Florida Orders Workers’ Comp Rate Decrease of 9.8%

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier has ordered a statewide overall workers’ compensation rate decrease of 9.8 percent, a slightly higher decrease than the 9.6 percent decrease filed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) back in August.

Altmaier’s order disapproving NCCI’s 2018 rate filing was issued by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation on Tuesday, and stated NCCI’s rate request be amended and refiled by Nov. 7, 2017.

Altmaier’s order cited NCCI’s 2 percent allowance for profit and contingencies in its rate filing as the reason for rates being disapproved. The order states that the refiling should contain a profit and contingencies provision no greater than 1.85 percent.

The rate decrease will come as a welcome surprise for many Florida businesses that were expecting additional rate increases after the Florida Supreme Court issued two decisions – Castellanos v. Next Door Company and Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg, – in 2016 that sent rates up by double digits this year.

“Using new data, this experience based filing proposes a decrease in rate level based on data from policy years 2014 and 2015 valued as of year-end 2016,” the order states. “While some of the experience used as the basis for this filing occurred before the recent Florida Supreme Court decisions, a portion of the experience period includes claims that occurred after the decisions.”

At a rate hearing in mid-October, NCCI said a decline in claims frequency due, in part, to safer workplaces, enhanced efficiencies in the workplace, increased use of automation, and innovative technologies were partly behind the recommended decrease. NCCI said this trend is not unique to Florida but countrywide, and is expected to continue in the future.

According to OIR’s order, from 2011 to 2015, the cumulative decreases in the indemnity and medical loss ratios were 19.9 percent and 12.3 percent, respectively. The primary reason for the declining loss ratios is a significant reduction in the lost-time claim frequency which declined by 45 percent from 2001 to 2015 with over 8 percent of the decline occurring in 2014 and 2015.

“Even after considering the impact of the Castellanos and Westphal decisions, other factors at work in the marketplace combined to contribute to the indicated decrease, which included reduced assessments, increases in investment income, decline in claim frequency, and lower loss adjustment expenses,” the order states.

However, the order also mandates that NCCI provide detailed analysis of the effects of the Castellanos decision by the Florida Supreme Court in future filings, which accounted for 10.1 percent of the 14.5 percent increase in Florida workers’ compensation rates this year.

“To ensure workers’ compensation rates are not excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory … it is imperative that additional quantitative analysis be conducted to determine the effect the Castellanos decision is having on the Florida workers’ compensation market and the data used to support future rate filings,” the order states. “The analysis may include alternative data sources and should examine changes to the Florida workers’ compensation market that are attributed to or observed as a result of the recent court decision.”

Approval of a revised rate decrease is contingent on the amended filing being submitted with changes as stipulated within the order. If approved by OIR, the revised rate decrease would become effective on Jan. 1, 2018 for new and renewal business.

Read Order: Florida OIR Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rate Decrease

By Amy O’Connor of InsuranceJournal.com | November 2, 2017

NAPEO Forms Cybersecurity Task Force

As an fyi, NAPEO has formed  a Cybersecurity Task Force to better understand the exposures of PEO and how to mitigate them.  A very timely and critical task force that I am very proud to be a part of – This is by far the most misunderstood exposure to PEO today.

“NAPEO recognizes the critical business and compliance risks faced by our members concerning cybersecurity. Although many member resources such as PEO Insider and various conferences have featured helpful information and programs for members on this topic, NAPEO recognized more is needed and formed the NAPEO Cybersecurity Task Force to help fill that gap. The Cybersecurity Task Force is comprised of a cross section of professionals with expertise in insurance, law, technology and the business environment of PEOs. Its primary mission is develop a set of best practices which NAPEO members could use to strengthen their compliance efforts and minimize their legal and business risks. The Task Force’s first step will be to survey members to gain a deeper insight into the cybersecurity concerns and exposures of members, which will be used to help shape the best practices the task force will produce. For more information, please contact Farrah Fielder.”

