NCCI is the only entity that proposes rate increases/decreases to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). It is a private company that does not owe a fiduciary responsibility to the state’s residents. NCCI does not divulge its methodology or source information, calling it “proprietary.”
In 2016, the workers’ compensation insurance industry sent marching orders to NCCI to make the case for a dramatic increase in premiums charged to business owners. The case was presented to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and resulted in a 14.5% rate hike.
The approval process was challenged in a Tallahassee circuit court as violating the Florida Government in the Sunshine Law and Florida Public Records Laws [Article 1, section 24 of the Florida Constitution and section 119.07(1) Florida Statutes]. The lawsuit sought to void approval of the rate increase and obtain various public records.
Extensive amounts of documentary evidence and testimony were presented to the court. On November 23, 2016, Circuit Judge Karen Gievers issued a 73 page Order and Final Judgment in favor of the challenge.
The list of NCCI Directors reads like a Who’s Who of the insurance industry, the companies that profit from the higher rates. These are the foxes guarding the henhouse:
- Tracy Ryan – Liberty Mutual
- W. Robert Berkley Jr. – W.R.Berkley Corp a property and casualty company
- Stephanie Bush – The Hartford
- Douglas Dirks – Employers Holdings (provides WC coverage)
- Bill Donnell – NCCI
- Linda Hall – former insurance agent
- Richard Gergasko – Texas Mutual Ins Co
- Craig Johnson – FCCI
- Barbara Klein, former risk manager
- William Malugen – The Travelers
- Steven Pozzi – Chubb Commercial
- John Roche – The Hanover Ins Co.
- Two other individuals not directly associated with the insurance industry
The circuit court ruling is on appeal before Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. The hope is that the lower court ruling, which found the increase void ab initio, will be upheld and that the court will require any further rate increase efforts to proceed in accordance with Florida law.
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