March 2021


Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

NORTHBROOK, IL — If you’re looking for life insurance, cross Allstate off your list. The Northbrook-based company announced earlier this week that it is getting out of the life and annuity businesses altogether, pending a $220 million sale to Wilton Re for its Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York division.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, according to a news release from Allstate.

This transaction, along with the previously announced agreement to sell Allstate Life Insurance Company and certain affiliates to entities managed by Blackstone, will complete Allstate’s exit from the life and annuity businesses. The company said Allstate agents and exclusive financial specialists will continue to offer life insurance and retirement options for customers through third-party providers

The transaction has minimal impact on our strategy of increasing market share in personal-property liability and expanding protection solutions for customers,” said Mario Rizzo, chief financial officer at Allstate, in the news release. “Wilton Re is a trusted name with a history of excellent customer service and expert management of life insurance and annuity portfolios, so ALNY customers will be well protected.”

Allstate will contribute $660 million of capital into ALNY, then receive a payment of $220 million from Wilton Re. The transaction, according to the news release, will reduce GAAP reserves and invested assets by $5 billion and $6 billion respectively. The combined divestitures of ALIC and ALNY will result in an estimated GAAP net loss of $4 billion, which will be recorded in the first quarter of 2021, and generate approximately $1.7 billion of deployable capital.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Centauri insurance companies (Centauri Specialty Insurance Co. and Centauri National Insurance Co.) have sustained their financial stability rating of “A” (Exceptional) from Demotech, after being strengthened financially through its recent acquisition by Applied Underwriters, the company said in a statement.

The Sarasota-based insurer, with over $200 million in annual premiums from policyholders largely concentrated in Florida and Hawaii, plans to rapidly expanding in the Carolinas and other Southern US markets through a growing network of independent agents and brokers after extensive examinations measuring claims paying ability, financial reserves and overall financial stability.

The acquisition by Applied Underwriters closed in February.

According to Steve Menzies, Chairman of Applied Underwriters, national insurer rating service Demotech’s affirmation of its “A” rating supports the strategic plan undertaken by Applied to expand its presence in the Southern market through this acquisition, through Centauri’s recent acquisition of the renewal rights from Gulfstream, and by its recently announced Florida Casualty Insurance Co. transaction.

“Centauri is on solid footing and is newly enabled to capitalize upon the strength of Applied to expand into new target markets both geographically and in product sectors such as residential property and casualty programs, private flood insurance and new products now on the drawing board,” Menzies said.

Rick Espino, President of Centauri, noted the overall market impact of Applied’s investment and the importance of the rating, saying Applied’s technical resources, from its leadership level to the corporate capacities of its Omaha operational teams will help the company serve its clients with expanded offerings.

“We believe that Applied’s timely, revitalizing investment in Centauri will make a major difference in the future of insuring weather-catastrophe exposed homeowners,” Espino said.

Demotech announced other ratings decisions earlier this month, and noted several Florida-based insurers are being closely watched after negative 2020 year-end results. The Florida market as a whole lost more than $1.5 billion last year.

Centauri Specialty Insurance Co. and Centauri National Insurance Co. were formed in 2006 and are based in Sarasota, Fla. Centauri Insurance is a property and casualty insurance company licensed to serve policyholders in 10 states including Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. Centauri provides catastrophe coverage to its policyholders.

