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State Farm Agents Plea for Help

June 3rd, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Legislation that would allow State Farm and other big insurers to set their own rates passed on May first, but it has yet to be delivered to the Governor. The delay gives supporters time to try and convince the governor to let it become law. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, they have an uphill battle.

Homeowners with State Farm will likely start to see non renewal notices in November. Thats unless legislation allowing the company and others to set its own rates is signed by the Governor. The bill passed in response to the companys decision to leave Florida after being denied a rate hike.

But its yet to hit the Governors desk. That is a tactic lawmakers use to build pressure. State Farm Agents Kathy Fain and Dick Franklin are part of that pressure and spent the morning meeting with their state Senator. Both acknowledged the five months since the company announced it would no longer write homeowners have been tough.

All of our customers have called, Franklin said. Theyre in a constant state of flux as to knowing what to do.

Agent Kathy Fain says allowing the company to bid on coverage without price regulation will leave the decision up to consumers.

My main thing is to lets try this, Fain said. It cant hurt.

The legislation was passed overwhelmingly by lawmakers. But thats not having much sway with the governor.

The Governors mind is almost made up.

I think its also important to have appropriate regulation as it relates to the insurance commissioners job to keep rates low,” Governor Crist said. “That’s my current view of it. I look forward to the bill coming to me.

If the bill is vetoed, almost a million homeowners will need to find new coverage over the next two years.

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