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Insurer Seeks 28 Percent Rate Hike

July 30th, 2008 by flanews

State regulators are still deciding if theyll allow a Florida insurer to raise its rates. Farm Bureau is seeking a 28 percent rate hike. The Office of Insurance Regulation held a public hearing about the insurers request in Tallahassee today. Farm Bureau has more than a hundred thousand policy holders in Florida. The company claims it needs to raise rates so it can cover claims if a major hurricane hits the state. Florida Association of Insurance spokesman Bob Lotane said Farm Bureaus is legitimate.

This is a company that isnt owned by Wall Street investors theyre owned by the policy owners so theyre about Main Street and theyre not about Wall Street and thats the way theyve always operated. So when they ask about a rate increase that adds a little more credence the type of company it is and the history of keep their rates as low as possible, said Lotane.

OIR spokesman Ed Domansky said regulators need more proof to support Farms Bureaus claims.

It really comes down to a matter of not whether theyve had a rate hike or where their rates have been over a number of years it really comes down to whether or not theyve properly documented in their filing the rate that theyre requesting now, said Domansky.

Regulators said they expect to have decision soon. Next month OIR will hold a hearing into State Farms request to raise rates 47 percent.

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