Florida Insurance Commissioner, Kevin McCarty, has approved a 6.1% increase in Florida, for workers’ compensation premiums. The decision was a result of recommendations made by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). This is the third consecutive year of increases in premiums. In 2010 there was a premium increase of 7.8% and in 2011 an increase of 8.9%. This trend of premium increases, contradicts the notion of so-called workers’ compensation “reform,” which was designed to keep employment in the State of Florida.
Unfortunately, the cost of workers’ compensation premiums is supposed to be commensurate with the benefits provided to injured workers. Notwithstanding three straight years of premium increases, benefits for injured Florida workers are stagnant or declining. The carriers continually pay a smaller share of medical and indemnity benefits, while the value of lump sum cash settlement has declined dramatically since the 2003 reforms.
Randy Zeldin, Esq., is a Florida workers’ compensation attorney with offices in Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida.