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Court rulings prompt NCCI to seek 19.6% comp rate hike

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The National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. has proposed a nearly 20% workers compensation rate increase in Florida to cover the projected impact of recent state Supreme Court rulings and a new health care provider reimbursement manual, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said.

Employers have been bracing for skyrocketing workers comp rates since the Florida Supreme Court issued decisions in Marvin Castellanos v. Next Door Co. et al. and Bradley Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg et al., which deemed the state's attorney fee schedule and temporary total disability provision unconstitutional, respectively.

Following the court's April ruling in Castellanos, NCCI recommended a 17.1% rate hike, which included a 15% increase as a result of the ruling and a 1.8% increase stemming from a new health care provider reimbursement manual.

The Boca Raton, Florida-based rating and research organization on Thursday proposed an amended rate filing to include a 2.2% increase in response to the court's June ruling in Westphal, leading to a combined average rate increase of 19.6% or $714 million in increased premiums for Florida employers, the Florida insurance office said in a Friday statement.

NCCI proposes that the 19.6% rate increase apply to all new and renewal policies that are effective on or after Oct. 1, and to all policies in effect on Oct. 1 on a pro-rata basis through the remainder of the term, according to the statement. A public rate hearing is scheduled for Aug. 16.