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Independent Insurers Call State Farm Bill Unfair

May 14th, 2009 by flanews

A David versus Goliath battle between independent insurance agents and the big companies is underway in Tallahassee. The independent insurers said legislation aimed at keeping State Farm in Florida is unfair. As Whitney Ray tells us, the motivation could be competition.

As State Farm prepares to drop a million Florida customers, a bill allowing big insurance companies to write deregulated policies is headed to the Governor. The legislation was designed to keep State Farm in Florida.

Under the plan big insurance companies could raise rates without state approval. Bob Lotane, a spokesman for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, said fewer rate hike restrictions would keep the big names from leaving.

Were losing companies that are willing to insure Floridians so lets try something new. Lets give this a try, said Lotane.

Independent insurance agents said the legislation creates an uneven playing field.

It deregulates a small portion of the industry, but really not the larger portion thats insuring Florida today, said Jeff Grady, The President of The National Association of Insurance Agents.

Crist has fought insurance rate hikes since he took office in 2006. On the last day of session Crist was asked if he would veto the bill.

Yeah, perhaps, Crist responded.

If Crist vetoes the plan and State Farm leaves, independent agents would likely see an increase in business. Crists office has received more than 2,000 emails and hand written letters from people upset about State Farms plans to leave Florida.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Housing, Hurricane Season, Insurance, Legislature, State News | No Comments »

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