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NFIB: Rate Hike Not The Only Workers' Comp Threat


Employers are worried the fallout from recent Supreme Court rulings will go beyond a hefty rate hike for workers’ compensation insurance.

National Federation of Independent Business’ executive director Bill Herrle was a key player when the Legislature implemented the business-friendly reforms justices struck down.

Now he’s warning that carriers may eventually abandon the Florida market.

“The thing that we don’t know just yet is how much of an availability crisis we’re going to force on the workers’ compensation system before we begin to address rate adequacy and then ultimately the solution that we need, which is policy changes as well.”

Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier says availability will depend on several factors, including how quickly the courts sort out a legal challenge to the 14.5 percent increase.

“I don’t think we’ll see anybody disappear overnight, but I think we’re going to see a lot of people very actively watching what might happen this legislative session, what might happen with behavior going forward.”

The First District Court of Appeal is allowing the rate hikes to go forward while the state challenges a recent Leon Circuit Court ruling. Judge Karen Geivers ruled the rate-making process violated Florida’s government in the sunshine law.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.