Despite 13-Year Decrease, Florida Could See 17% Increase in Workers Comp Rates
In Florida, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) proposed a workers’ compensation increase for all businesses.
According to the Pensacola News Journal, the NCCI is proposing a 17.1% increase for Florida businesses regarding workers’ compensation. The proposal to increases comes after 13 straight years of workers’ comp insurance rates declining in the state.
Wholly 74%, or 37 out of 50, of states have laws that require all businesses to have some form of workers’ compensation. Florida had the second highest workers’ compensation rates — trailing only California — in 2003 before legislation was passed that led to a 13-year decrease totaling 60%.
A goal to stabilize Florida’s workers’ compensation system is in place. The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce and Florida Chambers are teaming up with various state businesses to try and fight the new 17% increase.
The increase would go into effect on August 1.
“I can tell you there were some business folks who said they won’t be able to expand if this passes,” said Todd Thomson, vice president of public affairs at the GPCC. “It’s just going to increase their costs and impact their bottom line.”
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Supreme Court Justice, R. Fred Lewis, believes that the old workers’ compensation system in Florida is “fundamentally unconstitutional” and needs legislative reform.
“I have a full appreciation for the judicial attempt to save the workers’ compensation statue from total disaster,” said Lewis. “Florida needs a valid workers’ compensation program, but the charade is over. Enough is enough, and Florida workers deserve better.”
If the proposal is passed, the workers’ compensation increase could produce problems for Florida insurance companies as well.
“There has to be a balanced way to do this where there is a win-win for both sides,” said David Peaden, executive director of the Home Builders Association, “not just an astronomical rate increase.”