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President's Report - September 2017

President CEO Joe Catrambone

Workers Comp

Recently the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) recommended a 9.6 percent rate decrease to Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation, effective January 1, 2018. If approved the decrease will be a temporary relief for Florida businesses hit with 14.5 percent increase this year.

While the specifics of the rate proposal under review there is concern that NCCI only utilized 2014 & 2015 claims data for the proposal, which means claims from 2016 not subject to trial attorney fee caps overturned by the courts in last year's Castellanos decision are not included in the proposal.

Florida's Supreme Court ruled against small business and injured workers, favoring trial lawyers in April, 2016 in the Castellanos decision. They threw out Florida's attorney fee structure allowing the cost of lawsuits to skyrocket and in many instances attorneys are receiving fees as high as $400. per hour.

Last session the Florida Legislature did nothing towards reform, even though it cost our businesses $1.5 billion. We're told that the Florida Chamber of Commerce has been working diligently to improve upon last year's legislation in the 2018 session. However until the Legislature enacts reform, costs can continue to increase. We must be diligent in our efforts to have Legislature adopt positive reform.

Joe Catrambone

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