Gulfshore Insurance > Workers' Compensation

Commercial Lines Florida Approves Average Work Comp Decrease of 8 4 PercentThe Florida Insurance Commissioner has approved a statewide overall workers’ compensation insurance rate decrease for 2023. The rate decrease applies to both new and renewal workers’ compensation insurance policies effective in Florida as of January 1, 2023. This approval reflects an overall average rate decrease of 8.4%. While the state rates play a major part in the determination of premium, changes in a specific company’s payroll and experience modification rate will also impact renewal premiums.

For more information about the filing, read the official release from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this information, please contact us. We are here to assist you and happy to answer any questions you have.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Commercial Lines Cost of Workers Compensation Claims on the Rise 2The workers’ compensation sector of the commercial insurance industry is generally a stable and profitable segment. However, the claims in this market have become costlier, with concerns over severity on the rise. While the frequency of claims has declined, several factors contribute to increasing claim expenses.

According to a survey by the National Council on Compensation Insurance, the top concerns for the workers’ compensation sector are the changing workforce and rising medical costs resulting from medical inflation, treatment innovations and hospital consolidations. Further complicating the issue, different states have varying reasons for increases. The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute found a steady rise in lost-time claims for most states, and states without fee schedules are seeing a steeper climb in these claims.

The Changing Workforce
In 2021, 23% of the U.S. workforce was older than 55, and most experts agree the aging workforce is a prominent cause of workers’ compensation increases. Workers 55 and over account for over one fifth of lost-time injuries and 31% of the costs. Older workers are also more likely to have comorbidities, such as diabetes, heart disease or mental health issues, resulting in a slower healing process, more complex and expensive treatments, and a longer time away from work than younger workers.

Still, younger workforces can also lead to expensive claims. As more employers experience labor shortages, they may take on less experienced staff, whose lack of expertise can make them more susceptible to injury. Industries impacted by the labor shortage, such as construction and manufacturing, may see severe injuries increase, including falls from heights, burns or machinery- or driving-related accidents.

Medical Inflation
Medical inflation has also resulted in an increased cost per claim. According to Rising Medical Solutions, medical inflation bumped up to 6.6% in 2021 for workers’ compensation, up from the three-year average of 6.4%. In addition, mergers between medical facilities and consolidations of physicians’ practices are driving up costs. As the number of facilities decreases, their bargaining power increases, leading to increased costs. Improvements to technology have also increased claim costs; since the equipment is more expensive, so is the treatment.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Commercial Lines A Look at OSHAs Top 10 Safety Violations 2

Each year, OSHA tracks the top 10 workplace safety standards violations which can lead to workers’ comp claims. For the 2021 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2020, through Aug. 31, 2021), OSHA reported the most common violations, as published by the National Safety Council.

