Press Statement - From The Office Of Insurance Regulation
CONTACT: Beth Scott
Some previous news stories have indicated fraudulent claims by consumers are driving up the cost of insurance in Florida. This is not an accurate statement and creates anxiety and concern for consumers that continue to struggle after eight devastating hurricanes in two years.
Attached is a letter
from Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty to State Sen. Ron Klein, addressing the Senator's concerns about investigating insurance fraud and freezing insurance rates pending the completion of an investigation.
In his letter, the Commissioner sets out some statutory responsibilities of the Office of Insurance Regulation (Office):
- The Office does not have statutory authority to implement a rate freeze or rate moratorium on previous or pending rate filings. Neither Florida Statutes nor Florida's Administrative Code provides the Commissioner of Insurance Regulation with the ability to freeze insurance rates or enact a rate moratorium.
- Florida law prohibits insurance companies from basing rates on previous losses and claims; therefore, losses and claims from the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons cannot be used to project future losses or be contemplated in a rate filing and claims and losses.
The Office fully supports Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher's plan to require stricter requirements for insurance companies to report insurance fraud and, in conjunction with DFS, will carefully review any circumstances involving the inappropriate adjudication of claims.
Commissioner McCarty commends the Florida Legislature for its ongoing programmatic and financial anti-fraud support to uncover, fully investigate and prosecute insurance fraud.