Office of Insurance Regulation Approves 52.7% Rate Hike for State Farm
State Farm had requested a increase in their premiums of 79%. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation recently approved a 52.7% rate hike for the insurance company. State Farm insures 1 in 5 Florida homeowners.
The increase is a lot more than Steve Burgess, the state's insurance consumer advocate, said is indicated. His staff's analysis of the original State Farm filing showed a far lower increase is warranted.
Rising insurance rates and insurance companies dropping Florida residents has been a major issues - particularly since the devastating results of the last two hurricane seasons - and politicians are starting to take notice.
Democrats introduced a website called Storming Mad to address the issue. Locally, Rep. Charlie Justice, who himself received a non-renewal notice from his insurer, has been speaking out on the issue.
Republican Rep. Randy Johnson, candidate for Chief Financial Officer, has made rising insurance rates the centerpiece of his campaign, embarking on a "Blue Tarp" tour, named after the ubiquitous blue tarps seen covering damaged property after a hurricane. Johnson has been notably unafraid to criticize his fellow Republicans for not doing enough to solve the problem of rising rates and dropped policies.
Sen. Rod Smith, a Democratic candidate for governor, has recently taken to carrying a piece of blue tarp with him everywhere, as a reminder of this growing threat to middle class families.