State property insurance regulators will review three companies’ large rate increase requests — including one of nearly 50% — on Tuesday, one week before the Legislature meets in a Special Session to consider bills designed to stabilize the creaking market.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation will hold a hearing Tuesday afternoon to consider the request which, if approved, would take effect starting July 1 for new and existing policies.
OIR will also conduct hearings Tuesday for two smaller companies, First Floridian Auto and Home Insurance Company and KIN Interinsurance Network, which are seeking increases of 22.9% and 25.1%, respectively, for homeowners’ policies.
For First Floridian customers, the changes would take effect July 18 for existing policies and May 27 for new policies. For KIN, its request would make the changes retroactive to April 22.
The large rate increase requests underscore the precarious nature of the Florida property insurance market.
In the first five months of 2022, two companies have gone bankrupt, four companies have opted not to renew more than 120,000 policies in the last 12 months, rating agencies have threatened downgrades for some companies and other insurers have sought large rate hikes.
Florida lawmakers failed to pass any legislation addressing the situation during the regular Session that ended in March. The Senate passed SB 1728, which sought to reduce costs related to roof repairs, limit litigation expenses and allow state-run Citizens Property Insurance to raise their rates higher. But House leaders were skeptical of the proposal and it failed to gain traction in that chamber.
Pressure to take action has mounted since the Session ended, however, as homeowners have borne the brunt of rate hikes and market dysfunction. Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered lawmakers back to the Capitol for a week-long Special Session starting May 23 to pass legislation to stabilize the market.
No bills, however, have yet been filed for the Session.