Workers compensation insurers writing in Florida have filed for an average 4.2 percent rate decrease.
This marks the eighth decrease in workers compensation rates since 2003. The cumulative overall statewide average decrease in workers compensation rates will be 64.7 percent since the 2003 reforms.
Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said that the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) filing came into the Office of Insurance Regulation on May 7.
NCCI made the rate filing due to a change in the Special Disability Trust Fund (SDTF) assessment -- a change that ultimately reduces the insurance company's overhead expenses. The assessment rate has been reduced from 4.52 percent to 1.46 percent. This lower rate will be evident on new and renewal policies, effective July 1, 2010.
The Legislature established the SDTF in 1955 to encourage the employment of workers with pre-existing conditions. The SDTF was modified in 1997 to eliminate the eligibility for accidents after January 1, 1998. The SDTF is maintained by assessments on carriers and self-insurers. This is the first decrease in the SDTF assessment since 1994.
McCarty said the rate reduction follows a "consistent trend" of declining workers compensation rates that began following the legislative reforms in 2003.
In an interview with Insurance Journal before the rate filing was announced, McCarty said he thinks those reforms are still working.
"I'm told by many that the end is near and that the good days may be over, but we remain cautiously optimistic that we're going to continue to have a robust and affordable workers comp market," he said.