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 State Farm had originally filed for a 79% increase, but has withdrawn their request, informing the state that 79% is insufficient.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