Florida stores may face insurance law changes and benefit from lower worker pay rates

Florida stores may face insurance law changes and benefit from lower worker pay rates

Through Lurah Bassey
Announcements | Collision Repair | Legal

Two measures that went into effect Jan. 1 in Florida — changes to auto insurance law and a lower workers’ compensation rate — could impact the auto body repair industry in the future of State.

Chapter No. 2021-175 Amends current law to include peer-to-peer car-sharing schemes, which could lead to some interesting situations for workshops as to who accepts responsibility for repairs. This reinforces the importance of understanding that repair shops enter into the repair contract with the vehicle owner.

The law states that car-sharing programs excluding rental car companies, rental vehicle pooling, and carpools assume liability in the event of an accident. It may not always be so simple.

Liability assumption does not apply if there is “a dispute over who was in control of the shared motor vehicle at the time of the loss, and the peer-to-peer carsharing program was not available, did not withheld, or fails to provide the required information.The presumed liability also does not apply in the event of a dispute at the place of return of the vehicle.

workers compensation

In a move that could ease the cost burden on small businesses, a Florida Office of Insurance Regulator (OIR) Order of November 12, 2021 decreases overall statewide workers’ compensation premium by 4.9% after a 6.6% decline in 2020. The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has called for the decrease in August.

“This 4.9% reduction in workers’ compensation rates lowers insurance costs for employers in 2022,” Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier said in the statement. “Safer workplaces, innovative techniques, and improved risk management practices have resulted in a continued decline in workers’ compensation claims, which has ultimately benefited businesses in Florida.”

Attorney General Ashley Moody called the state’s small business community the “backbone” of the economy.

“Our state remains committed to supporting Florida families, and the reduced rates not only benefit employers but also the communities they serve,” she said in the statement.


Featured Image: Credit: designer491/iStock

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