Recently, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation approved a rate filing proposing a statewide rate level increase of 14.5 percent for all new and renewed workers’ compensation insurance plans, effective Dec. 1, 2016. The OIR had previously rejected a proposed rate increase of 17.1 percent on the grounds that it was not substantiated.
The rate increase comes on the heels of two Florida Supreme Court cases and an update to the Florida Workers’ Compensation Health Care Provider Reimbursement Manual. The National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. proposed the rate increases to address expected cost increases as a result of these recent changes.
The rate increase will go into effect Dec. 1, 2016, for all new and renewal policies. Companies would be wise to begin planning now for the increase, even if policies are not up for renewal until next year.
Florida employers have options for reducing the cost of workers’ compensation coverage.
In Florida, participation in a Drug Free Workplace Program that complies with Florida law entitles a company to a credit toward workers’ compensation premiums. The program is detailed and requires implementation of a lengthy policy in the workplace, including policies on notice, types of testing, and procedures for employee protection.
Should you require assistance in reviewing your company’s policies or developing a compliant Drug Free Workplace Program, please contact the Gunster employment law practice team at 561-650-1980.
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Holly L. Griffin is an associate in Gunster’s West Palm Beach office. She is a member of the firm’s employment law practice and its Women’s Leadership Forum. She helps employers protect their interests by preparing and updating employment forms, policies and procedures to comply with state and federal law, including employee handbooks, employment applications and employment related agreements.
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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.
Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 11 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With over 200 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.