main menu page title feature menus content footer
My Florida C F O

CFO's Initiatives

Stay Connected

Follow the
Department of
Financial Services

Sign up for the CFO's
weekly newsletter!

Press Release

News   RSS RSS   Press Office   Archive

Gallagher Calls for Additional $500 Million in Savings for Florida’s Small Businesses

10/4/2005

CONTACT:
Tami Torres or Bob Lotane
(850) 413-2842
             
TALLAHASSEE – Tom Gallagher, Florida's chief financial officer, today called for greater savings for Florida's small businesses based on an independent review of proposed workers' compensation rates for the state. Gallagher said that the proposed decrease of 7.2 percent in workers' compensation rates by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) should be a 22 percent cut.  The rate cut would boost estimated savings for Florida employers from $237 million to $726 million. 
        
"We fought for and passed meaningful reforms to the state's workers' compensation system in 2003 and, as a result, we are seeing dramatic savings for our small businesses," said Gallagher.  "When we lower costs for Florida employers, we boost job creation and opportunity for Florida's working families.  Our independent review reveals that greater savings should be realized by Florida employers."
        
Gallagher's call is based on an independent rate review by the consumer advocate's office.  The review confirmed that rates proposed by NCCI did not adequately account for projected losses, earnings and medical costs for workers' compensation insurance companies.   The rates will be the subject of a public hearing this Friday, October 7, before Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.  McCarty must rule on rates that would become effective January 1, 2006.  Gallagher said that Consumer Advocate Steve Burgess will testify at the rate hearing. 
       
Gallagher spearheaded the passage of Senate Bill 50A in 2003 that reformed the state's workers' compensation system, including tougher penalties for workers' compensation fraud and premium evasion.  This year's proposed decrease would be the third consecutive drop in rates since the bill's passage.  Rates have already dropped by 19 percent in the first two years following the reforms. 
       
Attached is a copy of the independent review and recommended rate decreases. The file is also available at
http://www.fldfs.com/PressOffice/pdfs/WCRates.pdf.  
 
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. Gallagher also serves as the State Fire Marshal