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CFO Sink Cheers Proposed Sixth Consecutive Workers’ Compensation Rate Decline


CONTACT: Tara Klimek or Jerri Franz
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink cheered the news that Florida’s employers could see a sixth consecutive decline in workers’ compensation rates.  The National Council on Compensation Insurance filed a request with the Office of Insurance Regulation for an average 14.1 percent rate decrease, which if approved would constitute a cost savings of about $465 million for Florida employers effective January 1, 2009. The cumulative rate decrease since 2003 is 58 percent. A hearing on the proposed rate decrease is expected in October.
“A stable and viable workers’ compensation system is good for everyone, especially for Florida businesses and their employees – the backbone of our economy,” said CFO Sink, who oversees the Department of Financial Services, which includes the Division of Workers’ Compensation, the agency charged with regulating workers’ compensation in Florida. “No other state has matched Florida’s rate reductions, and no other state is working harder to take care of employers and employees.”
Augmenting the rate cuts, Division of Workers’ Compensation outreach efforts have resulted in a more than 25 percent reduction in workers’ compensation lost-time injury rates, and compliance and enforcement activities have added more than 43,000 employees to the workers’ compensation system during the last four years.
“By improving compliance, we not only protect more workers but also bring more premiums into the system, which helps to further reduce rates,” said CFO Sink.
Florida is a leader in workers’ compensation rate reductions and CFO Sink noted that in the past year, the Division hosted regulators from Connecticut and New York wanting to learn about Florida’s investigative and enforcement operations.  CFO Sink said while enforcement is a top priority, the Division is expanding its education and outreach activities in an effort to prevent compliance problems.
The Division of Workers’ Compensation’s Bureau of Compliance has certified instructors who, beginning in October, will present approximately 40 continuing education programs a year throughout Florida, focusing on compliance and coverage issues important to contractors and employers. 
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink 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. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.