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Chamber seeks to halt 19.6 percent increase in workers’ compensation rates

The Florida Chamber of Commerce testified Tuesday at an Office of Insurance Regulation hearing that a proposed 19.6 percent rate increase in workers compensation insurance rates will hurt Florida’s business climate.

However, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) warned that delaying the rate increases could cause severe public harm, because insurers could fall more than $1 billion short of what they need to pay claims.

Rates for workers comp were thrown in disarray after the Florida Supreme Court threw out portions of Florida’s workers’ comp system in two separate cases.

NCCI, which is based in Boca Raton, recommended the 19.6 percent rate increase.

Further complicating matters, Floridapolitics.com reports that Miami attorney James Fee is challenging the increase based on allegations of open meetings and open records violations. NCCI says the laws did not apply because it’s not an agent of the state.

Fee’s website says he represents employers on compliance issues and injured workers who file claims. Fee is a partner with Druckman & Fee.

Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson testified the pending workers’ comp rate increase will substantially impact injured workers and job creators throughout Florida.

“It’s a lucrative deal for personal injury trial lawyers, but a raw deal for injured workers who won’t gain a dime, and may even be out of work longer,” Wilson said during the insurance regulatory rate hearing. “Florida businesses care about their injured workers and want to make them whole. But now, thanks to the Supreme Court and plaintiff trial lawyers, its OK to collect fees nearly 50 times as much as the injured workers judgment.”

If the Office of Insurance Regulations approves the 19.6 percent workers’ comp rate increase, it will be the highest rate in the Southeast, the chamber said in a press release.

A chamber task force concluded that the increased rates could force businesses to choose between paying higher rates and hiring additional employees.

 

 

 

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.