NCCI proposes Florida worker's comp rate cut

By David Sedore, Palm Beach

BOCA RATON — A bit of good news for Florida businesses: Worker’s comp premiums are likely to fall once again.

NCCI, the Boca Raton firm that annually files a rate proposal for all Florida insurers that sell worker’s comp coverage, is asking the Office of Insurance Regulation to cut rates by 6.8 percent effective Jan. 1. The reasons: the number of claims continues to fall, while the cost of claims also continues to decline.

If approved by OIR, it would be the seventh consecutive year that rates have gone down. Rates have fallen 63.2 percent since the Legislature overhauled the state’s worker’s comp laws in 2003.

A call to NCCI was not returned before deadline for this story.

Before the 2003 legislation, Florida annually ranked among the three most expensive states for worker’s comp insurance.

Oregon’s Department of Consumer & Business Services, which ranks the states every two years, dropped Florida all the way to 28 in 2008, with employers paying on average $2.20 in premiums for every $100 in payroll.

The proposed rate cut for 2010 breaks down by industry sectors this way: Manufacturing, -4.7 percent; contracting, 110.8 percent; office and clerical, -6.2 percent; goods and services -3.8 percent; miscellaneous, -6.7 percent.

OIR is likely to hold a rate hearing in October, and could ask NCCI to cut rates even further.

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