Applied Underwriters is a global risk services firm offering business services, insurance and reinsurance solutions.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Session Dispatch    By Tim Meenan, NAIFA-Florida Lobbyist Week 4
The 2021 regular Florida Legislative Session kicked off on Tuesday, March 2nd. COVID 19 has had a significant impact on the state budget. The legislature is focused on addressing the estimated nearly $3 billion dollar budget shortfall. Despite this shortfall, the Governor rolled out his budget at the end of January at a record level of $96.6 billion. His proposal would be $4.3 billion more than the current year’s budget of which DeSantis identified $2.6 billion of the increase being related to Covid-19 response or impacts of the pandemic.  Governor DeSantis announced his plans to utilize $4.1 billion of Federal Stimulus funds of which $1.4 billion is recommended during this fiscal year. This money in addition to the estimated $1 billion in tax revenue to be received from the House Speaker and Senate President’s deal reached last week which creates a plan to collect sales tax for online purchases by out-of-state retailers, and will significantly ease the financial burden originally anticipated when session kicked off. The House and Senate both rolled out their budgets this week to little fan fair minus some discrepancies in the areas of affordable housing and the department of corrections. In the HHS budget, both chambers have agreed to draw down $200 million in stimulus funds to cover maternal care for 1 year postpartum in the Medicaid program. The legislature continues moving right along with addressing COVID-19 liability for business entities and COVID-19 liability for health care providers. In addition to addressing COVID-19 related items, the state also has a number of bills focused on auto insurance (PIP), property insurance, health insurance, telehealth, consumer data privacy and a ban on state contracts and investments with tech companies hosting cloud servers. 
 Below is a summary of the legislation of interest that we are tracking in the 2021 session:2021 Florida Session Update  WEEK 4
LIFE AND Health 1.     FLAHIGA SB 1470/HB 797 HB 797 by Representative Robinson passed its final committee in House Commerce on March 16th and will be up next on the House Floor. The bill updates Part III of Chapter 631 which establishes the Florida Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association (“FLAHIGA”) by adding conforming language contained in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) “Life and health Insurance Guaranty Association Model Act.” FLAHIGA is the safety net that pays the policyholder claims of insolvent life, annuity, health and long-term care insurance companies should they be rendered insolvent.  In Florida, the state Chief Financial Officer maintains the duty to liquidate insolvent insurers, and FLAHIGA has the duty to pay outstanding claims.  All U.S. states have a guaranty fund, and when an insurance company sells in multiple states, the different state guaranty funds work together to assure claims are paid. The changes include:·        Including a definition of Moody’s Corporate Bond Yield Average.·        Updating the definition of “person” to include all legal entities including LLC’s.·        Clarifying that FLAHIGA, in dealing with an impaired insurer, may also assume or reissue policies of insolvent carriers, in addition to guaranteeing and reinsuring them.·        Confirming that FLAHIGA may intervene in court proceedings involving insurer impairments or liquidations occurring in other states or involving subrogation issues.·        Clarify that FLAHIGA may both avoid paying an improper claim and recovering payment of improper claims.·        Confirm membership in the National Association of Life and Health Guaranty Associations.·        Remove the $250 cap on Class A assessments, which are made to pay expenses of the association, as other provisions of the Statute allow expense payments to be made from Class B assessments, which are made primarily to pay claims of insolvent life and health insurance companies. Clarify that Class A assessments may be made on a pro-rata, or non-pro-rata basis.·        Clarify that if an insurer receives a deferral from paying an assessment to FLAHIGA because the assessment would endanger the assessed insurers financial solvency, that once the insurer regains financial strength, it still owes the assessment.·        Remove the reduced assessment level levied on non-profit annuity insurers, placing them on par with other annuity insurers.·        Grant power to the FLAHIGA Board to remove a member insurer board member if that insurer becomes impaired or insolvent.·        Require the FLAHIGA Board to establish a policy and procedure to address conflicts of interest. This legislation will strengthen the “safety net” of FLAHIGA to pay the claims of insolvent life, annuity, health, and long-term care insurance companies. The Senate companion SB 1470 by Senator Boyd passed it second committee this week in Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government and will be up next in Senate Appropriations. 2.     FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT AND INSURANCE BENEFITS FUND SB 1586/SB 1596/HB 1245/HB 1249 SB 1596 by Senator Cruz has yet to be heard in its first committee the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee. The bill creates the Florida Family and Medical Leave Act which requires an employer to allow certain employees to take family and medical leave to bond with a minor child up the child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement. The bill also requires an employer to provide notice to employees of certain rights relating to family and medical leave and authorizes an employee to file a civil action against an employer for a violation.  SB 1586 by Senator Cruz also has yet to be heard in its first of three committees, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. The bill creates the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Benefits Fund under DFS. It provides that money credited to the trust fund shall be used or the purpose of administering the family and medical leave insurance benefits program. The House versions of these bills are HB 1245 and HB 1249 and both have yet to be heard in their first committee stops. These bills are unlikely to move. HEALTH 1.     PBM TRANSPARENCY SB 390/HB 1155 SB 390 by Senator Wright passed its first of three committees, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, on March 16th. The bill authorizes OIR to examine each PBM as often as it deems necessary. An amendment was adopted striking the change to the definition of the term “maximum allowable cost.” Authorizes OIR to require health insurers to cancel contracts entered into with PBMs if fees were deemed unreasonable. The bill has 2 more committee stops.    HB 1155 by Representative Toledo has yet to be heard in its first of four committee stops. The bill also authorizes OIR through market conduct examinations to examine PBMs as often as it deems necessary. The bill also requires DFS to be given access to certain records, data and information and then authorizes the department to investigate certain violations. Additionally, the bill provides that PBMs may not do a number of things including:·        Charging a pharmacist or pharmacy a fee related to the payment of a pharmacy claim; or·        Retroactively denying, holding back, or reducing payments for cover claims. 2.     MEDICAID SINGLE PBM HB 1043/SB 1306 HB 1043 by Rep. Fine would require the Agency for Health Care Administration to select single pharmacy benefit administrator through a competitive procurement process. The bill would increase dispensing fee payments to independent pharmacies for filling prescriptions and fund the fee increase by recouping a portion of capitation fees to managed care plans. This bill will likely have a large fiscal impact to the state once the analysis is performed by the Appropriations committee. This bill has been referred to three committees and has not yet been heard. However, the Finance subcommittee heard a presentation on the topic by AHCA Deputy Secretary Beth Kidder and an actuary from Milliman, which has done a study on the issue. This week, the Senate HHS Appropriations committee heard a similar presentation on the topic. SB1306 by Senator Rodriguez has been referred to three committees but not yet been heard. 3. RETROACTIVE DENIAL OF HEALTH CARE CLAIMS SB 1388/HB 851 HB 851 by Representative Valdes has yet to be heard in its first of four committee stops. The bill would prohibit health insurers and HMOs from retroactively denying claims because of insured and subscriber ineligibility at any time under certain circumstances.  