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Press Release

Public Hearing Set For Arbitration On Homewise Insurance Rates
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Tallahassee (January 25, 2007) - The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) has scheduled an arbitration hearing to review a filing submitted by Homewise Insurance Company (Homewise) in July, 2006. This filing proposed a statewide average increase of 75.8 percent for Homewise' homeowners residential wind-only policies in Florida. 
 
Citing increased reinsurance costs, Homewise submitted the rate filing under Florida's "use-and-file" provision, allowing the company to implement the increased rates before gaining approval from the Office.  The rates were filed to be effective on July 15, 2006, for new policies and August 15, 2006, for renewed policies.  Homewise policyholders have been charged the unapproved rate for up to seven months. 
 
At a September 22, 2006 public hearing, the Office expressed multiple concerns about the company's assumptions used in calculating rate increases based on estimated reinsurance costs. On October 13, 2006, the Office issued a Notice of Intent to Disapprove, denying the company's rate filing due to insufficient support for the rate increase.  Homewise is contesting this denial and has requested the arbitration hearing. The following is a list of the arbitration hearing times and locations:
 
January 30, 2007 @ 9:30 a.m.:  200 E. Gaines Street, Larson Building, Room 601B, in Tallahassee. 
January 31, 2007 @ 9:30 a.m.:  2012 Capital Circle, S.E., Hartman Building, Suite 104J, in Tallahassee.
February 1, 2007 @ 9:30 a.m.:  200 E. Gaines Street, Larson Building, Room 116, in Tallahassee.
 
The hearing is open to the public.  Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this hearing should telephone Sam Coskey at (850) 413-2616 or e-mail sam.coskey@fldfs.com at least 48 hours prior to the hearing.
 
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