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| Saunders and Walker

Over at Insurance Journal we are told Florida is providing a significant boost to Florida businesses in the form of a 15.7% reduction in the workers’ compensation insurance rates.

The reduction is supposed to produce a savings of $400 Million for Florida employers.

I would join the cheering and applause if the entire savings had not been built on the backs of injured workers whose benefits and rights have been reduced just about every year. Apparently, it never occurs to the workers’ compensation industry to provide better benefits to the injured and to pocket only, say, $200 Million in rate savings.

Fla. Orders 15.7% Workers’ Comp Cut

A significant drop in workers compensation claims frequency and a reduction in the cost of claims [code words for fewer benefits and rights for injured workers] have triggered a larger-than-recommended decrease in rates, at the bidding of Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance has filed for a statewide average rate decrease of 13.3 percent.

However, McCarty ordered NCCI to amend its filing to bring about a rate reduction of 15.7 percent. McCarty cited disagreements with the methodology NCCI used to project losses and with the trend factors used in the filing. Trend factors incorporate changes in wages, paid losses, and claims frequency.

According to the Office of Insurance Regulation, the overall average rate decrease of 15.7 percent would produce a savings of $400 million for Florida employers, and would constitute the fourth consecutive drop since 2003. The cumulative overall statewide average rate decrease for the period would total over 40 percent.

“This will provide a significant boost to Florida businesses and to our state’s economy,” McCarty said.

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