South Florida Hospital News
Thursday January 23, 2020
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January 2020 - Volume 16 - Issue 7

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Florida Medical Practices to See Another Rate Decrease in 2020 Workers’ Comp Rates

Florida medical practices and all Florida businesses will see a third consecutive decrease in workers’ compensation rates effective January 1, 2020. The current 7.5% rate cut was approved by Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier after he disagreed with the recommended 5.4% announced by the (NCCI) in the summer of 2019.

The continued rate slide will total more than 30% since 2016 after a slight rate increase.
 
In its analysis the NCCI cited “claim frequency decline is due to safer workplaces, enhanced efficiencies in the workplace, increased use of automation and innovative technologies” as their reasons for recommending the rate decrease for a third straight year.
 
While this is great news for Florida medical practices and all businesses, the Office of Insurance Regulation, lawmakers, and businesses are concerned about the pending changes associated with the 2016 Florida Supreme Court rulings removing caps on attorney fees and temporary total disability benefits. Many in this industry believe that these rate decreases will be short lived once the effects of these changes take hold unless the legislature can counter with new laws to reinstate the fee and disability caps.
 
Workers’ compensation premiums are the one bright spot in the current Florida insurance market. We are seeing rate increases in almost all other lines of insurance, including medical professional liability, business, property, auto, and cyber coverages. The medical malpractice insurance companies are experiencing an increased number of claims and lawsuits, with a large number of “shock loss” judgements of over $10 million being paid out in the last year. This trend is expected to continue, and will result in much-higher rates these next few years.

Tom Murphy is a workers’ compensation and medical malpractice insurance specialist agent with the firm of Danna-Gracey, Inc. in downtown Delray Beach. He can be reached at (561) 276-3553 or (800) 966-2120 or Murphy@dannagracey.com.

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