Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) announced that the First District Court of Appeal (DCA) has affirmed, without an opinion, the Jan. 12 final order of Commissioner Kevin McCarty regarding a State Farm request to increase rates.

McCarty’s order was based on the Dec. 12 recommended order of Administrative Law Judge Daniel Manry of the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH). Manry agreed with the Office’s initial Aug. 25 denial of State Farm’s indicated statewide average rate increase of 67.0 percent and its requested increase of 47.1 percent.

In his December order, Judge Manry had stated: “State Farm Florida did not show by a preponderance of the evidence that either the indicated rate or requested rate in the rate filing is not excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory.”

“We are very pleased with the District Court’s ruling,” said McCarty. “State Farm knew, or should have known, that the filing it made was contrary to the Legislature’s intent and could not be approved. State Farm’s actions suggest that it intended to use the denial of the filing as a pretext for threatening to withdraw from the Florida property insurance market.”

The DCA matter is not final until time expires for State Farm to file a motion for rehearing (15 days pursuant to Rule 9.330 Fla.R.App.P.) and the disposition of such motion is filed.

Issues with State Farm’s proposed withdrawal plan still remain unresolved. Both the Office and State Farm officials are continuing discussions, but the DOAH has set a hearing to begin Oct. 12.

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