We all know the insurance crisis in this state is no laughing matter; however, after reading an e-mail and another of our local papers, I couldn't help but to do just that. The story or e-mail was titled "Insurer accepts smaller rate hike." In plain English, State Farm played the Office of Insurance Regulation like a fiddle!
I want a 50 percent increase in the rates I charge. I will file for TWO - NOT ONE - TWO separate rate hikes. Now the consumer minded Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) slaps my hand and says my 79 percent rate increase request is "unsupported." I'll show those bureaucrats. I'll withdraw one if you approve one. BAM! Done deal and the OIR gives me a rate increase of 53 percent. Played them like a fiddle.
State Farm puts out a release saying their costs have gone up and that "there is no profit motive in writing insurance in Florida." Then they say the increase will allow them to stay in Florida. I guess they don't count all the automobile, health, life and whatever other policies they sell. If you don't make a profit on the widget, why sell the widget? Maybe it's what they call a loss leader.
In addition to the rate hike, they get to cancel the wind portion of coverage and the common area coverage of condominiums.
I thought insurance was to protect, not screw the public. To the Office of Insurance Regulation, simply put, you were outplayed.
Ric Cornelius is the Broker/Manager of Sand Key Realty Sales and Rentals, Inc. Sand Key Realty has three offices with 40 agents. One office is at 740 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach, 727-443-0032; the second office is at 2701 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach, 727-595-5441; and the third office is at 309 Belleview Blvd., Belleair, 727-461-4200.
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