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Allstate To Answer Possible Collusion Charges

January 14th, 2008 by flanews

The state’s offensive against the insurance industry continues tomorrow, with Allstate facing state regulators.  A year has passed since homeowners with high insurance bills were promised that help was on the way.  As Chris Casquejo explains, regulators hope the hearings will yield some answers.

Hear it here: Allstate To Answer Possible Collusion Charges

Early voting is underway, and while insurance isn’t on the ballot, voter Allen Joseph says high rates will definitely impact his choices come November.

“I think the way this legislation was put together, it’s just not quite the way it should be, Joseph said.  “It’s very complicated creating bills.  And this one doesn’t necessarily solve the problems.”

The state took on $28 billion worth of risk.  In turn, lawmakers believed insurers would drop rates an average of 24 percent.  In two out of three cases, just the opposite happened. Allstate asked for an average increase of 42 percent.  Now, state regulators will grill Allstate about possible collusion.

“We’re not accusing anyone of anything,” said Ed Domansky, with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.  “And if in fact, when all of this is said and done, there is no evidence of anything like that, that’s fine.”

Later this week, the Senate is expected to release a list of insurance companies it wants to hear from.  Executives from those companies will be asked to testify under oath.

If they refuse, the companies face subpoenas.  The insurance industry says it has nothing to hide.

“We’ve already sworn under oath, said Sam Miller, with the Florida Insurance Council.  “We’ll swear under oath again.  There is no magic way to roll rates back in the cycle that we’re in.”

Florida property insurers are projecting a $3.4 billion profit for 2007.

The Senate Select Committee on Property Insurance Accountability will meet February 4th and 5th.

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