Proposed Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rates Would Drop For Fourth Consecutive Year
TALLAHASSEE (8/29/2006) – Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty today announced he has received the latest rate filing for workers' compensation insurance rates due to become effective next year. The filing calls for an overall average rate decrease of 13.3 percent statewide, which would produce a savings of over $400 million for Florida employers.
If approved, the rate decrease would be the fourth consecutive drop since Gov. Bush and the Legislature passed sweeping reforms to the state's workers' compensation system in 2003. The cumulative overall statewide average rate decrease for the period would total -38.9 percent.
"This is great news for Florida businesses and a boost for our economy," said McCarty upon receiving the filing. "Our workers are seeing benefits delivered more fairly and efficiently, and our employers are paying lower rates that reflect a reduction of fraud and abuse in the system."
The National Council on Compensation Insurance, which produces and files rates for insurers in many states, said the rate decline was primarily due to a significant drop in claims frequency and a reduction in the costs of claims.
A rate hearing on the filing will be scheduled by the Office of Insurance Regulation in September or October, and the rate change would be effective for new and renewal business as of January 1, 2007.
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.
Florida's Workers' Compensation system had been weighed down with high liability coverage costs for employers and low benefits for injured employees. Workers' compensation rate changes in Florida following the reforms were:
Date Change Change
10-1-2003 -14.0% -14.0%
1-1-2005 -2.3% -5.1%
1-1-2006 -7.2% -13.5%
# # #