The 2001 – 2002 Season is now well underway and all of us here at CHAPP, Inc. and Citrus Insurance Services want to thank you for helping us make 2001 our best year ever! We have been truly blessed and we thank you for putting your confidence in us!

Workers’ Compensation Rate Increase? Last year, the Insurance Commissioner rejected a request by NCCI for a 7.9% increase in the workers’ compensation rates for Florida to take effect January 1, 2002. The Insurance Commissioner stated he would grant a 2.8% increase but could not justify the requested 7.9% rate hike. NCCI declined to accept his offer and now has challenged his ruling in court. On February 25 – 28 a hearing in front of an administrative law judge will be held to hear both sides of this issue and will then render a decision. The judge could deny the rate increase request, grant a partial rate increase, or grant the full 7.9%. The judge will also decide whether to implement his decided rate increase immediately, a date in the near future (April 1st for example) or retroactive back to January 1! We realize how much of a hardship this could cause and we hope any rate increase is not granted back to January 1, 2002 but will be a future date. This is of course out of our control and will affect all workers’ compensation carriers in Florida. We will keep you informed as to news as we get it – please don’t hesitate to call our office with any questions!

Dividend News! In our previous newsletter, we stated that FCCI Insurance Group paid out the largest dividend ever received by CHAPP accounts! This dividend was paid to eligible accounts in November 2001 for the 2000 policy year. We wish to thank FCCI for providing you some very competitive plans and then honoring their dividend commitment! There are some new rules for dividend plans that took effect in 2002. First, all new and renewal business with an effective date after 1/1/2002 will be subject to a minimum premium amount of $10,000 to be eligible for a dividend. The next (and most important) change is that your policy must remain in good standing thoughout the year in order to be eligible for a dividend. This means your policy cannot receive more than two cancellations (non-payment or for underwriting) during each policy period or you will lose the opportunity to receive a dividend! Please remember your payment due dates and see that your reports and payments are filed timely! Payment policies will be strictly enforced – please do us and yourself a favor and maintain those payments! Please do not hesitate to call our office with any questions on your plan!

Injury Reporting is the most important part of every claim! We know you get tired of hearing about the importance of timely and proper claims reporting but it still is our main problem here at CHAPP. It is very important that you advise your employees to notify you immediately of any injury, and if you have written work rules we would appreciate your adding a company policy of reporting all injuries within 24 hours to their supervisor. The training then must follow to all your supervisors/crew leaders and office staff of the value of timely reporting of injuries. Late reporting of a claim can result in fines and penalties that are assessed by the State of Florida to you, the employer and are required to be paid directly to the injured employee by the employer – not paid by your insurance carrier. The fact of a claim is troubling enough without finding out weeks later that a supervisor / crew leader knew about the accident but “forgot to tell you…” – and now Florida says you must pay this employee extra monies for this error in performance. We would also appreciate your having all the claim information ready when you call in an accident – we must have the name, date of birth, date of injury, what is injured, and social security number to properly authorize a clinic or doctor to treat an employee. Please call our claims staff with any questions!

We wish to again extend our thanks for having the confidence in us to allow CHAPP to handle your insurance needs – please feel free to call us with any questions you may have! We can be reached at (800)242-7898 or e-mail us at wes@chappinc.com . Remember: working safely pays dividends!