The National Council on Compensation Insurance is the entity that proposes the rates for workers’ compensation insurance carriers. The NCCI is now recommending an average premium decrease of 9.6 percent that would start January 1.
Even though the proposal cuts costs for businesses in the future, the proposal comes after business were hit with a 14.5 rate increase that took effect in December 2016.
The rate increase was the result, in part, from two rulings made by the Florida Supreme Court in 2016. The court decisions changed workers’ compensation laws, including a law enforcing strict fees paid to attorneys of injured workers.
After the court rulings and rate increase, a fiercely fought battle began between workers’ attorneys and labor unions versus business and insurance groups.
Businesses and the insurance industry went to lawmakers, asking for a change in workers’ compensation laws during the 2017 legislative session, but to no avail.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce is hopeful about the new potential of the new proposal but still cautious per the Supreme Courts previous ruling on attorneys fees.
“While we’re looking forward to examining the details of the most recent (NCCI) proposal that Florida insurance regulators will review, the fact remains there’s a billion-plus dollar cost shift that has been passed along to job creators by an activist court who opened up a litigation buffet for trial lawyers who advertise on TV,” said Edie Ousley, vice president of public affairs for the Florida Chamber.
The recommendation will next be reviewed by Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation for approval or it could request changes.
Interesting that the only quote is from the Florida Chamber of Commerce and is quick to attack injured workers’ attorneys, without providing an opposing viewpoint. It’s ironic that this “buffet” comment is basically an attack on the greed by attorneys. Considering how favorable the law is to Employers and Insurers already, clearly the Chamber feels its own greed is superior and more noble, but is not to be discussed.