Allstate again asked to turn over documents

Feb 18, 2008

Miami Herald--Sat, Feb. 16, 2008

Two state senators from South Florida have sent Allstate Floridian a lengthy list of documents they would like to review to see if the company fully complied with — or circumvented — the requirements of a new insurance bill passed last year.

As part of a Senate panel’s investigation on why the expected insurance savings from the massive insurance law haven’t materialized, Allstate is being asked to turn over documents and internal communications relating to its rate filing as well as communications with rating agencies, rate-modeling companies and trade associations.

”We’re about accountability,” said Sen. Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, who co-chairs the committee with Sen. Steve Geller, D-Cooper City.

Atwater said he and the committee were miffed by the testimony given under oath last week about how Allstate analyzed the impact of the new insurance law.

Allstate officials didn’t fully explain why the company used an approved computer model in preparing its rate filing and then modified it with data from an unapproved model that produced higher potential losses and led the company to ask for a nearly 43 percent rate increase.

In an interview, Atwater said the repeated assertion from Allstate Floridian CEO Joseph Richardson that he read an executive summary of the filing before he signed — as required by law — didn’t quite answer all the questions from the panel.

Many of the documents the senators want to review already have been subpoenaed by the Office of Insurance Regulation as part of its investigation on how Allstate went about setting its rate request in late 2007.

The Senate panel meets again on Tuesday.

Allstate has been turning over documents to OIR, but it hasn’t delivered all of them. Because the company labeled most of the documents as trade secrets, OIR can’t share them with the senators.

OIR suspended Allstate’s license to write new business in Florida because it failed to meet the January deadline in the subpoena. The order is under a temporary stay pending an appeal by the company.