Florida Workers’ Comp Rates to Raise: North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Analysts Evaluate Regional Fallout

October 29, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Last week, per the St. Petersburg Times, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty announced that the Sunshine state’s workers’ comp rates will be jacked up by nearly 9%, effective January 1, 2012. It’s a move that has many experts, analysts, and small business owners in the North Carolina workers’ compensation community mulling over the ramifications.

McCarty’s office rejected a proposal by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), stating that the methodology the NCCI used was faulty. He defended the fact that Florida will still have “the lowest workers’ comp rates among large states and the lowest rates in the southeast.” Prior to the changes in FLs workers’ comp laws back in 2003, the Sunshine state “consistently had one of the country’s highest workers’ compensation rates.”

Not surprisingly, Florida’s Director of the National Federation of Independent Business was less than pleased, calling the 8.9% hike “a very substantial increase in the cost of labor over the course of two very difficult years for small employers.”

So what can we make of this rate hike, especially in light of this year’s reforms to North Carolina workers’ compensation laws? Do they indicate a regional trend? Will the subtle changes in Florida and North Carolina rules and regulations impact the flow of business across the region? If so, how? How can one accurately measure this impact, if it exists at all?

These questions are obviously theoretical, but answering them is vital if we want to ensure fairness for hurt and injured workers and help small businesses in the region position themselves for growth, flexibility, and opportunity.

Finding the “perfect rate” for workers’ compensation is a balancing act that never ends.

The sheer diversity and number of variables involved would blow the circuits of even the world’s biggest super computer. That’s why it’s important to test and reassess how changes like the ones in North Carolina and Florida impact businesses, insurance companies and even the relative “joie de vivre” of the workers’ themselves.

For more specific, grounded help with a workers’ comp question, connect with an experienced, highly respected North Carolina workers’ compensation law firm for a free consultation.

More Web Resources:

Florida workers’ comp rates to rise 8.9%

The National Federation of Independent Business official website

 
 

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