TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (11/16/2007) - Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty today announced that the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) has issued Notices of Intent to disapprove five rate filings submitted by Allstate Floridian Insurance Company, Allstate Floridian Indemnity Company, Encompass Floridian Insurance Company and Encompass Floridian Indemnity Company.
The Allstate companies were seeking double-digit state-wide, overall average rate increases for homeowners insurance:
* Allstate Floridian Insurance Company: 43.4 percent
* Allstate Floridian Indemnity Company: 27.4 percent
* Encompass Floridian Insurance Company: 39.7 percent
* Encompass Floridian Insurance Company: 36.5 percent (Dwelling Fire)
* Encompass Floridian Indemnity Company: 41.6 percent
Some Allstate policyholders could have seen increases of as much as 150 percent. On the other end, some of the requested increases were as low as 6 percent.
"Our action is based on a thorough review of the information previously provided by the companies and their testimony at the hearing," said McCarty. "The rates proposed by the Allstate companies do not pass along all the savings reasonably available as a result of the expansion of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund."
Special legislation, adopted in January, made lower-priced reinsurance available to insurers.
"It was the intent of Gov. Crist and the Florida Legislature that the
lower-priced reinsurance would enable insurance companies to pass along significant savings to their policyholders," added McCarty.
Reinsurance is the insurance that companies buy to cover large losses.
Allstate now may petition the Office for an administrative hearing through the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH). In the meantime, homeowners insurance rates previously submitted by the Allstate companies will remain in effect until the process is concluded.
* Allstate Floridian Insurance Company: - 14.2 percent
* Allstate Floridian Indemnity Company: -13.2 percent
* Encompass Floridian Insurance Company: -13.0 percent
* Encompass Floridian Insurance Company: -12.3 percent (Dwelling Fire)
* Encompass Floridian Indemnity Company: -11.2 percent
The decision to deny the rate increases followed a public hearing on Thursday in which the Office questioned various aspects of the rate filings. Video of the hearing will be available soon on the Office's Web site.
The Commissioner has the authority to hold a public hearing to question a company about its filing pursuant to Florida law. Florida law requires the Office to hold a public hearing for rate increase filings exceeding a statewide average of 15 percent.
About the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) has primary responsibility for regulation, compliance and enforcement of statutes related to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry markets. Business units within the Office are organized based on regulatory expertise and include the areas of life and health, property and casualty, specialty lines and other regulated insurance entities. It is within the Office that the mission of public protection is implemented through regulatory oversight of insurance company solvency, policy forms and rates, market conduct performance and new company entrants to the Florida market.
For more information about the Office, please visit www.floir.com.
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