The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation announced it has approved the revised workers’ compensation rates filed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance. The filing was in response to an order by OIR Director Kevin McCarty, calling for a rate revision reflecting the impact of legislative reforms to the state’s workers’ compensation system. Governor Jeb Bush signed the reform bill last month.
The approved filing will result in a rate level decrease of 14 percent and will apply to new and renewal coverage beginning October 1, 2003. The reduced rates will be applied to existing policies, on a pro-rata basis, between October 1st and the renewal date. The National Council on Compensation Insurance reports the rate decrease will result in an annual savings of 420 million dollars in workers’ compensation costs.
Applauding the timely response of NCCI to his call for revised rates McCarty said: “This completes one of the great accomplishments of this year’s legislative session. Florida’s employers asked for workers’ compensation reform that would bring about rate relief, and Gov. Bush and the Legislature responded.” McCarty said he looked forward to an improved job market for Floridians and a more stable business climate for the state’s employers.
The new law institutes provisions for enhanced fraud compliance and revises permanent and temporary disability definitions. It also sets new parameters for attorney and physician compensation and improves dispute resolution procedures, in addition to many other improvements to the system.
Prior to this year’s legislative session, Gov. Bush’s Commission on Workers’ Compensation Reform developed a comprehensive plan to overhaul the state’s system. Florida’s Workers’ Compensation system has been weighed down with high liability coverage costs for employers and low benefits for injured employees.
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