Meanwhile 1388 by Senator Harrell, which has yet to be heard in any of its three committees, also prohibits health insurers, at any time, from retroactively denying a claim because of the ineligibility of the insured if the insurer verified the insured’s eligibility at the time of treatment or provided an authorization number. The bill also prohibits HMOs, at any time, from retroactively denying a claim because of the ineligibility of the subscriber if the HMO verified the subscriber’s eligibility at the time of treatment or provided an authorization number. 4.     TELEHEALTH CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE RX & REMOTE PHARMACY SB 700/HB 1477 SB 700 by Senator A Rodriguez passed its first of three committees in Health Policy and will be up next in Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. The bill makes a number of changes relating to telehealth including:·        Authorizes AHCA, to reimburse for telehealth services involving store-and-forward technology and remote patient monitoring services under the Medicaid program.·        Expands the definition of telehealth to include:A telehealth provider’s supervision of health care services through the use of synchronous and asynchronous telecommunications technology.Telephone calls, personal emails, fax transmissions, and other nonpublic-facing telecommunications.·    Authorizes a nonphysician health care practitioner who is required to maintain a formal supervisory relationship with a physician, including a physician who is registered as an out-of-state telehealth provider enrolled in Medicaid, to satisfy that requirement through telehealth.·        Authorizes a telehealth provider, practicing in a manner consistent with his or her scope of practice, to prescribe Schedule III, IV, and V controlled substances through telehealth.·        Prohibits the prescription of Schedule I and II controlled substances through telehealth.·        Creates a new type of pharmacy establishment, a “remote-site pharmacy,” where medicinal drugs are compounded or dispensed by a registered pharmacy technician (RPT) who is remotely supervised by an off-site pharmacist acting in the capacity of prescription department manager.·        Authorizes an off-site pharmacist to remotely supervise an RPT at a remote-site pharmacy and authorizes an RPT operating under such remote supervision to compound and dispense drugs.·        Provides for permitting and regulation of remote-site pharmacies DOH.·        Provides requirements for remote-site pharmacies.·        Prohibits a remote-site pharmacy from performing centralized prescription filling.·        Authorizes a pharmacist to serve as prescription department manager for up to three remote-site pharmacies that are under common control of the same supervising pharmacies and requiring him or her to visit the remote site on a schedule as determined by the Board of Pharmacy.·        Authorizes a pharmacist, at the direction of a physician, to administer certain extended-release medications.·        Creates exceptions to certain requirements that audiologists and hearing aid specialists must perform under current law when they are fitting and selling hearing aids to persons who are 18 years of age or older and who provide a medical clearance or a waiver.·        Makes it lawful for hearing aids to be sold or distributed through the mail to an ultimate consumer who is 18 years of age or older HB 1477 by Representative Melo, which is the House companion for this bill, has not been referenced to committees yet. HB 247 by Representative Fabricio passed the House Professions Subcommittee with a strike-all limiting the bill to loosing restrictions on prescribing controlled substances. 5.  TELEHEALTH REPEALER SB 864/HB 6079 HB 6079 by Representative Stevenson has yet to be heard in its first of three committee stops. The bill strikes the prohibition on audio only telephone calls. The bill also allows for an out-of-state peer-to-peer second opinion to be issued for a patient. SB 864 by Senator Brodeur is the companion for this bill and passed its first of three committees last week in the Senate Health Policy Committee. An amendment was adopted to allow peer-to-peer reviews to be conducted in consultation with a Florida licensed physician with authority over patient. The bill will be up next in Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. 6.     LOSS RUN (OMNIBUS) SB 742/HB 815 HB 815 by Gregory is an Omnibus insurance bill that passed its second of three committees in the House State Administration and Technology Appropriations subcommittee this week and will be up next in House Commerce. A provision of the bill would correct the application of the 2020 loss run statute as it relates to group health insurance, removing conflicting provisions of existing laws. SB 742, the companion measure by Perry passed its first committee in week 2 in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee and will be up next in Senate Judiciary on March 29th. 7.     INSULIN CO-PAY CAP SB 786/HB 109 SB 786 by Senator Cruz requires policies to cap insured’s monthly cost-sharing obligation for covered prescription insulin drugs at $100 for a 30-day supply, regardless of the amount or type of insulin needed to fill the insured’s prescription. SB 786 was heard in its first of three committee stops the Senate Banking and Insurance committee this week and goes next in Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.  The House companion for this bill is HB 109 by Representative Bell. This bill has yet to be placed on an agenda in its first of four committee stops. 8.     MANDATES:  Mental Health Reporting SB 1024/HB 701 HB 701 by Representative Stevenson passed the last of its three committee stops this week and is now on the calendar. As amended, the bill requires health insurers and HMOs to provide written notice to covered individuals outlining federal and state requirements for coverage of behavioral health services. Additionally, the bill requires the written notice to include the statewide toll-free telephone number at DFS. Finally, it requires OIR to report on the number of mental health related consumer complaints received during the past year. SB 1024 by Representative Brodeur passed its second of three committees this week in Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government. The same amendment was adopted, so bills are identical. The bill will be up next in Senate Appropriations. Hearing Aid Coverage HB 373/SB 1268 SB 1268 by Senator Baxley passed its first of three committees last week, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee and goes next to the Health Policy Committee. The bill requires that health insurer or HMO contracts provide major medical coverage for a dependent child to provide hearing aid coverage for children from birth through 18 years. The bill requires a minimum coverage limit of $3,500 per ear within a 24-month period. HB 373 by Representative Brannan has yet to be heard in its first of three committee stops. DENTAL 1.     MEDICAID COVERAGE FOR ADULT DENTAL SERVICES SB 1552/HB 1117 SB 1552 by Senator Pizzo has yet to be heard in its first of three committees, the Senate Health Policy Committee. The bill requires the reimbursement of certain adult dental services by AHCA under the Medicaid program. The bill prohibits reimbursement for these services if provided in a mobile dental unit and requires that the minimum benefits provided under Medicaid prepaid dental health to cover certain adult dental services. HB 1117 by Representative Nixon has yet to be heard in its first of three committee stops. PROPERTY1.     RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY INSURANCE/CONTINGENCY RISK MULTIPLIER SB 76/HB 305 SB 76 by Senator Boyd passed the third committee in Senate Rules yesterday with a strike-all from Senator Boyd. The bill heads next to the Senate floor.  The bill revises the statutes that govern property insurance policies including attorney fees, roof coverage provisions, notice periods for bringing claims, alternative dispute resolution, lawsuits involving property insurance policies, consolidation of legal actions, and assignment agreements. Additionally, the bill establishes a third-degree felony for knowingly aiding or abetting an unlicensed person who transacts or engages in insurance activities without a license.  The bill eliminates the attorney fee multiplier unless it is a rare and exceptional case.  The bill amends the roof coverage provisions through the use of a roof surface reimbursement schedule to limit coverage in a personal lines residential property insurance policy. The roof surface reimbursement schedule must provide for full replacement coverage for any roof surfaces type less than 10 years old. For roofs 10 years old or older the reimbursement schedule is as follows:·        70 percent for a metal roof type;·        40 percent for a concrete tile and clay tile roof type;·        40 percent for a wood shake and wood shingle roof type;·        25 percent for all other roof types.

