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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Florida’s Workers Compensation Insurance on Verge of Changes

florida-workers-compensation-insuranceToday's post is shared from
Getting badly hurt at work is a huge setback for anyone – and you shouldn’t have to deal with it alone. That’s the idea behind workers compensation, a type of insurance required for most employers that provides injured employees medical care and wage loss benefits, generally in exchange for their right to sue.
Guaranteed benefits can be a huge weight off employees’ mindsthat is, if the benefits are good. Workers advocates in Florida charge that business-friendly legislation has chipped away at the state’s workers comp system for years, leaving employees with inadequate support and no recourse in the courts – and some judges agree. A recent circuit court ruling declared the system unconstitutional. Now business leaders worry that workers comp premiums will soar.
Can Florida balance the needs of businesses and their employees?
In 1968, Florida made workers comp the “exclusive remedy” for all employee injuries. No employee could seek damages in the civil system. Many other states have similar rules.
To protect workers, Florida also created a generous system of benefits, including lifetime benefits for permanent total disability. The only problem? The workers comp premiums employers needed to pay to support the system were unreasonable, according to some insurers and business leaders. By most surveys, Florida’s were among the highest in the country.
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