• Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Considers Workers' Compensation Increase at NCCI Rate Hearing
  • October 3, 2013
  • Law Firm: Colodny Fass Talenfeld Karlinsky Abate Webb P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Office
  • The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation ("OIR") conducted a public hearing today, Tuesday, October 1, 2013, on the National Counsel on Compensation Insurance's ("NCCI") filing for 2014 workers' compensation insurance rates.  The overall statewide increase requested by NCCI was one percent.  NCCI made its annual rate filing with the OIR on August 15.  The rate change, if approved by the OIR, would take effect on January 1, 2014.

    Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty opened the hearing, noting that this filing represents the fourth straight year that workers' compensation rates have risen.  This follows seven years of decreases following the passage of significant workers' compensation reform in 2003.  However, the latest NCCI filing represents a cumulative decrease of 55.9 percent since the 2003 reforms took effect.

    NCCI representatives testified at the hearing that the current filing shows a level of stability in the Florida market.  Loss experience has stabilized and the loss costs are in line with other southern states.  Overall, Florida ranks in the middle of all states in terms of workers' compensation rates.

    NCCI representatives noted that they are in the process of pricing the recent First District Court of Appeal ruling in Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg and expect to have that ruling priced by the end of October.

    Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Robin Westcott also testified at the hearing, stating that there is still room for improvement in the area of fighting fraud in workers' compensation.  She noted that recent legislation on drug repackaging is a step in the right direction toward eliminating abuses from the workers' compensation system.  Ms. Westcott also testified that while she would not say she supported an increase, she did understand the economics of a one percent increase.

    Commissioner McCarty did not indicate whether the OIR would approve or deny the NCCI filing.