Additionally, the bill allows an insurer to offer a state value sublimit on roof coverage. The bill also amends current law to require that a claim, supplemental claim, or reopened claim under a property insurance policy must be provided to the insurer within 2 years of the date of loss. Other provisions in the bill include:·        Allowing an insurer to require mediation as a 1st party claimant or a 3rd party assignee.·        Creating a “Texas” style 1st party attorney fee reform.·        Requiring the consolidation of multiple residential actions involving the same property.·        Modifiying the AOB law to conform with the new “Texas” attorney fee model.·        Requesting the Florida Supreme Court to require plaintiff and defense lawyers to disclose their attorneys fees. The House version of this bill, HB 305 by Representative Rommel, passed its first of three committees, the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee this week. The bill makes several changes including the following: ·        Residential Property Insurance Claims for Roof Damage – The bill establishes that a contractor or unlicensed person acting on behalf of the contractor may not solicit or incentivize the filing of a roof damage insurance claim by a residential property owner or interpret policy provisions. It also establishes that a public adjuster, a public adjuster apprentice, or unlicensed persons acting on their behalf may not incentivize the filing of a roof damage insurance claim by a residential property insurance owner.

·        Clarifies that OIR has the authority to examine MGAs, including affiliates of insurers, as it examines insurers, even if the MGA represents a single domestic insurer. It requires that each insurer paying an affiliate produce information about fees paid to the affiliate upon request by OIR. It also requires that all MGAs execute contracts with the insurers they do business with even if they are affiliates of the insurers.·        Establishes that each insurer or insurer group doing business in Florida shall file specific data regarding litigation of personal and commercial residential property insurance claims on a quarterly basis.·        The bill makes several changes to the operations of, and requirements for, Citizens, the state-run property insurer: 

  • Revising the eligibility for residential property owners to obtain coverage from Citizens so that they are not eligible for Citizens’ coverage if they can obtain coverage from private insurers that is less than 20 percent greater than the premium for comparable coverage from Citizens 
  • Establishing that if Citizens does not buy reinsurance to cover its projected 100-year probable maximum loss, it must still include the cost of such reinsurance in its rate calculations.
  • Establishing that no employees of Citizens may receive salaries in excess of 150 percent of the salary received by the head of OIR, with certain exceptions.

·        The bill changes the notice of claim deadlines in the Insurance Code so that notice of any property insurance claim must be provided to a property insurer within two years of the date of loss.·        The bill creates new statutory requirements for residential or commercial property suits that are not brought by an assignee, including a ten-day presuit notice and demand, after a determination of coverage, before bringing suit against an insurer. An insurer served with this notice must respond in writing within ten days by either making a settlement offer or requiring participation in an appraisal or alternative dispute resolution proceeding as provided for in the policy.

4.     CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE SB 1574SB 1574 by Senator Brandes passed its first of three committees, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, on March 16th and will be up next in Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government. The bill makes several changes to the statutes governing Citizens including:·        Requiring reasonable agent commission for policies placed in Citizens not to exceed the average of commissions paid in the preceding year by the 20 admitted insurers writing the greatest market share of property insurance in Florida. Given the recent Citizens Property Insurance Board discussion regarding the concept of removing all agent commissions to advance depopulation goals, Senator Brandes developed this language in response.·        Providing that eligible surplus lines insurers may participate in depopulation, take-out, or keep-out programs; and·        Authorizing information from underwriting files and confidential claims files to be released by Citizens to entities considering writing or underwriting risks insured by Citizens.·        Revising the method for determining the amounts of potential surcharges to be levied against policyholders; It has been a long-held belief by agent groups that commission levels should not be inserted into the statute in any context for various reasons, including the fact that what goes up can also go down. These groups are lobbying Citizens to not take any action to reduce agent commissions. There is no House companion for this bill.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

The Center Square) – A proposed overhaul of Florida’s property insurance laws designed to dissuade litigation and allow insurers to depreciate payouts for roof repairs is headed for the Senate floor.

The Senate Rules Committee Thursday approved Senate Bill 76, filed by Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, in a 12-5 vote after setting it aside for further debate on March 18 to hear attorneys’ and consumer advocates’ mounting objections to several provisions in the bill.

Those objections remain and SB 76 faces uncertain prospects on the Senate floor. Its House companion, House Bill 305, sponsored by Rep. Bob Rommel, R-Naples, advanced through its first hearing before the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee in a 12-2 vote Tuesday. It has two more hearings to reach the chamber floor.

SB 76 would force claimants, attorneys and insurers to seek resolutions without going to court by removing “incentives” for legal action in resolving disputes over claims, especially for roof repairs

Proposed reforms in the bill include slashes in the time a policy-holder has to file a claim from three years to two, reductions in “multiplier fees” for attorneys “that discourage settlements” and a provision that allows insurance companies to offer policies that insure only the depreciated value of roofs more than 10 years old instead of full replacement costs.

Boyd, an insurance agent, said rising costs for homeowners insurance policies are driving the need for reform. His own homeowners insurance costs will go up 40 percent this year, he said.

“We are in a crisis now for our homeowners market,” Boyd said.

Noting the number of roof claims going to court have increased from about 27,000 in 2013 to more than 85,000 in 2020, Boyd said the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) projects insurance companies in the state will likely double losses from 2019 to 2020.

