Financial Services Commission Meeting 4/24/06

Jan 10, 2007

On April 21, 2006, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) held a meeting. The FSC consists of Governor Jeb Bush, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, Attorney General Charlie Crist and Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson.

The FSC approved three administrative rule-related agenda items. The first agenda item that was approved was the adoption of amendments to Rule 69O-149.205 related to Indemnity Standard Risk Rate, Rule 69O-149.206 related to Preferred Provider/Exclusive Provider Standard Risk Rates and Rule 69O-149.207 related to Health Maintenance Organization Standard Risk Rates. The amended rules provide guidelines regarding what rate an insurer can charge for a converted individual policy. A conversion policy is a policy an insurer is required to provide to an insured whose insurance under a group policy has been terminated for specific reasons.

The FSC approved the adoption of new Rule 69O-170.0195 related to Reasonable Degree of Competition Criteria � Monroe County. The Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) is required by statute to establish criteria to be utilized in determining whether a reasonable degree of competition exists for homeowners insurance in Monroe County. The rule is in response to this statutory mandate.

CFO Gallagher voiced his concern for increasingly high Citizens’ rates in Monroe County. Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty emphasized that by law Citizens must have non-competitive rates with the private marketplace; however, there is no private market in Monroe County. Commissioner McCarty stated that Citizens’ rates can only be adjusted prospectively, and that OIR will require Citizens to make a new rate filing in the coming weeks in order to determine the factors used in Citizens’ rate filing and whether the rates are actuarially sound in Monroe County.

A representative from Monroe County stated that Citizens is essentially the only insurer in Monroe County, and windstorm premiums from Citizens in the County are the highest in the state. The representative emphasized that the building codes in Monroe County are the strictest in the state and requested that the rates be rolled back to the 2005 rates, an actuarial study be undertaken to determine whether Citizens’ rates take into account Monroe County’s building codes and a portion of the sales tax revenues go to provide relief to Monroe County insureds. In response to these requests, Governor Bush stated that the Senate and House of Representatives were currently debating their respective property insurance bills, and that it is likely that a portion of sales tax revenues will be allocated to such matters and that a grading system will be used for homeowner’s policies, where homes with higher building codes will receive lower premiums.

The FSC also approved for adoption new Rule 69O-189.016 related to Filing Procedures for Workers� Compensation Classifications, Rules, Rates, Rating Plans, Deviations and Forms. The rule sets out the procedures used by OIR to approve workers’ compensation rates. In addition, the Rule provides for the filing of workers’ compensation rates by I-file and references the necessary forms to be reviewed and approved by OIR.