers’ compensation are reflective of a larger legal abuse problem in Florida,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber in a recently released opinion piece, which published in the Miami Herald. “In fact, a national survey released in recent days shows Florida’s lawsuit climate worsening – ranking at an all-time low 44 out of 50 states, the bottom 10.”

Florida’s “judicial hellhole” reputation is catching up and the results could be spooky. Seventy-five percent of companies surveyed say a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, such as where to locate or expand. Florida is open for business, but a dismal and expensive legal climate increases the cost of doing business and deters high-wage jobs creators from even considering our state.

At the Florida Chamber, we remain laser focused on ensuring workers’ comp rates are fair, and remain committed to ensuring the voices of job creators throughout Florida are heard before lawmakers and in the halls of justice. Ensuring injured workers receive quality care and due process is also a priority.

To secure Florida’s future, we must keep Florida’s workers’ comp system working.

Get Involved

Get involved with the Florida Chamber’s Keep Worker’s Comp Working Task Force. Sign up to add your voice to the effort by contacting Greg Blose at gblose@flchamber.com.

Rate Filing Shows Further Decrease in Workers’ Comp Rates

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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