Litigation is among factors disrupting the state’s property insurance market.

Florida’s businesses and 6.2 million homeowners are seeing – or will see – double-digit rate increases as high as 45 percent in property insurance premiums as insurers cite ballooning reinsurance costs, “loss creep” from 2017-18 hurricanes and coastal flooding among factors driving costs.

But critics say SB 76 and similar measures, including SB 212, a “contingency risk multiplier” bill filed by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, diminishes policyholders’ ability to seek redress in court and would hurt homeowners with older roofs.

Brandes said the state’s property insurance market is in “crisis” and the Legislature must respond. “If we don’t act, we’re failing our constituents,” he said. “We have to stand our ground here.”

“I just think this legislation goes too far,” said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Lighthouse Point. “This is a David versus Goliath situation, literally, and we’re taking David’s sling away.”

Democrats and trial attorneys say the insurance industry’s contention that fraudulent roof-damage claims are driving up costs is exaggerated.

If insurers were more responsive, Farmer said, there wouldn’t be litigation.

“Homeowners don’t want to file a lawsuit, period,” he said. “When an insurance company is underpaying or denying claims with such frequency that so many homeowners have to file suit, that, too, is a problem.”

SB 76 establishes a “reimbursement schedule” that allows insurers to sell policies with reduced payments for replacing roofs over 10 years old. For instance, insurers could reimburse 70 percent of the costs for metal roofs over 10 years old and 40 percent for concrete-tile and clay-tile roofs.

The change would shift more costs to homeowners when they have roof damage, Boyd acknowledged, but said they can buy additional coverage and SB 76 still allows judges the discretion to allow higher attorney fees in specific cases.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mar 23, 2021–

AM Best will host a complimentary webinar, sponsored by LexisNexis ® Risk Solutions, on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at 2 p.m. (EDT). Roof losses are close to half of all home insurance loss claims and are growing. The home insurance industry has struggled for years to adopt a better approach to managing this critical area of exposure. In fact, according to the most recent LexisNexis Risk Solutions Home Trends Report, hail losses increased by 20% in a single year. Traditional methods of managing roof risk based on age and on-site inspections are no longer good enough. Therefore, the industry is mobilizing around new technologies and data aimed at addressing this critical problem.

Register now: www.ambest.com/webinars/home21

Join this discussion to learn:

  • The latest information from a nationally recognized expert about hail trends and ways hail can damage the roof;
  • Insights gleaned from imagery analytics and ways to leverage this data to assess roof condition in general and for hail specifically; and
  • How contextual weather and claims data complements aerial imagery analytics in predicting roof condition.

Panelists include:

  • Erin Oswalt, director, home solutions, LexisNexis Risk Solutions;
  • Peter Drogan, FCAS, senior vice president and chief actuary, Amica Mutual Insurance Company;
  • Dr. Tanya Brown-Giammanco, managing director of research, Insurance Institute of Business and Home Safety (IBHS); and
  • Neil Pearson, chief strategy officer, Arturo AI.

Attendees can submit questions during registration or by emailing webinars@ambest.com. The event will be streamed in video and audio formats, and playback will be available to registered viewers shortly after the event.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

A car accident might only last a few moments, but the financial aftermath can stick with you for years. Even if you’re in a minor accident with no injuries or serious car damage, you could see an increase in your insurance rates. In some states, causing a car accident could impact your rates for up to five years.

If you have a pristine driving record and cause an accident, here’s some bad news: The national average rate increase is 41% for drivers with a clean record who cause an accident, according to Forbes Advisor’s analysis.

But not every car accident will result in a rate increase. And if you do get hit with higher rates, there are ways you may be able to reduce the financial impact.

How Does a Car Accident Affect Insurance?

If you are found at-fault for a car accident, you’re most likely going to see an increase in your car insurance rates at renewal time. That’s because an at-fault accident is considered a “chargeable” accident, which generally means you were more than 50% at fault and the accident caused one of both of these:

  • Damage to someone else’s property, such as another car or a fence
  • Bodily injury or death to someone else

The car liability insurance portion of your policy covers property damage or injury to someone else. When a claim is made against your liability insurance, this could result in a “surcharge,” which is the actual rate increase after a chargeable car accident.

The surcharge will start when you renew your policy (an insurer can’t surcharge you in the middle of a policy period).

The overall severity of the car accident and the resulting cost of an insurance claim can impact your rates. A minor parking lot fender bender typically won’t have the same impact as a major accident. In certain states, your insurer won’t raise your rates if the claim is under a certain dollar amount. For example, if you cause a car accident in Massachusetts, you won’t get a surcharge for claims under $1,000.

Average Car Insurance Rate Increases After an Accident

StateAverage insurance rate increase after an at-fault accident
Alabama34.30%
Alaska31.20%
Arkansas50.30%
Arizona34.20%
California73.60%
Colorado34%
Connecticut47.10%
Delaware28.40%
District of Columbia36.10%
Florida40%
Georgia45%
Hawaii39.10%
Idaho36.40%
Iowa44%
We averaged the rate increase in each state among large insurers for drivers with liability coverage of $100,000 bodily injury per person, $300,000 bodily injury per accident and $100,000 for property damage (100/300/100), and collision and comprehensive insurance. Source: Quadrant Information Services.

Will My Insurance Rates Go Up If I Didn’t Cause the Accident?

Car insurance rates generally go up only when you cause a car accident that results in damage or injuries to others. Here are some examples of non-chargeable car accidents:

  • Your car was struck in hit-and-run accident
  • Your car was legally parked when it was damaged
  • Your car was struck in the rear by another vehicle and you were not convicted of a moving traffic violation in relation to the accident

See more examples of car accidents that won’t make your insurance go up.

