FHBA Incoming President Set to Testify at Workers Compensation Hearing

On Tuesday, August 16th, The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) will conduct a public hearing to discuss the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) rate filing which proposes a rate increase for workers’ compensation insurance as a result of three recent Supreme Court rulings. NCCI is a licensed rating organization authorized to make rate filings on behalf of workers’ compensation insurance companies doing business in Florida.

NCCI has proposed an overall average increase in rate levels of 19.6% for all new, renewal, and current in-force workers’ compensation insurance policies written in Florida, effective October 1, 2016. Individual projected rate impacts include a 2.2% increase for the Florida Supreme Court decision on the Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg case, a 15% increase for the Florida Supreme Court decision on the Castellanos v. Next Door Company case, and a 1.8% increase for updates to the Florida Workers’ Compensation Health Care Provider Reimbursement Manual as a result of Senate Bill 1402.

Jeremy Stewart, FHBA’s incoming President will testify at the public hearing on behalf of the home building industry. Specifically, Jeremy’s testimony will focus on the direct impact of this significant rate increase to affordable housing and builders across the state. Utilizing a “real world” example of a construction home renovation, Jeremy will demonstrate the Financial impact of the rate increase, from the rate his company, Jeremy Stewart Construction, Inc., would pay for its employees to the multiplier effect on the cost of the renovation by factoring in the rate increases for each of the contractors and subcontractors working on the project. Additionally, Jeremy will touch on the disadvantage for Florida builders situated at the state line who must compete with builders from neighboring states that do not pay the increased workers’ compensation rates. His testimony will also mention that compliance with the rate increases will most likely lead to unlicensed activity as some will skirt the law in order to remain competitive in the marketplace. Lastly, Jeremy will include the importance of preserving the current exemption for construction for small builders in his remarks.

The general public is welcome to submit comments about NCCI’s proposed rate filing by sending an email to: ratehearings@floir.com with “NCCI” in the subject line of the email. Comments will be accepted for consideration until 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on August 23, 2016. Just a gentle reminder that under Florida law, written communications to OIR are public record and subject to disclosure, including being available to the public and media.

The Florida Channel will stream the hearing live online via its website and a link to the video recording will be available at a later date.