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‘Floridians deserve rate relief’ says Florida’s CFO Atwater

Sat Feb 8th, 2014 on     Homeowners Insurance,    

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners recently released a report that showed that Florida residents are paying the highest property insurance rates in the country. Data showed that the average homeowner was paying approximately $1,933per year in insurance premiums.

In December, we discussed the specific results of that survey in a little more detail in our Florida insurance law blog. It is no surprise that there have been some strong reactions to that study, especially for Florida residents that found out just how high their insurance premiums really are.

“Floridians deserve rate relief,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. 

After the study was released, Atwater requested a detailed report from Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty that would help explain why Florida residents were paying such high costs. The answer included a note that the overall rates were decreasing, mostly due to shrinking reinsurance costs on the back of eight hurricane-free years.

Digging deeper into the report, it appeared as though few companies had moved to lower the average rate across the state. Although the report was intended to cover the 30 largest insurers in the state, data from only 15 companies was available for analysis. Out of those 15, only 6 had filed the reduction request.

After reading the report, Atwater wrote in an email that “The key takeaway, however, is found in the Commissioner’s message to the insurance industry. The Commissioner made it clear, barring any catastrophic event, he has every expectation that these lower reinsurance costs will be reflected in lower rates for consumers in future rate fillings.”

Insurance premiums aren’t the only part of the program. With the high monthly costs, those with property insurance likely expect that their policy will sufficiently cover any claim that they later make. This isn’t always the case. In some instances, an insurance attorney may have to step in and help find resolution that benefits the homeowner.

Source: The Florida Current, “Top regulator claims insurance rates falling in Florida,” Gray Rohrer, Jan. 15, 2014

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