Allstate Ruling Delayed Until Tuesday

Apr 23, 2008

The Tampa Tribune--April 23, 2008


TALLAHASSEE – Allstate Corp. is preparing for both favorable and unfavorable rulings on its ability to conduct new business in Florida after an appeals court erroneously released a decision late Monday that could have meant trouble for the insurer.

The 1st District Court of Appeal late Monday appeared to uphold state Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty’s order in January suspending Allstate’s business licenses. McCarty accuses Allstate of failing to cooperate with subpoenas issued by the Office of Insurance Regulation, which is investigating homeowners insurance rate-setting.

But the court quickly withdrew the order. On Tuesday, court clerk Jon Wheeler stated that a "clerical error" led to the release, and according to court procedures, the earliest permissible release date is next Tuesday. The court will now take "its full time authorized by court rules to consider the motion," Wheeler wrote in a statement, and "a new order … will be released at a later time."

That doesn’t mean the result will be the same, said Allstate spokeswoman Amy Moore.

"It’s really hard to speculate on what the outcome of the ruling will be before it is issued," she said. However, "we have to look at both outcomes at this point."

Moore said Allstate is cooperating with the Office of Insurance Regulation to produce the documents the agency says it needs.