David Altmaier, Florida State Insurance Commissioner, has ordered workers comp insurance rates to be lowered 9.8% for next year.
Not So Fast
Rejecting the National Council on Compensation Insurance’s (NCCI) 2018 rate filing for a 9.6% decrease back in August, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR) ordered a statewide 9.8% decrease, citing a previous Florida Supreme Court Ruling: Marvin Castellanos v. Next Door Co. et al. Noting its responsibility “…to ensure workers comp insurance rates are not excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory…” And pointing to the need for quantitative analysis to better determine the effect the case is having on the Florida workers comp market, utilizing it supports future rate filings.
NCCI had previously cited a 2% allowance for profit and contingencies in its rate filing. However Commissioner Altmaier ordered the NCCI’s rate request be amended and refiled, releasing an order that stated the refiling include a profit and contingencies provision or no more than 1.85%. If approved by the FOIR, the decrease would become effective January 1st of the new year.
Could Your State Be Next?
A welcome surprise for businesses statewide, Florida had been suffering rates that rose double digits in 2016 following the Castellanos v. Next Door Company and Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg case decisions, and were expecting rates to soar even higher. However, improvements in workplace safety and efficiency alongside use of automation and other technologies are resulting in a decline in claims frequencies, and subsequently rates, not just in Florida, but countrywide.
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