News From The Florida Office Of Insurance Regulation
Tallahassee – Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Director Kevin McCarty has called for new workers' compensation liability rates to be filed with his office that will lower the costs of coverage for Florida's employers. McCarty's order follows the signing of Senate Bill 50-A by Governor Jeb Bush. The bill implements reforms to many areas of Florida's workers' compensation system.
McCarty ordered the National Council on Compensation Insurance to file the rates for approval relative to the new workers' compensation coverage that becomes effective on October 1, 2003. "I expect NCCI to begin working the reforms created by Gov. Bush and the Legislature into its rate making process." When NCCI completes this work, "Florida's employers should see double digit reductions in their workers' compensation premiums," McCarty said.
Workers' compensation reform was considered one of the most pressing issues to come before the Florida Legislature this year. This resulted in legislation which provides enhanced fraud compliance, revised permanent and temporary disability provisions and new parameters for attorney and physician compensation, in addition to many other reforms and improvements to the system.
McCarty served on the Governor's Commission on Workers' Compensation Reform, which developed a comprehensive plan to overhaul Florida's system. The system has been hampered by high liability costs for employers and low benefits injured for employees. The Commission's recommendations followed months of study and listening to testimony from stakeholders in the system, in hearings held all over the state.
Referring to SB 50-A, McCarty called the legislation a great move toward the fundamental reform advocated by the Governor's Commission:
"When NCCI comes back, with what I expect to be substantial rate relief for Florida's businesses, this will complete one of the great successes of this legislative session. The work done this year to improve the workers' compensation system will lead to a better business climate for our state and a better, more stable job market for Floridians."
McCarty has ordered NCCI to file its new rates with his office no later than July 25th