The workers' compensation insurance market in Florida is strong and competitive, according to a new report from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
The report specifically notes premiums paid by employers are down 56% since 2003, when the Legislature passed a major workers' compensation reform bill. That bill was designed to reduce rates and stabilize the market. The bill also capped fees attorneys could make on representing employees injured on the job.
Still, the report takes a somewhat ominous look at the future of the market statewide, stating that it's “likely that the impact of these reforms has reached its limit.”
Workers' compensation insurance rates have increased three consecutive years, for example, after seven years of decreases. “There is some concern,” the report states, “about the direction of workers' compensation rates in Florida and the ability of the state to retain its important economic competitive advantage in this area.”
The report cites rising medical costs, including drugs, inpatient and outpatient services, as another potential area where expenses for employers might increase.