Florida insurance regulators endorse 14.5% workers’ comp rate hike

The state’s regulators chose to approve a 14.5% rate hike as a compromise, as workers’ comp representatives sought an even higher increase

Florida insurance regulators endorse 14.5% workers’ comp rate hike

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

Florida’s insurance regulators approved yesterday a 14.5% increase in workers’ compensation insurance rates next year. Industry representatives were originally looking to raise rates by 19.6%.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that the approval hinges on the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) making an amended filing by Tuesday. Once fully approved, the new rates would be effective Dec. 1 for both new and renewal policies.

The NCCI, which files rate changes on behalf of workers’ comp insurers, based its recent filing on a Supreme Court decision in April that ruled that a mandatory cap on attorney’s fees for such cases was unconstitutional.

Workers’ advocates praised the ruling, reasoning that the cap previously dissuaded lawyers from taking cases on behalf of injured workers. Similarly, plaintiffs’ attorneys said that they have promoted for years for workers to have better access to the courts, and the Supreme Court’s decision helped validate that effort.

On the other hand, some business leaders called the high court’s decision a potential job killer for existing companies and new businesses looking to operate in Florida.

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