Proposed Sixth Consecutive Workers' Compensation Rate Decline In Florida Workers Compensation Rates

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Florida employers will see a sixth consecutive decline in workers' compensation rates. Delaware Workers Compensation rates are also reduced.

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the main reason the rates have been lowered over the past four years, is due to the limits that have been placed on the fees that attorneys are allowed to collect in workers' compensation cases.

Alex Sink, the Florida Chief Financial officer, was very pleased to announce that Florida employers will see a sixth consecutive decline in workers' compensation rates! The National Council on Compensation Insurance filed a request with the Office of Insurance Regulation for an average 14.1% rate decrease. If approved, this will constitute a savings of about $465 million dollars for Florida employers effective January 1, 2009.

This decrease combined with all other since 2003 will result in a 58% drop, the hearing for the rate decrease is expected in October. Alex Sink stated " A stable and viable workers' compensation system is good for everyone, especially for Florida businesses and their employees- the backbone of our economy" and added " No other state has matched Florida's rate reductions, and no other state is working harder to take care of employers and employees."

Jeffrey Kaplan, president of Tampa based Insurance Source.com Inc. added "Over the last several years, workers compensation insurance rates have been significantly lowered, but how low can they go?" Kaplan also stated "the main reason the rates have been lowered over the past four years, is due to the limits that have been placed on the fees that attorneys are allowed to collect in workers' compensation cases." These limits are currently being challenged in the Florida Supreme Court, and if the decision is over turned, these rate reductions may be short lived.

Delaware Workers Compensation Rates Reduced by 11.75%

Effective October 1, 2008, workers compensation rates will be cut 11.75%. This cut is being ordered my Matt Denn, Insurance Commissioner. Denn also said that over the next 60 days he will consider making additional reductions, this combined with a package of rate cuts that he ordered last fall means rates will be down by almost 30% since last November. The rate cuts are the first sign of cost control measures that were passed by the General Assembly in 2008. Denn warned insurance Companies stating "not made sufficient efforts to determine the potential cost savings to carriers of all of the provisions of Senate Bill 1," and told the carriers and Department of Insurance staff to provide him with information to consider additional rate cuts.

Denn also added " I intend to ensure to the maximum degree permitted by law that any likely cost savings resulting from Senate Bill 1 are reflected in lower premiums rather that being retained as windfall gains by insurance carriers." The estimated workers compensation premiums paid by Delaware employers are $122 million per year, these rate cuts should reflect savings of at least $14 million to Delaware business.

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Jeffrey Kaplan
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