State Farm Seeking Double Digit Rate Hike
Insurers who want to raise rates to prepare for a big storm have to go through the Office of Insurance Regulation for approval.
"Our analysts and our actuaries look at every file very carefully," said Ed Domansky, OIR. "This year a few small rate hikes have been approved, but none as high as State Farms request."
State Farm is asking for a 47 percent rate increase. The request shocked some, but not Gary Landry with the Florida Insurance Council.
"In Florida, as we said many times before, there's two trillion dollars of risk out there, and we're collecting inadequate premiums to cover this risk," said Landry.
State Farm isn't the only insurer seeking a double digit rate hike. Farm Bureau is asking regulators to approve a 28 percent increase.
Florida Association of Insurance Spokesman Bob Lotane says companies need rate hikes to keep from going bankrupt after a hurricane.
"There's only one thing that's angrier than a person whose insurance rates have been increased, and that's a person who can't get their claim paid in a timely manner," said Lotane.
State Regulators say there's a balancing act involved when considering a rate increase request.
"Consumers want to pay the least amount they have to for their insurance, but at the same time too the companies that are paying for those policies need to have money to pay claims when claims should come in," said Domansky.
A public hearing has to be held for any insurance company wanting to increase rates more than 15 percent. The public hearing for State Farm's rate increase request will be held August 12th. The Farm bureau's hearing is scheduled for July 30th.
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