The Office of Insurance Regulation has received the 2018 Florida workers’ compensation rate filing by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), which proposes a statewide average premium decrease of 9.6%. This includes a statewide average rate decrease of 9.3% and a reduction of the fixed expense cost applicable to every workers’ compensation policy in Florida from $200 to $160. The new rates would become effective January 1, 2018.
As always, the Office will review the filing to ensure the proposed changes are not excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory and evaluate its potential effects on the insurance marketplace and employers, who are required by law to carry this insurance on their employees. A public rate hearing will be conducted in October.
NCCI is a licensed rating organization authorized to make rate filings on behalf of workers’ compensation insurance companies in Florida. For more information about the filing, read the NCCI press statement.
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier has an important message for Floridians ahead of the hurricane season beginning on June 1.
“Florida’s unique risk to tropical weather, especially during the hurricane season, means all Floridians need a disaster plan,” said Altmaier. “The time to evaluate your insurance coverage, fortify your home and prepare for how to protect yourself and your family is now.”
Altmaier is also advising Floridians to take advantage of numerous hurricane preparedness resources available to them on the Office of Insurance Regulation’s (Office) website and offers the following additional tips:
- Review your insurance policy with your insurance agent or insurance company to make sure the coverage is adequate to your individual needs. The “Declarations Page” of your policy will summarize the coverage you have purchased.
- Understand the differences between your insurance policy’s coverages and deductibles.
- Strengthen your home’s defenses against a storm through simple mitigation techniques, such as replacing worn weather stripping under doors and removing tree limbs that may fall on your home or become flying projectiles.
- Inventory your valuables and possessions using a home inventory checklist, which is available as a form you can download and print. If you prefer to use a smartphone, there is a link to a free app created by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which allows you to take pictures and add descriptions of your belongings.
- Know the phone number and contact information for your insurance agent and insurance company. Make sure to have easy access to it if you must evacuate your home.
- Most importantly, have a plan for what you will do if a storm system is expected to impact where you live. Do not wait to evacuate if it becomes necessary.
For more information, visit the Office’s “Hurricane Season Resources” webpage.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) is aware that many Florida Blue customers experienced multiple fund withdrawals from their bank accounts to pay for what should have been a one-time scheduled payment of their May health insurance policy premium. Florida Blue advised this was a processing error by the company’s third-party vendor.
The Office has been in regular contact with the company since Monday morning, May 1, as it looks at the adequacy of the refund and reimbursement process and conducts a complete review of this error.
Florida Blue has provided the following information:
- 9,480 Florida Blue customers were impacted statewide by this payment processing error.
- 8,177 are Affordable Care Act (ACA)-Compliant Individual Plan policyholders
- 453 are Pre-ACA-Compliant/Transitional Individual Plan policyholders
- 850 are Medicare policyholders
- As of 2:00 p.m. on Monday, May 1, Florida Blue’s primary banking institution reversed these transactions to refund all affected customers. Florida Blue has received confirmation from several large banks that these refunds have been returned to the accounts of their members, but it may take more time for other banks to complete this process.
- Customers will be advised on how to obtain reimbursement for overdraft bank fees or other expenses as a result of this error.
- For more information, customers are asked to email [email protected] or call the phone number listed on the back of their insurance card to reach the appropriate call center for their policy.
The Office’s primary focus at this time is working closely with the Department of Financial Services and Florida Blue to ensure consumers are made whole as soon as possible.
For additional assistance, consumers may also contact the Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services, via email at [email protected] or through the statewide toll-free helpline at 1-877-693-5236 (in-state callers) or 850-413-3089 (out-of-state callers).
Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued the following statement:
“I applaud the Florida House of Representatives for their favorable vote on HB 1421 today, and I am especially grateful to Representative James Grant, the bill sponsor, and Representative Rene Plasencia, the prime co-sponsor. This legislation makes significant progress in protecting Florida consumers from homeowners insurance rate increases fueled by rising litigation costs associated with an Assignment of Benefits (AOB). We appreciate the support and efforts of the entire Florida Legislature as they considered this legislative priority of the Office of Insurance Regulation during the 2017 Session.”
For more information about this issue, visit the Office’s “Assignment of Benefits Resources” webpage.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) today launched an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) resource webpage with information to educate Florida’s consumers about changes needed to discourage fraudulent AOB activity. The new webpage provides a sobering projection of insurance rate increases homeowners can expect to see in the next five years without any legislative reform. It also includes various presentations, video links, and news articles related to this issue.
To learn more, visit the Office’s “Assignment of Benefits” webpage.
About the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has primary responsibility for regulation, compliance and enforcement of statutes related to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry markets. For more information about the Office, please visit www.floir.com or follow us on Twitter @FLOIR_comm and Facebook.