Sunday, July 09, 2006

Florida Insurers Seek Massive Rate Hikes for Homeowners Insurance

Florida insurers are asking Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty (see picture) for permission to raise their premiums by 71% or more.

Nationwide filed for a 71% increase. State Farm had originally filed for a 79% increase, but has withdrawn their request, informing the state that 79% is insufficient.

Among the state's top five insurers, only Allstate, which operates two subsidiaries in the state, has not filed for a rate increase this year. United Services Automobile Association, the state's fifth largest insurer, is seeking an 8 percent rate hike.

Embedded in Nationwide's and State Farm's filings were 15 percent underwriting profits - larger than the state's recommended margin of 3.7 percent.

A 16 percent rate increase would have been sufficient for State Farm to meet its state recommended underwriting profit margin, according to a representative of the office of Florida's Insurance Consumer Advocate Steve Burgess.

Using terms such as "substantially overstated" and "unjustified," Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Steve Burgess has asked state regulators for a second public hearing to address his own expert's review of State Farm's filing.

The Office of Insurance Regulation has turned Burgess down, saying the time for input was at a June public hearing in Orlando.


At 7/17/2006 01:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's only a matter of time (if it hasn't already started happening) before the Republicans' love affair with the insurance industry and their rate hikes begins to hurt Florida's economy.

Cutting intangible taxes on the wealthy doesn't help ordinary, middle class families afford homeowners insurance that doubles every two years.


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