Florida WC Rate Decrease Hearing Set for Tomorrow

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation will be discussing on the 18th of October NCCI’s proposed rate decrease of 9.6%.  Agenda shown below.  If you have any comments that you would like the state to hear, you can email ratehearings@floir.com with the subject line of your e-mail should read “NCCI” up until the 25th of October.

PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA
NATIONAL COUNCIL ON COMPENSATION INSURANCE
WHEN: October 18, 2017, 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: 412 Knott Building
404 South Monroe Street
Florida Capitol Complex
Tallahassee, FL 32399
GENERAL SUBJECT MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED: National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has
proposed an overall average decrease in rate levels of 9.3% for the voluntary market for all new and renewal workers’
compensation insurance policies written in the State of Florida, effective January 1, 2018. The filing also requests a
decrease to the fixed expense cost applicable to every workers’ compensation policy in Florida from $200 to $160 which
when combined with the rate level decrease results in an overall average workers’ compensation premium decrease of
9.6%.
1. Opening Remarks Office of Insurance Regulation (Office)
a) Introduction of Office personnel
b) Introduction of participating parties
2. Presentation National Council on Compensation Insurance
3. Public Comment Open to the Public
4. Closing Remarks
5. Adjourn
Any comments or concerns not addressed at the public hearing may be forwarded to ratehearings@floir.com; the subject
line of your e-mail should read “NCCI”. The record will be open for public comment until October 25, 2017.

PRESIDENT SIGNS ACA EXECUTIVE ORDER AND IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWS WITH ANOTHER BIG ANNOUNCEMENT ON ACA

Featured

On Oct. 12, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order intended to change certain rules under the ACA, expanding access to association health plans, health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and short-term, limited-duration insurance. The executive order does not make any changes to existing regulations, but directs federal agencies to consider new regulations or guidance to implement the order’s policies. This Health Care Bulletin provides an overview of the executive order.  Click the attached document to continue reading…

President Signs Executive Order Designed to Change ACA Rules

On Oct. 12, 2017, the White House announced that it will no longer reimburse insurers for cost-sharing reductions made available to low-income individuals through the Exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), effective immediately. Because Congress did not pass an appropriation for this expense, the Trump administration has taken the position that it cannot lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments.

This decision follows the U.S. House of Representatives’ position in a lawsuit it filed against the Obama administration in 2014 challenging the federal government’s authority to fund these cost-sharing reductions. Click the attached document to continue reading…

White House Announces ACA Subsidies Will End 10-13-17

U.S. DHS M-274 Handbook NAPEO Update

Compass Readers,

Quickly after Michael Miller’s memo went out yesterday about the M-274 handbook, Farrah Fielder (General Counsel, NAPEO) sent out an email with NAPEO’s updates and plan for tackling this head on.

Farrah expressed the following points on the M-274 change and NAPEO’s federal governmental affairs plan:

  • NAPEO has been aware of this change since February, when several NAPEO members mentioned to NAPEO that the PEO content had been removed from the M-274 handbook.
  • Contact with ICE by NAPEO member companies at that time yielded no information on the changes.
  • There was no political leadership at ICE when these changes occurred.
  • NAPEO has seen no changes in enforcement from ICE towards the PEO industry since the Trump Administration took office.
  • No NAPEO member, to our knowledge, has changed its policies on the I-9 form based on the removal of the PEO content from the M-274 handbook.
  • And, as far as we are aware, ICE has not rejected/refused/prohibited PEOs from filing I-9s on behalf of clients or filing client I-9s as agents since the changes to the M-274 handbook.

Farrah continued, “NAPEO, as part of its federal legislative and regulatory agenda, has immigration reform as an agenda item.”

The following is the associations plan of action:

  • Ask the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to clarify the responsibilities of a PEO under E-Verify, addressing the following issues:
    • PEO and client compliance responsibilities under E-Verify
    • Compliance with E-Verify for individuals and clients that are already in a PEO relationship
    • Creating an E-Verify compliance safe harbor for PEOs
  • NAPEO also plans to form a working group to implement these items once there is political leadership at ICE.

