Workers’ compensation rates have been going down in recent years in Florida, and the decline is continuing for the third straight year. Insurance Regulation Commissioner David Altmaier’s office issued the ruling in early November; it is slated to take effect at the beginning of 2020.
Workers’ compensation insurance rates were reduced earlier this year by 7.5%, a number that was praised by a variety of elected officials. Both Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis backed the move, claiming it would make it easier to do business in the state. Both also praised the decision on other grounds with Patronis, pointing out a decrease of the amount of money needed for a workers compensation insurance policy would help expand coverage throughout the state.
Commissioner Altmaier praised a variety of factors in reducing workers compensation, including innovation and an increased focus on worker safety in reducing claims thus reducing insurance rates. This third-year reduction of 7.5% was welcome and higher than the 5.4% reduction requested by the National Council on Compensation Reduction. However, this is the lowest reduction of rates in the past three years, as the rate reduction for 2019 was 13.9% and the reduction for 2018 was 9.5%.
In Florida, workers compensation claims have fallen “from 22.4 per million of wage-adjusted premium in 2010 to 16.9 per million of wage-adjusted premium in 2017.” In 2019 alone, there were more than 39,000 workers compensation claims, with more than 18,000 of those claims covered under insurance. This is in contrast to 2018, during which almost 60,000 claims were filed and more than 47,000 cases covered by insurance. In 2019, these cases had a total of more than $36 million in settlements, with an average settlement of over $12,000. This is in contrast to the 2018 total settlements of more than $236 million with an average settlement of $16,000.
In its 2019 report, the Florida Department of Insurance Regulation noted that there are certain factors driving costs. For example, medical costs have contributed to the still considerable price of workers compensation insurance, as drug and hospital costs are higher in Florida than in other states. On the other hand, the competitiveness of the insurance market in Florida helps ensure that business owners can find a policy which fits their needs and the needs of their employees.
Many Floridians do not expect to be injured on the job, especially in white-collar jobs that do not require much heavy work. If you are injured on the job, you should take quick and immediate steps to document what happened and ensure all necessary paperwork is done to preserve your claim.
South Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you or your loved one was injured at a job site, you should hire an attorney. Contact us to set up a free initial consultation and work with one of South Florida’s most experienced workers’ compensation defense attorneys.