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The Florida Statutes

The 2001 Florida Statutes

Title XXXI
Chapter 440
Workers' Compensation
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Section 440.51, Florida Statutes 2001

440.51  Expenses of administration.--

(1)  The division shall estimate annually in advance the amounts necessary for the administration of this chapter, in the following manner.

(a)  The division shall, by July 1 of each year, notify carriers and self-insurers of the assessment rate, which shall be based on the anticipated expenses of the administration of this chapter for the next calendar year. Such assessment rate shall take effect January 1 of the next calendar year and shall be included in workers' compensation rate filings approved by the Department of Insurance which become effective on or after January 1 of the next calendar year. Assessments shall become due and be paid quarterly.

(b)  The total expenses of administration shall be prorated among the carriers writing compensation insurance in the state and self-insurers. The net premiums collected by carriers and the amount of premiums calculated by the division for self-insured employers are the basis for computing the amount to be assessed. When reporting deductible policy premium for purposes of computing assessments levied after July 1, 2001, full policy premium value must be reported prior to application of deductible discounts or credits. This amount may be assessed as a specific amount or as a percentage of net premiums payable as the division may direct, provided such amount so assessed shall not exceed 2.75 percent, beginning January 1, 2001, except during the interim period from July 1, 2000, through December 31, 2000, such assessments shall not exceed 4 percent of such net premiums. The carriers may elect to make the payments required under s. 440.15(1)(f) rather than having these payments made by the division. In that event, such payments will be credited to the carriers, and the amount due by the carrier under this section will be reduced accordingly.

(2)  The division shall provide by regulation for the collection of the amounts assessed against each carrier. Such amounts shall be paid within 30 days from the date that notice is served upon such carrier. If such amounts are not paid within such period, there may be assessed for each 30 days the amount so assessed remains unpaid, a civil penalty equal to 10 percent of the amount so unpaid, which shall be collected at the same time and a part of the amount assessed. For those carriers who excluded ceded reinsurance premiums from their assessments prior to January 1, 2000, the division shall not recover any past underpayments of assessments related to ceded reinsurance premiums prior to January 1, 2001, against such carriers.

(3)  If any carrier fails to pay the amounts assessed against him or her under the provisions of this section within 60 days from the time such notice is served upon him or her, the Department of Insurance upon being advised by the division may suspend or revoke the authorization to insure compensation in accordance with the procedure in s. 440.38(3)(a). The division may permit a carrier to remit any underpayment of assessments for assessments levied after January 1, 2001.

(4)  All amounts collected under the provisions of this section shall be paid into the fund established in s. 440.50.

(5)  Any amount so assessed against and paid by an insurance carrier, self-insurer authorized pursuant to s. 624.4621, or commercial self-insurance fund authorized under ss. 624.460-624.488 shall be allowed as a deduction against the amount of any other tax levied by the state upon the premiums, assessments, or deposits for workers' compensation insurance on contracts or policies of said insurance carrier, self-insurer, or commercial self-insurance fund. Any insurance carrier claiming such a deduction against the amount of any such tax shall not be required to pay any additional retaliatory tax levied pursuant to s. 624.5091 as a result of claiming such deduction. Because deductions under this subsection are available to insurance carriers, s. 624.5091 does not limit such deductions in any manner.

(6)(a)  The division may require from each carrier, at such time and in accordance with such regulations as the division may prescribe, reports in respect to all gross earned premiums and of all payments of compensation made by such carrier during each prior period, and may determine the amounts paid by each carrier and the amounts paid by all carriers during such period.

(b)  The Department of Insurance may require from each self-insurer, at such time and in accordance with such regulations as the Department of Insurance prescribes, reports in respect to wages paid, the amount of premiums such self-insurer would have to pay if insured, and all payments of compensation made by such self-insurer during each prior period, and may determine the amounts paid by each self-insurer and the amounts paid by all self-insurers during such period. For the purposes of this section, the payroll records of each self-insurer shall be open to annual inspection and audit by the Department of Insurance or its authorized representative, during regular business hours; and if any audit of such records of a self-insurer discloses a deficiency in the amounts reported to the Department of Insurance or in the amounts paid to the Department of Insurance by a self-insurer pursuant to this section, the Department of Insurance may assess the cost of such audit against the self-insurer.

(7)  The division shall keep accumulated cost records of all injuries occurring within the state coming within the purview of this chapter on a policy and calendar-year basis. For the purpose of this chapter, a "calendar year" is defined as the year in which the injury is reported to the division; "policy year" is defined as that calendar year in which the policy becomes effective, and the losses under such policy shall be chargeable against the policy year so defined.

(8)  The division shall assign an account number to each employer under this chapter and an account number to each insurance carrier authorized to write workers' compensation insurance in the state; and it shall be the duty of the division under the account number so assigned to keep the cost experience of each carrier and the cost experience of each employer under the account number so assigned by calendar and policy year, as above defined.

(9)  In addition to the above, it shall be the duty of the division to keep the accident experience, as classified by the division, by industry as follows:

(a)  Cause of the injury;

(b)  Nature of the injury; and

(c)  Type of disability.

(10)  In every case where the duration of disability exceeds 30 days, the carrier shall establish a sufficient reserve to pay all benefits to which the injured employee, or in case of death, his or her dependents, may be entitled to under the law. In establishing the reserve, consideration shall be given to the nature of the injury, the probable period of disability, and the estimated cost of medical benefits.

(11)  The division shall furnish to any employer or carrier, upon request, its individual experience. The division shall furnish to the Department of Insurance, upon request, the Florida experience as developed under accident year or calendar year.

(12)  In addition to any other penalties provided by this law, the failure to submit any report or other information required by this law shall be just cause to suspend the right of a self-insurer to operate as such, or, upon certification by the division to the Department of Insurance that a carrier has failed or refused to furnish such reports, shall be just cause for the Department of Insurance to suspend or revoke the license of such carrier.

(13)  As used in s. 440.50 and this section, the term:

(a)  "Plan" means the workers' compensation joint underwriting plan provided for in s. 627.311(4).

(b)  "Fixed administrative expenses" means the expenses of the plan, not to exceed $750,000, which are directly related to the plan's administration but which do not vary in direct relationship to the amount of premium written by the plan and which do not include loss adjustment premiums.

(14)  Before July 1 in each year, the plan shall notify the division of the amount of the plan's gross written premiums for the preceding calendar year. Whenever the plan's gross written premiums reported to the division are less than $30 million, the division shall transfer to the plan, subject to appropriation by the Legislature, an amount not to exceed the plan's fixed administrative expenses for the preceding calendar year.

History.--s. 51, ch. 17481, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 5966(49); s. 17, ch. 18413, 1937; s. 1, ch. 24081, 1947; s. 14, ch. 28241, 1953; ss. 14, 15, ch. 29778, 1955; ss. 13, 17, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 23, ch. 74-197; s. 25, ch. 75-209; s. 23, ch. 78-300; ss. 39, 124, ch. 79-40; s. 21, ch. 79-312; s. 19, ch. 80-236; s. 281, ch. 81-259; s. 16, ch. 88-206; s. 43, ch. 89-289; s. 56, ch. 90-201; s. 52, ch. 91-1; s. 46, ch. 93-415; s. 128, ch. 97-103; ss. 3, 7, ch. 2000-150; s. 99, ch. 2000-153.

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