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Report: Workers Compensation Rates May Go Down 13% In 2019


The Tampa Bay Times has reported that coming at the beginning of 2019, workers compensation rates in Florida may go down. The paper reports that if Florida state legislators will vote on a bill proposed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance to the Office of Insurance Regulation. The reason for the drop is the result of an overall decline in the number of claims being filed.

How Are Workers Compensation Rates Determined Statewide?

There are many factors that impact the rates of workers compensation. In general, the rates are determined by the legal landscape but is measured primarily by paid loss ratios. Meaning the more cases and higher the values of payouts every year determine what workers compensation should cost. These rates also vary by industry. The National Council on Compensation Insurance calculates these rates and proposes rate pricing to states based on the ratios. State legislators then vote on the rates, considering the impact on businesses.

What Would This New Bill Mean For Employers?

The decrease will mainly benefit employers. As there has been a reduction in the number of workers claiming injury and the subsequent costs, there is enough money to reduce rates. Rates for employers would drop an estimated 13.4%. That means that the amount employers will have to pay for each month would reduce. If this passes, it will mean good news for employers across the state because they will save a significant amount of money, even in high-risk injuries.

How Long Will These Rates Decrease?

With two important changes at the Supreme Court level, it is unclear how long the rates decrease will stay in place. The first change comes from the case of Castellanos vs. Next Door Company. The ruling lifted the caps on the attorney fees established in 2003. The second change comes from Westphal vs. City of St. Petersburg which ruled that the limit of 104 weeks for temporary total disability was unconstitutional. Then extended the limit to 260 weeks. How these two major legal changes will impact the rates of workers compensation in the coming years is still yet to be determined.

What Will This New Bill Mean For Workers Compensation Plaintiffs?

The new bill will not have an impact on plaintiffs in workers compensation claims. Since the bill comes as a result of less claims being filed, the costs of claims have been offset. Though the two cases were expected to push the costs up, to date there has been no significant impact. So people pursuing a workers compensation claim will still be paid comparable amounts to the current standards. Which is also good for employees across the state who won’t have to worry about a decrease in fair compensation if they are injured on the job.

If the bill passes it will be good news for both employers and employees. To learn more about Florida’s workers compensation laws, read our Workplace Injuries section which details how Florida insurance laws and regulations apply to you.

 

During his time as a public attorney for the State of Florida, Bernard Walsh developed a passion for defending the legal rights of Florida's citizens. Having seen many people being taken advantage of after being injured and the financial harm that can cause for families he committed himself fully to helping injured clients get justice, by fighting to make greedy insurance companies pay what they owe.

Report: Workers Compensation Rates May Go Down 13% In 2019

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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