August 27, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty announced today that he has received the latest rate filing from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) for workers' compensation insurance rates due to become effective next year. The filing calls for an overall average rate decrease of 14.1 percent statewide, which would produce a savings of more than $465 million for Florida employers.
If approved, the rate decrease would be the sixth consecutive drop since the Legislature passed sweeping reforms to the state's workers' compensation system in 2003. The cumulative overall statewide average rate decrease since 2003 would total 58.3 percent.
"These lower workers' compensation rates will have a positive impact on every segment of our marketplace," said Commissioner McCarty. "It is great news for business owners and their employees, because Florida employers are paying lower rates, and benefits are being delivered fairly and effectively. The reduction of fraud and abuse in the system is certainly paying off."
Prior to the legislative reforms, the state of Florida consistently ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the country for the highest workers’ compensation rates; however, post-reform, Florida has dropped out of the top 10 rankings.
NCCI, 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 October, and the rate change would be effective for new and renewal business as of Jan. 1, 2009.
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.
About the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) has primary responsibility for regulation, compliance and enforcement of statutes related to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry markets. Business units within the Office are organized based on regulatory expertise and include the areas of life and health, property and casualty, specialty lines and other regulated insurance entities. It is within the Office that the mission of public protection is implemented through regulatory oversight of insurance company solvency, policy forms and rates, market conduct performance and new company entrants to the Florida market.