Government Impact: Workers’ Compensation Rate Increases on the Horizon
On April 28th, 2016, the Florida Supreme court issued an opinion in the Castellanos v. Next Door Company case that will have an immediate impact on workers’ compensation insurance rates in Florida. The court has declared the attorney fee schedule, first introduced in 2003, unconstitutional and a violation of due process under both the Florida and United States Constitutions. That schedule drove workers’ compensation rates down by over 60% in comparison to 2002 rates.
As a result of this decision, attorney fees will immediately begin to be evaluated under the “reasonable” award standard articulated in the Murray v. Mariner Health decision, issued in 2008. It should be noted that the Murray case decision brought with it a mid-year workers’ compensation rate increase of 6.4% for Florida businesses and was expected to bring further significant rate increases with it until the legislature took the necessary action in 2009 to reintroduce the fee schedule.
While future legislative action may be able to mitigate the impact of this decision on workers’ compensation rates over time, significant increases over and above the 6.4% rate increase seen in 2008 are expected both immediately and until legislative action can be taken. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR) and the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) will be working closely together in the interim to address the immediate impact on Florida workers’ compensation.
LassiterWare stands ready to assist Florida businesses with minimizing the impact of this decision on their day to day operations by way of our exclusive service offerings:
- Safety & Loss Control Resources
- Human Resources Consulting
- Contractual Risk Transfer Assessments
- Claims Management & Advocacy
To take advantage of these services, contact your LassiterWare representative today!