To understand more on this topic, please refer to this previous article that was published yesterday: https://peocompass.com/u-s-department-homeland-security-m-274-handbook/

If you have any questions feel free to contact Farrah Fielder (ffielder@napeo.org) or Thom Stohler (tstohler@napeo.org – VP, Federal Government Affairs NAPEO) directly.

We will continue to update as more information comes in.

Regards,

Brian Urso
Risk Consultant
burso@libertateins.com
LinkedIn

 

 

Internal Revenue Service Posts List of PEO Small Business Efficiency Act Participants

Unfortunately for the PEO industry, there have been cases in the past of payroll tax money not making its proper way to the Internal Revenue Service from a PEO, leaving small employers being forced to repay SUTA and FUTA.  A solution to allow PEO’s to be accredited/certified/recognized by the IRS was sought by NAPEO to help the credibility of the industry and ensure proper payments of tax for American business.

As background and straight off the NAPEO website…

www.napeo.org

On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014. Included in this legislation was the Small Business Efficiency Act (SBEA), which created a voluntary IRS certification program for professional employer organizations. It was previously approved by the House of Representatives as a provision in the ABLE Act to off-set the costs associated with that proposal, then incorporated into the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 and passed by the Senate.

IRS PEO certification is important because it:

  • Confirms the certified PEO (CPEO) can pay federal employment taxes under its EIN.
  • Protects customers through the CPEO’s sole liability on wages paid to WSEs by CPEO.
  • Provides certainty with respect to when a wage base restart is not necessary for new customers.
  • Confirms the CPEO’s FUTA credit for all SUTA paid by CPEO or customer.
  • Offers clear guidance for the CPEO and the customer on pass-through of tax credits and employment tax exclusions.
  • Gives increased comfort for potential client with use of an IRS-certified PEO.
  • Lends credibility to PEO business model, especially with investor community and federal regulators.

—–

This is a huge win for the industry in its quest for more market share against the traditional deployment of employment related functions and I believe will become a huge competitive advantage for the current and future participants of this PEO certification.

The initial list is below…Kudos to NAPEO and the 30 or so PEO control groups to take the lead on this initiative.  For those looking to certify, Thom Stohler and Farrah Fielder at NAPEO are standing by to help —  PRH

List of CPEOs

Applicant Name

Street Name

Addr Line 2

City

State

Postal/Zip

Country

Effecctive Date

ACCESS HUMAN RESOURCES LLC

28800 Orchard Lake Road

2nd Floor

FARMINGTON

Michigan

48334

United States

1/1/2017

ACCESS MANAGEMENT LLC

28800 Orchard Lake Road

2nd Floor

FARMINGTON

Michigan

48334

United States

1/1/2017

ACCESS RESOURCE SOLUTIONS LLC

28800 Orchard Lake Road

2nd Flr

FARMINGTON

Michigan

48334

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE CO XXI INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE CO XXII INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE DE IV INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE FL XI INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE FL XIX INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE FL XVI INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE FL XVII INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE FL XVIII INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE FL XXIX INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE I INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE II INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE III INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE INC

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE MI VI LLC

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE MI VII LLC

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE MI XXX INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE NH XXVIII INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ADP TOTALSOURCE OF CO XXIII INC.

10200 Sunset Drive

MIAMI

Florida

33173

United States

1/1/2017

ALCOTT HR GROUP LLC

71 Executive Blvd

FARMINGDALE

New York

11735-4709

United States

1/1/2017

AVALON HR 2 LLC

100 S Pace Blvd

PENSACOLA

Florida

32502

United States

1/1/2017

AVALON HR 3 LLC

100 S Pace Blvd

PENSACOLA

Florida

32502

United States

1/1/2017

AVALON HR LLC

9685 Soldier Creek Rd

LILLIAN

Alabama

36549

United States

1/1/2017

AVITUS INC.

