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Press Release

Insurance Commissioner Approves Workers' Comp Rate Cut
Monday, November 15, 2004
Contact:  Bob Lotane
850/ 413-2515
850/ 528-2868
Tallahassee – Florida's Insurance Commissioner today approved new workers' compensation insurance rates that will be lowered beginning next year.  The rates will decline by a statewide average of 5.1% and by almost nine percent for contractors.  The rate cut follows a 14% reduction in October 2003.
"This will be welcome news for Florida's businesses," said Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.  "After years of paying among the highest comp rates in the country and having their workers receive among the lowest benefits, we are finally seeing substantial improvements to the system."
Gov. Jeb Bush, along with the Florida Legislature, dramatically reworked the state's workers' compensation system, in 2003, to make quality workers' comp coverage more affordable and available.  McCarty said, "These are the results we had hoped the reforms would produce, and while we are not totally out of the woods we have come a long way from where we started."
The new rates must be included into new workers' compensation policies beginning January 1st 2005 and into renewal business thereafter.  The amended overall premium level change by industry group is as follows:
• Manufacturing     -2.4%
• Contracting       -8.8%
• Office & Clerical +1.4%
• Goods & Services  -4.4%
• Miscellaneous     -7.7%
• Federal classes   -3%
Some of the selected examples of classifications that fall within the contracting category that may be integral to repairs and cleanup of this year's hurricanes are listed on the following page: