Florida’s Workers’ Comp Insurance Premiums Increasing 14.5% on December 1, 2016
As you may have heard, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has approved an overall statewide workers’ compensation insurance premium rate increase of 14.5%, to take effect December 1, 2016. The rate increase is in response to two recent Supreme Court rulings undoing reforms passed in 2003 and rocking the state’s workers’ compensation system.
In the September 27 order, OIR disapproved the National Council on Compensation Insurance’s (NCCI) filing for a 19.6% increase, on behalf of insurers, saying that much of an increase on new, renewal, and outstanding policies was not justified.
How are the increases in Workers’ Compensation rates going to affect you?
The increases affect everyone, including medical practices! However, the Seminole County Medical Society has partnered with Danna-Gracey to offer you a program to reduce the overall cost of your Workers’ Comp coverage. Workers’ Comp is regulated by the state, so your premium is going to be the same no matter where you secure coverage. However, our Danna-Gracey program can potentially return 30% of that premium as a dividend. Last year our program had a maximum potential dividend of 24.8%, which has now increased to 30%. While dividends are not guaranteed, many of our members have been receiving full dividends each year.
If you are not already in one of our programs, then this is really going to help you. As you are looking at this 14.5% increase, you could actually get the cost of your Workers’ Comp insurance lower than you paid this past year.
For example: let’s say you are paying $1,000 in WC premiums. The new increase is going to put your new premium at $1,145 (14.5% more). If you take that new premium and account for a potential 30% dividend, your bottom-line cost of WC insurance is now only $802. That’s almost 20% less than you paid last year before any dividends or increases. Joining this program doesn’t cost anything and there is nothing to lose; there are only savings.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at (561) 276-3553 or (800) 966-2120 or Tom Murphy of Danna-Gracey firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida Workers’ Comp Rates Going Up Nearly 15%
Less than two months ago I wrote an article titled “Prepare for Increase in Workers’ Comp Premiums.” It is official: The Florida Office of Insurance Regulations (OIR) has issued its final order approving the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) request to increase rates on a statewide average of 14.5%. This was less than the 19.6% increase the NCCI requested. The final order was approved on October 4, 2016 and becomes effective December 1, 2016.
The original rate filing requesting the 19.6% increase was filed in May 2016 and amended in June. This amended filing was used to approve the new rates in anticipation of the future impact of the recent Florida Supreme Court decisions involving the Castellanos and Westphal cases, as well as the legislatively mandated updates to the Florida Workers’ Compensation Health Care
Providers Reimbursement (HCPR) Manual. The NCCI filing that was approved is as follows:
- A 10.1% statewide average increase for the April 28th Florida Supreme Court decision in the Castellanos case, which found the mandatory attorney fee schedule in section 440.34, Florida Statutes, unconstitutional as a violation of due process under both the Florida and United States Constitutions.
- A 2.2% statewide average rate increase for the June 9th Florida Supreme Court decision in the Westphal case, in which the Florida Supreme Court found the 104-week statutory limitation on temporary total disability benefits in Section 440.15(2)(a), Florida Statutes, unconstitutional because it causes a statutory gap in benefits in violation of an injured worker’s constitutional right of access to the courts. The court reinstated the prior 260-week limitation that was in effect after the 1994 law change.
- A 1.8% statewide average rate increase related to updates within the Florida Workers’ Compensation HCPR manual, per Senate Bill 1402.
Tom Murphy is a workers’ compensation and medical malpractice insurance specialist agent with Danna-Gracey in downtown Delray Beach. He can be reached at (561) 276-3553, (800) 966-2120, or Murphy@dannagracey.com