175 N. 27th Street

Suite 800

BILLINGS

Montana

59101

United States

1/1/2017

AVITUS TWO LLC

175 N. 27th Street

Suite 800

BILLINGS

Montana

59101

United States

1/1/2017

AXCET HR SOLUTIONS

8325 Lenexa Drive

Suite 410

LENEXA

Kansas

66214

United States

1/1/2017

ENGAGE PEO LLC

3001 Executive Drive

Suite 340

CLEARWATER

Florida

33762

United States

1/1/2017

EXTENSIS II INC.

900 Route 9 North

Third Floor

WOODBRIDGE

New Jersey

07095

United States

1/1/2017

EXTENSIS III INC.

900 Route 9 North

Third Floor

WOODBRIDGE

New Jersey

07095

United States

1/1/2017

EXTENSIS INC.

900 Route 9 North

Third Floor

WOODBRIDGE

New Jersey

07095

United States

1/1/2017

EXTENSIS IV INC.

900 Route 9 North

WOODBRIDGE

New Jersey

07095

United States

1/1/2017

EXTENSIS VI LLC

900 Route 9 North

WOODBRIDGE

New Jersey

07095

United States

1/1/2017

EXTENSIS VIII INC.

900 Route 9 North

WOODBRIDGE

New Jersey

07095

United States

1/1/2017

G&A OUTSOURCING VII LLC

17220 Katy Freeway Suite 350

HOUSTON

Texas

77094

United States

1/1/2017

GENESIS HR SOLUTIONS INC.

One Burlington Woods

Suite 203

BURLINGTON

Massachusetts

01803

United States

1/1/2017

HELM HR LLC

201 South Court Street

Suite 700

FLORENCE

Alabama

35630

United States

1/1/2017

INSPERITY PEO SERVICES L.P.

19001 Crescent Springs Drive

KINGWOOD

Texas

77339

United States

1/1/2017

INTANDEM HUMAN RESOURCES LLC

650 S Cherry St.

Suite 1221

DENVER

Colorado

80246

United States

1/1/2017

JUSTWORKS EMPLOYMENT GROUP LLC

151 West 26th Street

12th Floor

NEW YORK

New York

10001

United States

1/1/2017

LBMC EMPLOYMENT PARTNERS LLC

201 Franklin Road

Suite 200

BRENTW OOD

Tennessee

37027

United States

1/1/2017

MBA PAYROLL SERVICES II INC.

9455 Koger Blvd

Suite 200

ST PETERSBURG

Florida

33702

United States

1/1/2017

MBA PAYROLL SERVICES INC.

9455 Koger Blvd

Suite 200

ST PETERSBURG

Florida

33702

United States

1/1/2017

MIDWEST VENTURES LLC

1200 Internationale Pkwy

Suite 200

WOODRIDGE

Illinois

60517

United States

1/1/2017

MIDWESTHR LLC

1200 Internationale Pkwy

Suite 200

WOODRIDGE

Illinois

60517

United States

1/1/2017

MINUTE MEN SELECT INC.

3740 CARNEGIE AVENUE

CLEVELAND

Ohio

44115

United States

1/1/2017

MODERN BUSINESS ASSOCIATES V INC.

9455 Koger Blvd

Suite 200

ST PETERSBURG

Florida

33702

United States

1/1/2017

MODERN PAYROLL SERVICES II INC.

9455 Koger Blvd

Suite 200

ST PETERSBURG

Florida

33702

United States

1/1/2017

MODERN PAYROLL SERVICES III INC.

9455 Koger Blvd

Suite 200

ST PETERSBURG

Florida

33702

United States

1/1/2017

MODERN PAYROLL SERVICES INC.

9455 Koger Blvd

Suite 200

ST PETERSBURG

Florida

33702

United States

1/1/2017

NEXTEP BUSINESS SOLUTIONS IV INC.

1800 N. Interstate Drive

NORMAN

Oklahoma

73072

United States

1/1/2017

NEXTEP BUSINESS SOLUTIONS V INC.

1800 N. Interstate Drive

NORMAN

Oklahoma

73072

United States

1/1/2017

NEXTEP BUSINESS SOLUTIONS VI INC.

1800 N. Interstate Drive

NORMAN

Oklahoma

73072

United States

1/1/2017

NEXTEP BUSINESS SOLUTIONS VII INC.

