As some of you may be aware, the Florida Supreme Court recently made two separate rulings that have triggered a monumental reform of Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Laws and rates. The recent rulings will reverse the 60% rate decrease we’ve experienced since 2003.

What does this mean for your company?

A proposed rate increase of 19.6% has been recommended to take effect October 1st, 2016 for all new and renewal policies. Furthermore, the ultimate rate increase will apply on a pro-rata basis to all policies in place on October 1st, 2016.

What can I expect as a result of this overhaul?

These recent changes will now encourage more litigation due to attorney fees no longer being capped on cases. There is also potential for prior claims still within the statute of limitation (2 years from accident, 1 year from last payment) to be re-opened due to the recent case law.

What can you do to alleviate the financial burden?

This is a great time to evaluate your current risk management and claims prevention protocols. Workers Compensation is the one insurance coverage where an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure when it comes to controlling your premium. It will be important going forward to really work closely with your employees and making sure claims are managed properly. Getting injured workers back to work will be critical! This could help offset some of the cost increase in the event your claims experience is positive.