Florida insurers gather to discuss concerns over state policies and regulations
Florida’s relationship with the insurance industry has been somewhat tense in recent months. State legislators have been working to promote consumer-friendly policies and regulations, but have done little to accommodate the needs of insurers. This is the notion held by insurance executives who attended the Florida Association of Insurance Agents annual event last week. Amongst the topics touched upon during the event, insurers were keen to address the issue of rates for property coverage throughout the Florida market.
Rate adequacy highlighted as key issue with Florida Insurers
Mike Stone, president of RLI Insurance, noted during the event that Florida’s regulations were not allowing insurers to commit more capital to and write homeowners insurance policies in the state. Stone called into question a somewhat controversial regulation in Florida that prevents insurance companies from raising rates by more than 10% without succumbing to investigation from state regulators. If insurers are not allowed to raise rates in a market that is so prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes and tropical storms, companies may not be able to recover their losses in the case of one of these disastrous events. Due to this risk of loss, many large insurance companies have stopped writing policies in Florida.
Florida insurers cite political instability for lack of confidence in market
Insurance executives have also voiced their concerns regarding the tumultuous nature of the state’s political environment. Many insurance companies have shown caution over writing new policies in the state due to the uncertain nature of Florida’s Legislature. The President of Main Street America Group, Tom Van Berkel, claims that his company wants to write new personal lines in the state, but that it is unable to due to because it has no confidence in the market or the political climate.
Hurricane season draws more attention to home insurance
Overall, insurers are eager to see the state’s political turmoil settle and legislators begin to take the considerations of companies into account. Hurricane season has arrived, which has put emphasis on the importance of homeowners insurance coverage – or the lack thereof – along coastal regions.