1800 N. Interstate Drive

NORMAN

Oklahoma

73072

United States

1/1/2017

NEXTEP INC.

1800 N. Interstate Drive

NORMAN

Oklahoma

73072

United States

1/1/2017

OASIS HR SOLUTIONS III INC.

2054 Vista Parkway Suite 300

WEST PALM BEACH

Florida

33411

United States

1/1/2017

PAYCHEX PEO VI LLC

970 Lake Carillon Drive

Suite 400

ST. PETERSBURG

Florida

33716

United States

1/1/2017

PAYCHEX PEO VII LLC

970 Lake Carillon Drive

Suite 400

ST. PETERSBURG

Florida

33716

United States

1/1/2017

PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER SERVICES II INC.

2400 Wolf Rd. Ste. 100

W ESTCHESTER

Illinois

60154

United States

1/1/2017

PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER SERVICES INC.

2400 Wolf Rd. Ste. 100

W ESTCHESTER

Illinois

60154

United States

1/1/2017

PROGRESSIVE EMPLOYER MANAGEMENT COMPANY IV LLC

6407 Parkland Drive

SARASOTA

Florida

34243

United States

1/1/2017

PROPEL PEO INC.

669 N. Academy Street

GREENVILLE

South Carolina

29601

United States

1/1/2017

PROPEL PEO OF TEXAS INC.

669 N. Academy St.

GREENVILLE

South Carolina

29601

United States

1/1/2017

RESOURCING EDGE I LLC

1309 Ridge Road

Suite 200

ROCKW ALL

Texas

75087

United States

1/1/2017

S2 HR SOLUTIONS 1A LLC

3001 Executive Drive

Suite 340

CLEARWATER

Florida

33762

United States

1/1/2017

S2 HR SOLUTIONS 1B LLC

3001 Executive Drive

Suite 340

CLEAWATER

Florida

33762

United States

1/1/2017

S2 HR SOLUTIONS 1C LLC

3001 Executive Drive

Suite 340

CLEARWATER

Florida

33762

United States

1/1/2017

S2 HR SOLUTIONS 1D LLC

3001 Executive Drive

Suite 340

CLEARWATER

Florida

33762

United States

1/1/2017

S2 HR SOLUTIONS 2D LLC

3001 Executive Drive

Suite 340

CLEARWATER

Florida

33762

United States

1/1/2017

S2 HR SOLUTIONS GROUP 1 LLC

3001 Executive Drive

Suite 340

CLEARWATER

Florida

33762

United States

1/1/2017

STAFF MANAGEMENT INC.

5919 Spring Creek Road

ROCKFORD

Illinois

61114

United States

1/1/2017

STS ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES OF FLORIDA INC.

9455 Koger Blvd

Suite 200

ST PETERSBURG

Florida

33702

United States

1/1/2017

STS NATIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES INC.

9455 Koger Blvd

Suite 200

ST PETERSBURG

Florida

33702

United States

1/1/2017

STS NATIONAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES INC.

9455 Koger Blvd

Suite 200

ST PETERSBURG

Florida

33702

United States

1/1/2017

STS REGIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES INC.

9455 Koger Blvd

Suite 200

ST PETERSBURG

Florida

33702

United States

1/1/2017

SWBC PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER SERVICES I LLC

30815 US Hwy 281 N

BULVERDE

Texas

78163

United States

1/1/2017

SWBC PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER SERVICES II LLC

30815 US Hwy 281 N

BULVERDE

Texas

78163

United States

1/1/2017

SWBC PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER SERVICES III LLC

30815 US Hwy 281 N

BULVERDE

Texas

78163

United States

1/1/2017

SYNDEO OUTSOURCING LLC

3504 N Great Plains Dr Ste 200

WICHITA

Kansas

67230

United States

1/1/2017

TANDEM PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER SERVICES II INC.

2400 Wolf Rd. Ste. 100

W ESTCHESTER

Illinois

60154

United States

1/1/2017

TANDEM PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER SERVICES III INC.