If you’re involved in an accident, your car insurance company might require proof that you weren’t to blame Here are some examples of documents you can gather:

  • A police report about the accident
  • A statement from the other driver’s insurance company accepting fault
  • Another driver’s written statement, under penalty of perjury, attesting to fault
  • A legal document showing that you were reimbursed for accident damage

Also, accidents paid by comprehensive insurance generally don’t result in a rate increase. These include collisions with animals and damage caused by falling or flying objects (like gravel or road debris).

Nonetheless, comprehensive claims are recorded in your claims history. Insurers generally consider drivers with a history of claims to be more likely to file future claims, which can translate into higher car insurance premiums.

How Long Will an Accident Affect My Car Insurance Rates?

How long an at-fault accident affects your car insurance rates depends on your insurance company and state, but it’s generally around three to five years. For example, states like New York and Texas allow insurance companies to apply surcharges only for accidents for the past three years, but states like Massachusetts allow surcharges for five years.

Some states and insurers will decrease the cost of the surcharge applied to an insurance policy for each year you drive without an incident (such as another at-fault accident or a moving traffic violation).

How Can I Lower My Car Insurance After an Accident?

If you get hit with a surcharge because of a car accident, here are ways to reduce your car insurance bill:

  • Ask for discounts. It might seem awkward to ask your insurance company about possible price breaks after a car accident, but you may still be able to qualify for discount car insurance. For example, you might shave a few bucks off your bill by going paperless, or you might get a lower rate if you no longer have a daily commute.
  • Put your safe driving to the test. The best way to recover from an at-fault accident is to practice safe driving. If you believe you’re a good driver, you might consider usage-based insurance. These programs track your driving actions and produce a score and tips for improving your driving. If you score well, you could earn a discount.
  • Shop around. If you’re unhappy with your current insurer’s prices and/or service, you might want to compare car insurance quotes. One of the best ways to save money on insurance is by shopping around. While an accident surcharge will follow you to a new car insurance company, they may still be able to beat your old company’s rates.
CompanyAverage rate increase after an at-fault car accident
State Farm25.20%
Erie30.30%
Travelers32.50%
USAA37.50%
Auto-Owners39%
Allstate41.90%
Farmers45.10%
Geico45.30%
Nationwide54%
Progressive62%
MetLife62.50%
For each company we calculated the average rate increase nationwide after an accident for drivers with coverage of 100/300/100 and collision and comprehensive insurance. Source: Quadrant Information Services.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

1.     CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE SB 1574 SB 1574 by Senator Brandes passed its first of three committees, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, on March 16th and will be up next in Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government. The bill makes several changes to the statutes governing Citizens including:·        Requiring reasonable agent commission for policies placed in Citizens not to exceed the average of commissions paid in the preceding year by the 20 admitted insurers writing the greatest market share of property insurance in Florida. Given the recent Citizens Property Insurance Board discussion regarding the concept of removing all agent commissions to advance depopulation goals, Senator Brandes developed this language in response.·        Providing that eligible surplus lines insurers may participate in depopulation, take-out, or keep-out programs; and·        Authorizing information from underwriting files and confidential claims files to be released by Citizens to entities considering writing or underwriting risks insured by Citizens.·        Revising the method for determining the amounts of potential surcharges to be levied against policyholders;As much as NAIFA appreciates Senator Brandes’ efforts in this regard, it has been a long held belief by NAIFA that commission levels should not be inserted into the statute in any context for various reasons, including the fact that what goes up can also go down. NAIFA is working hard to lobby Citizens to not take any action to reduce agent commissions.There is no House companion for this bill.

2.    PIP REPEAL SB 54/HB 719 SB 54 by Senator Burgess passed its third and final committee stop in week 2 and will be on the floor next. The bill repeals the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, which requires every owner and registrant of a motor vehicle in this state to maintain Personal Injury Protection coverage. Beginning January 1, 2022, the bill enacts financial responsibility requirements for liability for motor vehicle ownership or operation, as follows:·        For bodily injury (BI) or death of one person in any one crash, $25,000, and, subject to that limit for one person, $50,000 for BI or death of two or more people in any one crash.·        The bill sets a lower financial responsibility requirement of $15,000 for BI or death of one person, and $30,000 for BI or death of two or more persons, for persons having a household income of 200 percent or less of the federal poverty guidelines and for full time students attending a secondary or post-secondary school.·        The existing $10,000 financial responsibility requirement for property damage (PD) is retained. The bill increases required coverage amounts for garage liability and commercial motor vehicle insurance. It increases the cash deposit amount required for a certificate of self-insurance establishing financial responsibility for owners and operators of motor vehicles that are not for hire vehicles. The bill requires insurers to offer MedPay with limits of $5,000 or $10,000 to cover medical expenses of the insured. Insurers may also offer other policy limits that exceed $5,000. Insurers must offer a zero-deductible option for MedPay, and may also offer deductibles of up to $500. Insurers must reserve $5,000 of MedPay benefits for 30 days to pay physicians or dentists who provide emergency services and care or who provide hospital inpatient care.

