Workers Compensation Update

Monday, August 22, 2016

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has proposed a 19.6% workers comp increase in Florida beginning October 1, 2016 for both existing and new policies. NCCI points to recent Florida Supreme Court decisions as the primary catalyst for the increase. Further, it is estimated that the proposed increase will cost businesses $1 billion or more in unfunded liabilities.

On August 16, 2016 in Tallahassee the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR) held a public hearing to take testimony on the proposed workers comp rate increase. During the testimony it was clear that employee organizations blame employers, employers blame lawyers, and lawyers blame insurance companies for the workers comp woes. During the hearing we learned that 75% of workers comp claims are medical only; the other 25% are lost time claims that give rise to litigation. Of the 25% of lost time claims, 25% (or 6.25% of the total claims) require attorney involvement.

Testifying at the hearing were trial lawyers, insurers, NCCI, Florida Chamber, Manufacturers Association of Florida, roofers, small businesses, Florida Justice Reform Institute and more.

Written comments on the proposed workers comp increase are due to by 5 p.m. on August 23, 2016. Business groups are already talking to legislators about legislative relief.

Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL 8/22/2016

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