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Insurance Documents Under Scrutiny

September 19th, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

State Insurance Regulators are sifting through thousands of subpoenaed
documents, trying to see if there was collusion between companies to
keep hurricane Insurance rates up, even after massive changes in the
law. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the investigation could take months.

Hear it Here: Insurance Documents Under Scrutiny

Deep with in the State Office of Insurance Regulation, investigators are
pouring over insurance company records. Their top attorney wont say
exactly what they have, but he does concede they are looking for
evidence of wrongdoing.

Are there communications that are inappropriate, it not unlawful, going
on through those associations. said Steve Parton, General Counsel for the Insurance regulator.

The documents also sparked an hour long discussion between the Governor
and State Cabinet. The exchange between Belina Miller of OIR, Ag Commissioner Charles Bronson,a nd the Governor was enlightening.

Our actuarys are picking through those in great detail. said Miller. Bronson responded.
“So if games are being played, governor, well find out to which Charlie Crist said Damn right we will.

Bob Hunter is one of two independent consultants who predicted rates
would drop 24 percent. He says there may be legitimate reasons they only
went down half that amount. It depends on what the documents say.

This is an industry thats pretty collusive as its nature. Its got its
rating organizations. says Hunter, a former insurance Commissioner in Texas.

The industry says Hunters numbers are wrong..and Gary Landry from the Florida
Insurance Council sais it never promised a 24percent drop.I think companies have operated
under the law and they will continue todo so. Landry told reporters.

But the governor thinks the documents will prove to be a smoking gun.
“I dont think we can trust this industry. I think Ive been pretty clear
about that. I dont and I dont think the people do either. And what I
think is important is that we get to the bottom of this, and find out if
they are adhering to the letter of the law.

The investigation is likely to take months before any answers emerge
on why rates are still so high.

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