November 1, 2016
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) “Florida Workers’ Compensation Strategic Task Force” today announced that it is soliciting comments from the general public on how Florida can restore a stable, self-executing and affordable workers’ compensation system as the Florida Legislature intended.
Since the inception of the task force, chaired by AIF President & CEO Tom Feeney, the six subgroups have met to discuss ways to relieve pressure on rates, while simultaneously searching for the optimal policies to protect injured workers and have rates that promote job growth and prosperity.
Members of the six subgroups include:
“The recent Oregon study showing that Florida has jumped 10 states with just the 14.5 percent workers’ compensation rate increase is proof that Florida business and insurance industry is in dire need of change when it comes to Florida’s workers’ compensation system,” said Feeney. “With this recent rate spike, Florida is now the 23rd most costly state for workers’ compensation coverage. These increases in rates are not only crippling, they are just the beginning of a bad trend that has the potential to spiral out of control unless something is done to keep them from going anywhere but upward.”
According to a 2016 Oregon study (highlighted by the National Council on Compensation Insurance), after the December 2016 14.5 percent rate increase goes into effect, Florida will rank 23 out of 51 states in terms of workers’ compensation rates, with the primary cost driver being the Florida Supreme Court’s decision on attorneys’ fees. This is comparable to 2000 and 2002, before the 2003 reforms, where Florida was ranked first and second highest for workers’ compensation rates in the country. Following the 2003 reforms, Florida’s rates began decreasing, and in 2010, Florida had the 40th lowest workers’ compensation rates in the country.
“Under our ‘Florida Workers’ Compensation Strategic Task Force,’ the business and insurance community is doing all we can to solicit comments and ideas on how we can protect Florida employees and employers and preserve ours state’s vital workers’ compensation system,” continued Feeney. “We are asking the general public to visit HelpingFloridaWork.com to provide their input, which will go a long way in helping our subgroups formulate some optimal policy goals that will go toward working with Governor Rick Scott’s plan to continue job growth and prosperity in our Sunshine State.”
“This first rate increase since the workers’ compensation law in Florida was ruled unconstitutional is just the first shoe to drop. It is imperative that we collectively work together to ensure we don’t regress back to prior to the 2003 workers’ compensation reforms, which have done nothing but allow for a healthy and vibrant workers’ compensation system in Florida since their inception,” concluded Feeney.
To provide input on Florida’s workers’ compensation system, please visit http://aif.com/contact_WCTaskforce.html. To keep apprised of the Helping Florida Work effort, please visit HelpingFloridaWork.com, follow @HelpingFLWork and like FB.com/HelpingFloridaWork.
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