The repeal of the No-Fault Law eliminates the limitations on recovering pain and suffering damages from PIP insureds, which currently require bodily injury that causes death or significant and permanent injury. Under the bill, the legal liability of an uninsured motorist insurer includes damages in tort for pain, suffering, disability or physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience, and the loss of past and future capacity for the enjoyment of life. The bill creates a new framework to govern all third-party claims against motor vehicle insurers for bad faith failure to settle. The bill requires the third-party claimant in a bad faith failure to settle action to show the insurer violated its duty of good faith to the insured and in bad faith failed to settle the claim. The bill requires motor vehicle insurers to follow claims handling best practices standards based on long-established good faith duties related to claim handling, claim investigation, defense of the insured, and settlement negotiations. The bill establishes that it is a condition precedent to bringing a third-party action for bad faith failure to settle that the claimant serve a detailed demand for settlement within the insured’s policy limits. The third-party bad faith claimant may condition the demand for settlement on taking a 2-hour examination under oath (EUO) of the insured, limited to discovering possible sources of recovery. The claimant may withdraw the demand for settlement after the EUO. If the insured refuses to submit to the EUO, the insurer may tender policy limits without obtaining a release of the insured, and if the insurer does so, it no longer has a duty to defend the insured, and may not be held liable if there is an excess judgment against the insured. The bill provides a safe harbor to the insurer in a third-party bad faith failure to settle action providing that an insurer is not liable for bad faith if it tenders (offers to pay)

policy limits in exchange for a release of its insured from further liability within 60 days after receiving a demand for settlement from a single claimant. Where there are multiple claimants, the insurer is not liable for bad faith if it initiates an interpleader action within 60 days after receiving the competing demands. The bill requires the trier of fact, when determining if an insurer in bad faith failed to settle, to consider certain actions of the insurer such as compliance with best practices along with certain actions of the insured and claimant. The bill also prohibits punitive damages in a third-party bad faith failure to settle action. The bill provides that if a motor vehicle insurer fails to timely provide information related to liability insurance coverage, the claimant may file an action to enforce the section, and is entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees and costs to be paid by the insurer. The bill authorizes the exclusion of a specifically named individual from specified insurance coverages under a private passenger motor vehicle policy, with the written consent of the policyholder. The bill also allows an insurer that offers comprehensive coverage to offer a separate windshield deductible of up to $200, provided the insured is given an actuarially sound discount for electing the deductible and provided that a no deductible option is offered. The bill also prohibits auto repair shops from coercing consumers, paying referral fees, or giving rebates or gifts related to a windshield claim.

HB 719 by Representative Grall passed its first of three committee stops in week 2 and will be up next in House Insurance and Banking. The bill is similar to the Senate version but does not contain the same bad faith reform provisions, does not allow for the lower limits based on income level, and does not include the Senate provisions relating to windshield deductible. PROPERTY 1.     RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY INSURANCE/CONTINGENCY RISK MULTIPLIER SB 76/HB 305 SB 76 by Senator Boyd passed its second of three committee in Senate Judiciary last week and was up this week in Senate Rules. The bill had several amendments filed for it, including a strike-all from Senator Boyd. The amendments were heard in the committee including Boyd’s strike-all, but ultimately the bill was postponed due to the committee running out of time.  The bill revises the statutes that govern property insurance policies including attorney fees, roof coverage provisions, notice periods for bringing claims, alternative dispute resolution, lawsuits involving property insurance policies, consolidation of legal actions, and assignment agreements. Additionally, the bill establishes a third-degree felony for knowingly aiding or abetting an unlicensed person who transacts or engages in insurance activities without a license.  The bill makes changes to attorney fees by amending Florida Statutes to create a strong presumption that the lodestar fee is a sufficient and reasonable award of attorney fees in a claim arising under a property insurance policy. This presumption is rebuttable only in rare and exceptional circumstances by evidence that competent counsel could not be retained in a reasonable manner. 

The bill amends the roof coverage provisions through the use of a roof surface reimbursement schedule to limit coverage in a personal lines residential property insurance policy. The roof surface reimbursement schedule must provide for full replacement coverage for any roof surfaces type less than 10 years old. For roofs 10 years old or older the reimbursement schedule is as follows:·        70 percent for a metal roof type;·        40 percent for a concrete tile and clay tile roof type;·        40 percent for a wood shake and wood shingle roof type;·        25 percent for all other roof types. The bill also amends current law to require that a claim, supplemental claim, or reopened claim under a property insurance policy must be provided to the insurer within 2 years of the date of loss. The House version of this bill, HB 305 by Representative Rommel, has yet to be heard in its first of three committees, the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee. An amendment striking key provisions of the bill was adopted, then the bill was postponed. 2.     COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS/SUBROGATION SB 630/HB 867 SB 630 revises the regulation and governance of condominium, cooperative, and homeowners’ associations. The bill authorizes condominium, cooperative, and homeowners’ associations to extinguish discriminatory restrictions in recorded title transactions. The bill changes include prohibiting a unit owner’s insurance policy from including rights of subrogation against the association if the association’s policy does not provide subrogation rights against the unit owner. Fannie Mae mortgage lending guidelines require that the insurance policy for a condominium project waive the right of subrogation against unit owners. The bill also creates a prohibition for certain uses of escrow funds

including insurance costs. The bill passed its second of three in Senate Community Affairs Committee this week and will be up next in Senate Rules. HB 867 by Representative Shoaf has yet to be heard in its first of three committee stop

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

A Florida man has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for lying about damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

Steven Rembert, 49, of Orange County, was sentenced Monday in Orlando federal court, according to court records. He pleaded guilty in December to disaster assistance fraud.

In September 2017, Rembert falsified records concerning his primary residence when submitting an application for assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to an indictment.

Hurricane Irma struck Florida in September 2017, causing about $50 billion in damage throughout the state.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation will conduct a virtual rate hearing this week on a proposed 24.9% rate increase filed by National Specialty Insurance Co. for its homeowners multi-peril lines of business.

Velocity Risk Underwriters, LLC is the Florida general agent and exclusive program administer for National Specialty Insurance Co., a subsidiary of State National Insurance Co.

The hearing, to be held Thursday, March 25 at 10 am EST, will also allow for public comment on the proposed rate filing.

As of Sept. 30, 2020, National Specialty/Velocity Risk had nearly 45,000 policies in force in Florida and more than $87 million in annualized written premium.

