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Workers' System Overview

The last major, systematic reform was in 2003 with the enactment of Senate Bill 50-A.  Prior to the reform, Florida consistently ranked as the state with the highest or second highest workers’ compensation rates in the country.  Post-reform, Florida rates have decreased by over 70%, and Florida now ranks in the mid to lower rate tier of states.

However, numerous administrative and non-medical and indemnity benefit changes have been made to Florida’s workers’ compensation law over the years.  These non-controversial changes have had generally unanimous support from stakeholders and legislators.

The Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) falls under the Department of Financial Services, which is led by Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Jimmy Patronis.  The CFO is a state-wide elected position and is part of the Florida Cabinet.  The CFO serves a four-year term and is subject to a two-term limit.  The DWC is responsible for administering Chapter 440, Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law and the corresponding administrative rules. The DWC also publishes a system guide, which contains important information for insurers, employers, injured workers, and health care providers.

The Office of Insurance Regulation oversees Florida’s Insurance Code, which includes the workers’ compensation rating laws.  Florida is an administered pricing state as opposed to a loss-cost state. Michael Yaworsky is the Insurance Commissioner and is appointed by the Florida Financial Services Commission, which consists of the Governor, CFO, and Attorney General. 

Florida’s 5-year voluntary rate level changes have been:

January, 2020:  -7.5%

January, 2021:  -6.6%

January, 2022:  -4.9%

January, 2023:  -8.4%

January 2024:  -15.1%

The reduction in claim frequency, combined with low to moderate claim cost growth has been the primary reason for the rate decreases.

Florida’s overall premium volume is approximately $4 billion. Private carriers account for $3 billion, while self-insured employers make up $1 billion.  Approximately 408 carriers are licensed to write workers’ compensation insurance.  Florida has approximately 276 governmental self-insured employers and 106 private self-insured employers. 

Total active workers’ compensation policies have been increasing during the last several years.  As of June 1, 2023, 432,318 policies were in effect. In 2022, Florida had 410,202 activities, compared to 395,630 in 2021, and 366,427 in 2020.  The Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association administers the residual market.  The JUA’s policy count and premium are a very small portion of the overall workers’ compensation market.

The assessment rates for the Workers’ Compensation Administrative Trust Fund (WCATF) and the Special Disability Trust Fund (SDTF) are:

Calendar Year