• Proposed Decrease to Florida Worker's Compensation Insurance Premiums
  • August 25, 2015 | Author: Hayley Lewis Folmar
  • Law Firm: McConnaughhay, Coonrod, Pope, Weaver, Stern & Thomas, P.A. - Jacksonville Office
  • On Friday, August 21, 2015, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) filed the 2016 Florida Workers' Compensation Rate Filing with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. The filing proposes a Statewide average premium decrease of 2.2 percent. If approved, the new rates will become effective January 1, 2016. The proposed rate changes for each industry group show a decrease in most industries. Notably, the contracting industry faces a slight increase. The proposed rates for each industry group are as follows:
    • Manufacturing: 4.7% decrease
    • Contracting: 1.0% increase
    • Office/Clerical: 5.1% decrease
    • Goods/Services: 1.6% decrease
    • Miscellaneous: 1.8% decrease.
    This rate filing includes a proposed reduction of the fixed expense cost applicable to every workers’ compensation policy in Florida from $200 to $160.

    If the proposed filing is accepted, Florida’s overall workers’ compensation rates would fall for the second year in a row. In November 2014, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation approved an overall decrease of 5.2 percent in workers’ compensation rates in Florida for 2015. Last November’s approved rate decrease was the state’s first reduction in four (4) years. According to the NCCI, Florida’s workers’ compensation insurance rates, overall, remain stable and comparable with other Southeastern states.

    Notably, insurance rates could increase, perhaps dramatically, depending on decisions issued in the pending Florida Supreme Court cases: Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg, Castellanos v. Next Door Company; and Florida Workers Advocates v. State of Florida. NCCI has reported it is monitoring these cases and will be prepared to issue estimated cost impact analyses as well as submit amendments to the pending rate filing, if necessary.

    The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation reported it would review the filing to ensure the proposed changes are not excessive or unfairly discriminatory, as well as evaluate the potential effects on the insurance marketplace and employers.

    A public rate hearing will be conducted in October 2015.