If approved, the effective date for the increase would be Feb. 15, 2021, for new business and April 14, 2021, for renewal business. Last year, Velocity requested and was approved for a 28.1% rate increase for 35,000 of its HO-3 policies.

National Specialty is domiciled in Texas and authorized to transact insurance in the state of Florida. As a State National Insurance Co. subsidiary, National Specialty Insurance holds an “A” rating with A. M. Best. The ratings of both companies were affirmed Sept. 11, 2020 with an outlook of stable. Markel acquired State National and its subsidiaries in 2017.

OIR is required by law to hold public rate hearings when a rate filing exceeds 15%. Florida law also allows OIR to hold a public hearing for any purpose within the scope of the Insurance Code deemed to be necessary. Input from consumers and interested parties, as well as from representatives of National Specialty Insurance Co., will be received at this virtual public hearing.

Those wishing to participate can register here or by phone at: (866) 901-6455; Access Code 118-572-617. Comments can also be sent to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation at ratehearings@floir.com; the subject line of the e-mail should read “National Specialty Insurance Company.” The record will be open for public comment until April 8, 2021.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Florida’s insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corp., has become the insurer of first resort as thousands of new policies flood into it each week and the private homeowners insurance market continues its downward spiral.

“The reality is the marketplace in Florida is shutting down,” Citizens President and CEO Barry Gilway said at a rate hearing before the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation this week.

Gilway painted a dire picture of the Florida domestic market to state regulators at the March 15 hearing, noting that five years of sustained losses from excessive litigation, contractor schemes, major catastrophes and the increasing cost of reinsurance has led to diminished insurance capacity and higher costs for consumers. Florida carriers’ net underwriting losses for 2020 are expected to reach a combined $1.6 billion, Gilway said, with income losses totaling nearly $840 million.

“Companies that are operating in the market are not profitable, have not been profitable, and frankly some of them are having to pay high rates of return just to get the capital in order to continue writing the level of business that they are writing today,” he said.

Florida insurers are taking significant steps to reduce their exposure in areas where there is high litigation rates or high reinsurance costs, he said. The result is four companies in Florida are now closed for new business; at least 12 companies have strict underwriting restrictions such as limits on new business/renewals based on location, age of home, age of roof; required minimum Coverage A limits and policy cancellations.

In addition to coverage restrictions, carriers are offsetting their losses with rate increases. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has approved 105 rate changes, 90 of which were for rate increases, over the last year, with 55 of those for rate increases of more than 10%.

Ratings agency Demotech, which rates 66% of the Florida market, is also requiring the companies it rates to restrict their writings geographically and the types of homes they write in order to retain their FSR rating.

“They are doing that basically to improve the overall profitability of these companies and make sure that when the insured does get insurance there is sufficient financial wherewithal on the part of the company to support any anticipated claims volume,” he said. “There’s a lot of restrictions on the market.”

Gilway told regulators Citizens is growing by 5,000 new policies per week and is expected to reach a policy count of 700,000 by the end of the year as carriers continue to raise rates and cut back on capacity.

Citizens’ rate of growth is further exacerbated by the competitiveness of its rates, Gilway said, noting that its homeowners policies are priced lower than the average private market rate 91% of the time.

“The capacity in the marketplace has shrunk to the point where unfortunately Citizens is becoming not the market of last resort but, in many cases, the market of first resort,” he said, adding that is never the intention for a residual market mechanism.

The concern is that Citizens could return to its 2011 policy count level where there was an assessment risk of $11.6 billion to all Florida policyholders in the event of a 1-in-100 year event. Gilway said at that point, the insurer wrote 23% of the Florida market. Its top priority is protecting the company’s surplus so it can pay claims and

keep all Floridians from being stuck with paying assessments.

“As we grow, then the potential for assessment grows,” Gilway said.

Citizens’ has its own share of litigation troubles as well. Gilway told regulators that 800 lawsuits were filed against the insurer in February and 78% of the claims it receives are from nonweather water losses. While assignment of benefits reforms passed two years ago have cut its AOB litigation in half, litigated claims are still a significant driver of its rate need.

The Citizens Board of Governors approved 2021 rate recommendations in January that call for a statewide average increase of 7.2% for personal lines policyholders – homeowners, condominium unit owners, mobile homeowners, dwelling, and renters. Homeowner policies would increase by an average 6.1%; condo owners would see an average 9.4% increase; and renters rates would increase 4% on average. The proposed commercial lines increase is 9.5%.

Citizens is required by law to recommend actuarially sound rates, while complying with a legislative glide path that caps individual rate increases at 10%. The insurer’s uncapped rate indication is 25.9% for homeowners and 85.6% for commercial lines.

Citizens is required by law to recommend actuarially sound rates, while complying with a legislative glide path that caps individual rate increases at 10%. The insurer’s uncapped rate indication is 25.9% for homeowners and 85.6% for commercial lines.

The proposed rate recommendations came after Citizens Board deferred action on a slate of rates that called for an average 3.7% increase in personal lines coverage, including a 2.2% increase in homeowners coverage. The board directed Citizens actuarial staff to work with OIR to address the growing disparity between Citizens rates and those charged by private insurance companies in many areas of the state.

Citizens is also seeking approval by OIR to charge new policyholders actuarially sound rates instead of allowing them to join the insurer with capped premiums that existing Citizens policyholders receive, as is the case now. The exception would be in Monroe County where rates would be capped at 20% because Citizens is essentially the only insurer option. If approved by OIR, the recommendation would increase rates for new business by an average of 21%, Citizens said previously.

OIR will accept public comments on the proposed rates through March 26. If approved, the 2021 rates would go into effect for policies renewed after August 1.

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