Last week, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR) told the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) to lower overall Workers' Compensation rates by 5.1% in 2016.
The order denied NCCI's earlier proposal of a 1.9% decrease.
According to the Herald Tribune in Sarasota, Fla., this will be the second consecutive year of declines in Workers' Comp rates after four years of increases. Rates declined by 5% this year, but increased by 0.7% in 2014, 6.1% in 2013, 8.9% in 2012 and 7.8% in 2011. Rates are now 58% lower than they were in 2003.
The years of increases came after seven consecutive years of rate reductions, after Florida's Legislature reformed the Workers' Comp system. The FOIR noted that several pending court cases in Florida could affect the rates, from raising costs to declaring the entire WC systetm unconstitutional, reports the Herald Tribune.
"Florida’s Workers’ Compensation market is both competitive and affordable," Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty (right) told the Herald Tribune. "This approval would represent a 60% cumulative reduction in Florida Workers’ Compensation rates since 2003, and having competitive rates is a critical element in bringing new jobs to our state."
The Boca Raton, Fla.-based NCCI files proposed rates on behalf of about 260 Workers’ Comp insurers with policies in the state.
Read more: Workers' Comp rates falling 5.1%