2400 Wolf Rd. Ste. 100

W ESTCHESTER

Illinois

60154

United States

1/1/2017

TANDEM PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER SERVICES INC.

2400 Wolf Rd. Ste. 100

W ESTCHESTER

Illinois

60154

United States

1/1/2017

TANDEM PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER SERVICES IV INC.

2400 Wolf Rd. Ste. 100

W ESTCHESTER

Illinois

60154

United States

1/1/2017

TANDEM PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER SERVICES V INC.

2400 Wolf Rd. Ste. 100

W ESTCHESTER

Illinois

60154

United States

1/1/2017

TANDEM PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER SERVICES VII

2400 Wolf Rd. Ste. 100

W ESTCHESTER

Illinois

60154

United States

1/1/2017

TANDEM PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER SERVICES VIII INC.

2400 Wolf Rd. Ste. 100

W ESTCHESTER

Illinois

60154

United States

1/1/2017

Last Updated 07/14/2017

2016 Workers’ Compensation Combined Ratio is a 94 per NCCI

It has been a busy month of conventions… NAPEO Legal and Legislative, RIMS and last week the NCCI.  On the ground at the PACE conference in New Orleans, a look back at the NCCI AIS.

The National Council of Compensation Insurance (“NCCI”) Annual Issues Symposium is the preeminent conference for understanding all things workers’ compensation.  Industry experts in the carrier, reinsurance and brokerage communities converge in Orlando every year in May to better understand the meaningful trends in the workers’ compensation line of insurance. The most meaningful number of this year’s event was 94… the lowest combined ratio of any other year since 1990 with the exception of 2006 (93).  It should also be noted that this is a 6 point drop from the 100 of last year and represents one of few years <100.

Based on typical patterns, this is now where capital enters the market… which was illuminated when the NCCI literally sold out of tickets.

With NAPEO’s Legal and Legislative Conference two weeks ago, the NCCI conference last week and PACE in New Orleans this week… it has been a high school reunion of sort – seeing good friends, telling old stories and commiserating on how to make the PEO industry the optimal platform for American business.  Health insurance maybe in the news every day but workers’ compensation is the line of business that PEO’s must have.

The origination of the PEO Compass was to provide an executive summary of all things workers’ compensation and how they impact all things PEO.  The NCCI is a huge driver of this nationwide and sets rates and rules in 37 states.  The document attached is a must read for those like me that are workers’ compensation and data geeks.

https://www.ncci.com/Articles/Documents/II_AIS2017-SOL-Guide.pdf

For those that are not (or would prefer not going through 57 slides), the highlights below:

  • The total P/C industry’s 2016 combined ratio (101%) represents a three-point increase versus that for 2015.
  • Combined ratios increased in all lines of business except workers compensation (slide 4)
  • Premium for the NCCI-serviced Residual Market Pools has remained stable over the last four policy years, at approximately $1.1 billion. (slide 12)
  • Between 2015 and 2016, countrywide private carrier direct written premium grew +2.4% (slide 15)
  • The percentage change in payroll (+4.5%) is approximately equal to the percentage change in the average wage (+2.5%) plus the percentage change in employment (+1.9%).  Employment grew at an above-average rate for the Professional and Business Services; Education and Health Services; Construction; and Leisure and Hospitality sectors.  Employment in the Manufacturing sector was flat, while the All Other sector posted a decrease primarily due to declines in Natural Resources and Mining employment (slide 17)
  • NCCI workers’ compensation filings with effective dates in 2017 averaged –6.7%… California and New York are already seeking approval for rate decreases which are not even part of this data set (slide 18)
  • In 2013, more than 70% of respondents saw an increase in premium at renewal, but by the fourth quarter of 2016, 62% reported seeing a decrease in premium at renewal (slide 23)
  • The workers compensation 2016 calendar year combined ratio for private carriers was 94%. This is the second consecutive year that the industry has posted a six-point underwriting gain. Consecutive combined ratios at this level have not been seen in at least the last 30 years (slide 24)

What this means is that workers’ compensation has become a very sexy line of insurance risk-bearers.  With favorable improvements in operating and investment performance, the median expected rate of return is +20%.  Again, it is therefore no surprise that this years NCCI AIS conference was sold out months prior to the event.

