State Weighing Property Insurer Rate Hike Requests

Fla. regulators will discuss three property insurers’ requests for rate hikes greater than 20% the week before the Legislature meets to consider industry-wide solutions.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida regulators have scheduled three hearings next week on proposals by property insurers to raise homeowners’ rates more than 20%, while the state weighs a plan by another insurer that shed policies amid financial losses.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation will hold hearings May 17 on proposed rate hikes by First Floridian Auto and Home Insurance Co., Kin Interinsurance Network and Florida Farm Bureau General Insurance Co., and Florida Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co.

Notices published Tuesday in the Florida Administrative Register said First Floridian is seeking approval of an overall 22.9% increase for homeowners “multi-peril” policies; Kin Interinsurance is seeking approval of an overall 25.1% increase; and the Farm Bureau companies are seeking approval of an overall 48.7% increase. The Farm Bureau companies are also seeking approval of an overall 31.7% increase for what are known as “dwelling fire” policies, according to one of the notices.

The hearings will come less than a week before the May 23 start of a special legislative session that Gov. Ron DeSantis called to grapple with widespread problems in Florida’s insurance market. Key issues during the session could include trying to help companies obtain reinsurance, which is crucial backup coverage for Florida carriers.

Three Florida property insurers – Lighthouse Property Insurance Corp., Avatar Property & Casualty Insurance Co. and St. Johns Insurance Co. – have been declared insolvent since February.

Meanwhile, policies have poured into the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp., which was created as the state’s “insurer of last resort.” Citizens topped 850,000 policies last week and is expected to hit 1 million policies by the end of the year.

Insurance regulators are also weighing a plan that will affect the future of FedNat Holding Co., which includes subsidiaries FedNat Insurance Co. and Monarch National Insurance Co., which had about 152,000 policies in Florida as of March 31.

Source: News Service of Florida