Florida employers set to pay highest workers’ comp in southeast

Florida is set to once again have the highest cost to employers in workers’ compensation rates in the Southeastern region by Oct. 1 thanks to an official recommended rate increase of 19.6 percent.

The increase recommended to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, which sets insurance rates, by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).

NCCI is an independent company that evaluates the market to make insurance rate adjustment recommendations to Florida at the end of each year.

But nothing is set in stone Landrum’s Vice President of Client Relations Bill Cleary said. Landrum provides outsourcing of human resources and workers’ compensation for businesses.

“As it stands we are all just waiting to see what the response would be,” Cleary said. “It seems likely that there will be an increase in worker comp. It will be very interesting to see how the state and insurance commissioner will respond.”

The recommendation accounts for two Florida Supreme Court’s rulings in Castellanos v Next Door Company and Westphal v City of St. Petersburg.

It is rare for the company to make adjustment filings in the middle of the year, meaning the NCCI feels the impacts and immediate costs of these two cases require immediate action.

The Castellanos case represents the largest chunk of the rate hike at 17.1 percent. The court threw out the existing attorney fee sliding scale as unconstitutional, opening the door for higher pay to attorneys.

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