TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty today announced the immediate resumption of the suspension of the certificates of authority of the Allstate Companies to write new insurance policies in Florida. The suspension applies to all lines of business and will remain in effect until the companies fully comply with Florida law and produce the documents requested by the Office of Insurance Regulation (Office).
In addition, however, the Office is expecting an affidavit, signed by an Allstate officer, asserting that it has produced all documents requested. Upon receipt of that certification, Commissioner McCarty will immediately stay the suspension – with the understanding that the stay is dependent on Allstate’s continued compliance with Florida law and cooperation with the Office’s investigation.
The commissioner’s announcement follows today’s First District Court of Appeal’s (DCA) Opinion
denying Allstate’s motion for a rehearing and affirming the Office’s action in issuing the January Immediate Final Order.
“This case illustrates the effectiveness of an Immediate Final Order, such as the one upheld today by the District Court,” said Commissioner McCarty. “Were it not for that order, we do not believe that we would have the documents available for our ongoing investigation. We now have received hundreds of thousands of documents that Allstate had not previously produced.”
The suspension was put in place Jan. 17 after the commissioner abruptly halted a Jan. 15 hearing that was to look into the Allstate Companies’ reinsurance program, their relationships with risk modeling companies, insurance rating organizations and insurance trade associations.
Allstate appealed the suspension to the DCA, asserting that the commissioner had exceeded his authority by issuing the Immediate Final Order to suspend its certificates of authority; the court stayed the suspension until it could consider the issue.
In its April 4 ruling, replaced by today’s opinion, three DCA judges unanimously agreed that the commissioner had not exceeded his authority when he issued the January Order to suspend the Allstate Companies’ licenses. The Court’s April 4 opinion, as well as today’s opinion, outlines explicitly Allstate’s failure to adequately comply at the Jan. 15 hearing.
The suspension does not affect existing policyholders or consumers who were in the process of securing a policy when the Court’s opinion was issued will not be affected.
In addition, the collateral legal matter with the Division of Administrative Hearings is set for hearing June 16. This proceeding involves Allstate’s alleged failure to comply with the document request; there also are two other counts -- Falsely asserting trade secrets and false certification of its September rate filing.
Allstate agents are encouraged to contact the company’s corporate headquarters with questions or comments.