A recent inquiry into the rates of homeowner’s insurance in Hawaii has led the state’s Insurance Commissioner, Gordon I. Ito, to call for drastic actions. The state’s Insurance Department ruled that the current rates for homeowner’s insurance are far too excessive. The department used data supplied by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to form a benchmark against which Hawaii’s rates were tested. Now, Ito is calling for insurers to submit new rate filings for review.
Ito first issued a memorandum for insurers to send their justifications for their rate increases to the Insurance Department in June. The commissioner reviewed the rates and reasoning behind them and concluded that, given the economic hardship, Hawaiian citizens should not be paying as much as they currently are for coverage. Ito asserts that his primary concern is that consumers are being treated fairly.
State insurers now have until October 6th to file new, lower rates or face sanctions from the Hawaiian Government. Insurers will not have to submit new rates for hurricane coverage, however, as the island-nation is quite exposed to such disasters.
Home insurers have been quick to decry the most recent memorandum, claiming that Ito is imposing too many strict regulations upon the industry and limiting company’s ability to compete. Ito, however, would rather have rates return to a much more modest level and will continue to champion this cause.