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Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier ordered a 13.8% workers compensation rate decrease for 2019 — slightly larger than the 13.4% decline submitted by the National Council on Compensation Insurance in August.
Approval of a revised rate decrease is contingent on an amended filing being submitted with changes as stipulated in the order, according to a statement issued Friday by the Office of Insurance Regulation. If approved by the office, the revised rate would become effective on Jan. 1 for new and renewal business.
Workers compensation rates in the state have been significantly impacted in recent years by two major court decisions: In Marvin Castellanos v. Next Door Co. et al., the Florida Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that Florida’s mandatory attorney fee schedule was unconstitutional, while in Bradley Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the state’s 104-week cap on temporary total disability benefits was unconstitutional.
“Even after considering the impact of the Castellanos and Westphal decisions, other factors at work in the marketplace combined to contribute to the indicated decrease, which included reduced assessments, increases in investment income and declines in claim frequency,” the order stated.
Florida’s workers compensation landscape has garnered attention for its legislative activity in response to major court decisions that have upended the system over the past year.