  1. Fall protection was the most-cited safety issue for the 11th year in a row in 2021, reports the National Safety Council. Some 5,271 violations were issued to framing contractors, roofing contractors, masonry firms and housing construction contractors. The main cause for citations was a lack of protection near unprotected edges or sides and on steep roofs or lesser-sloped surfaces. OSHA points out that fall protection issues exist across many work areas such as stairways, ladders, scaffolding, floor holes, wall openings and elevated areas.
  2. Respiratory protection violation citations totaled 2,521. The chief culprits were auto body refinishing companies, painting contractors, wall covering contractors and masonry contractors. They were cited for absence of a protection program, failure to perform required fit testing, and/or a lack of medical evaluations.
  3. Ladders drew 2,018 violations. The primarily offenders were among framing, siding, roofing and painting contractors. Violations included structurally deficient ladders, a lack of siderails extending three feet beyond a landing surface, and the use of ladders for purposes for which they’re not designed. Another issue: allowing workers to use the top step of a stepladder.
  4. Scaffolds were the cause of 1,943 violations. The primary firms cited by OSHA were siding, roofing, framing and masonry contractors. The causes included improper or inadequate decking, failure to provide adequate scaffold support on a solid foundation, and lack of safety guardrails.
  5. Hazard communication, while not necessarily the responsibility of on-the-job workers, was the fifth-most-cited OSHA safety issue in 2021. Auto repair facilities and painting contractors received most of the 1,939 citations. The main causes were lack of a written hazard communication program as well as inadequate training and/or failure to develop and maintain data safety sheets.
  6. Lockout/tagout is a category of safety related to the control of hazardous energy such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other sources in machines and equipment. Chief targets of the 1,670 citations were plastic manufacturers, sawmills and machine shops. Violations included not providing adequate training, a lack of established energy control procedures, failure to use lockout/tagout equipment and failure to conduct evaluations of procedures.
  7. Fall protection training requirements (as distinct from fall protection) led to 1,660 violations. Causes included faulty training that trainees were unable to retain and failure to retrain those employees. Additional causes were failure to give required fall protection training and failure to certify fall protection training in writing.
  8. Eye and face protection, in the category of personal protective and lifesaving equipment, resulted in 1,451 violations. Most citations were for failure to use appropriate eye or face protection by employees who were exposed to flying objects, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids. Another cause of violations was a lack of side protection.
  9. Powered industrial trucks, including forklifts and motorized hand trucks, resulted in 1,404 violations. Warehousing and storage facilities, fabricated and structural metal manufacturing and framing contractors received most of the citations. Main causes were failure to operate safely, lack of refresher training and evaluation, absence of certification of training and evaluation, and failure to examine equipment for adverse conditions.
  10. Machine guarding standards, which covers guarding of machinery to protect operators and other workers from hazards, led to 1,105 violations in fiscal year 2021. Most often cited were firms in the machine shop and fabricated metal manufacturing fields. Main causes were violations of the types of required guards, lack of guarding at point of operation, not properly anchoring machinery, a lack of secure attachment of guards to machinery, and improper guarding of fan blades.

It is important for employers to review work processes in light of the top safety violations to determine the hazards in their workplace. The top ways for employers to avoid safety issues are job hazard analyses, employees’ reporting of hazards and unsafe conditions, and employee training. Frequent safety training and customized risk management programs can support operational business goals while reducing risk and making the workplace safer.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Commercial Lines Florida Workers Comp Rates Set to Decrease Again

Florida workers’ compensation rates are set to decline again as the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has proposed a statewide rate decrease of 4.9% in the voluntary market.

The rates would take effect Jan. 1, 2022 if approved by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR).

NCCI is a licensed rating organization authorized to make recommended rate filings on behalf of workers compensation insurance companies in Florida. The filing is based on experience data as of year-end 2020 from Policy Years 2018 and 2019.

If approved, Florida rates will decrease for the sixth time since 2016. NCCI cites underwriting discipline, declining frequency, moderating severity, and adequate reserves for the declining rates. From Oct. 2003 to Jan. 2021, Florida experienced a historical rate level change of -69.9%, according to NCCI.

NCCI said its last annual rating did not include COVID-19 claim data, nor did it include explicit adjustments for the potential impact of a pandemic. NCCI filed a separate catastrophe provision, for any single event or peril resulting in workers compensation losses in excess of $50m nationwide, excluding certified acts of terrorism. The separate filing is pending with the OIR.

 

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Commercial Lines Proposed Decrease to Florida Work Comp Rates 2021The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) recently delivered its annual workers’ compensation insurance rate filing to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

Based upon its review of the most recent data available, NCCI has proposed an overall average rate level decrease of 5.7 percent, effective January 1, 2021 in Florida.

To view NCCI’s Overview of the proposed rate filing, click here.

Ryan Schmidt is a Client Advisor and Partner with Gulfshore Insurance. Ryan specializes in working with commercial clients. Comments and questions are welcome at rschmidt@gulfshoreinsurance.com.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

 

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