Gulfshore Insurance > Gulfshore Blog > Commercial Risk Management > Proposed 2.5% Statewide Workers’ Comp Decrease

After 3 years of workers compensation rate increases, Florida based companies may see a small decrease come 2015. The National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. announced in a statement on Friday, August 22 that they are recommending an overall rate decrease for workers compensation in Florida. This has not happened statewide since 2010.

NCCI is the licensed rating and statistical organization that fosters a healthy workers compensation system for Florida. They suggested an average rate decrease of 2.5% with an effective date of January 1, 2015. The decrease is still pending approval from the Office of Insurance Regulation, who makes the final decision.

The decrease may be affected by final decisions that are pending on two court cases currently under appeal regarding the viability of workers compensation as sole remedy in the state of Florida. Earlier this month a state judge declared that the benefit levels in Florida are so low, particularly for injured workers who become permanently partially disabled, that the law is unconstitutional. Another case is pending before the state Supreme Court over Florida’s lack of permanent total disability benefits.

Once these cases are settled, NCCI intends to “issue estimated cost impacts and if necessary submit amendments to the pending rate filing or submit future rate filings.” Due to the fact that workers comp insurance costs are otherwise stable and similar to other southern states, they are not holding up this recommended January 1, 2015 decrease for final disposition as this could take an additional six months or longer and they want the rate change to go into effect as soon as possible.

According to the statement from NCCI’s filing Florida’s workers comp rates are 56% lower than they were when reforms took effect in 2003.

Workers comp rates must be approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation but companies can also play a role in controlling of their workers compensation costs. Companies can take simple measures to reduce their workers compensation experience modification rates and in turn realize substantial savings.  Implementing safety programs, instituting a drug free work place, mitigating claims costs by having a viable return to work program are just some of the ways that working closely with an independent agency like Gulfshore can help a company manage its risk and insurance costs.

 

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