For those that happen to be in New Orleans this week for the annual PACE conference, let’s meet up and strategize in person about the great opportunities ahead for the industry.

– Paul R. Hughes

c: 321.217.7477

e. phughes@libertateins.com

 

 

Florida Workers’ Compensation Rates Get No Legislative Relief

There will be a certain increase in Florida workers’ compensation rates this coming year as the Florida legislature failed to pass anything to address the Castellanos and Westphal cases that lead to a 14.5% rate increase on 12.1.16.  The 14.5% was at the low end of the range that NCCI used in recommending n increase.

  •  Paul R. Hughes

Florida Fails to Pass Workers’ Compensation Reform

Florida businesses shouldn’t expect relief for workers’ compensation rates, this year at least. The Florida Legislature failed to pass legislation this session addressing 2016 decisions by the Florida Supreme Court that sent the state’s workers’ comp system into disarray and led to a rate increase of 14.5 percent.

After much back and forth between the House and Senate over their respective bills, it came down to attorney fees, which the industry says are to blame for the majority of the rate increase.

Lawmakers sought to reform the state’s workers’ comp system through two bills – House Bill 7085 and Senate Bill 1582 – in response to decisions by the Florida Supreme Court that found aspects of the Florida Workers’ Comp Act unconstitutional.

[Lawmakers also failed to pass other closely-watched insurance reforms addressing insurance claims (assignment of benefits) abuse. Read more on the failed AOB legislation.]

Debate over the Senate and House bill went on throughout the final legislative day on Friday with the House, in an attempt to lure the Senate to its side, passing an amendment capping attorney fees at $180 an hour on approval by a judge of compensation claims. The Senate version of the bill capped attorney fees at $250 an hour versus the House’s previous $150 an hour cap. On Friday, the Senate voted not to lower the cap in its bill to $200 an hour, but the House still tried later to compromise with the $180 cap.

Another key difference in the Senate version was a provision moving Florida to a loss-cost system. Rep. Danny Burgess, who sponsored the House bill, told House members “the jury’s still out” on whether a loss cost system leads to a premium reduction, based on data from states that had switched to this model.

Burgess said he hoped the Senate would agree to the attorney fee compromise so lawmakers could get “something across the finish line.”

“The bill, as it stands today is on the end of the rope,” he told House members Friday. “[We are] trying to provide substantial reform to address rising rates from recent court decisions…We have to solve this problem before us. Every small business in the state of Florida is watching us now.”

The Florida Supreme Court’s decisions that caused the upheaval came in two cases – Castellanos v. Next Door Company and Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg. The biggest cost driver behind the 14.5 percent rate increase, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), was Castellanos. That decision found the state’s mandatory attorneys’ fee schedule for workers’ compensation cases eliminated the right of a claimant to get a reasonable attorney’s fee — a “critical feature” of the workers’ compensation law. The impact of the Castellanos decision equaled 10.1 percent of the 14.5 rate increase, while Westphal accounted for 2.2 percent.

Burgess said the House version could offer up to a 5 percent reduction in rates and the Senate’s version would offer only about a 1 percent reduction.

The insurance industry supported the House version, agreeing that attorney fees are the main cost driver behind rate increases. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) said the bill would have addressed “decisions by the Florida Supreme Court rulings that could cause workers compensation rates to increase by 14.5 percent in the state, costing Florida job creators more than $1.5 billion.”

But ultimately, the two branches couldn’t reach an agreement before time ran out for lawmakers on Friday night.

Florida businesses now have the rate increase to contend with and the possibility of additional rate increases next year. An actuary from NCCI told the Florida House at a hearing last month that it is reasonable to expect that there would be continued pressure on rates without legislative reform.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce called lawmakers’ failure to enact reform a “failed fix to Florida’s broken workers’ comp system” and said it was a missed opportunity by lawmakers to make Florida more competitive.