Florida Insurance Commissioner Addresses Industry, Regulators On Cat Issues At NAIC Meeting

Sep 25, 2007

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty addressed fellow regulators and insurance industry members at yesterday’s National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (“NAIC”) Southeast Zone meeting in Mobile, Ala.  His remarks are accessible below. 


The meeting was designed as a public hearing to address insurance issues in coastal zones.


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Commissioner McCarty Addresses Regulators And Industry On Catastrophe Issues


MOBILE, Ala. (09/24/2007) – Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty today addressed fellow regulators, congressional leaders, members of the insurance industry and the media as part of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Southeast Zone meeting in Mobile, Ala.


Although the focus of the meeting was the affordability and availability of property insurance, Commissioner McCarty’s opening remarks encompassed a wide range of catastrophe issues including the National Flood Insurance Program and the California Earthquake Authority.


The hearing provided McCarty with another forum to tout the need for a comprehensive national plan, and a national catastrophe fund.


“The United States remains one of the few industrialized countries without a national catastrophe plan,” remarked McCarty. “The interest expressed today by regulators from other states shows that hurricanes and other catastrophic events are not a Florida problem – they are a national problem that requires a national solution.”


As the NAIC Southeast Zone Chairman, McCarty co-hosted the event with Alabama Insurance Commissioner Walter Bell. Commissioners from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina also were in attendance.  Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon of Louisiana thanked McCarty for his assistance and guidance following Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.


U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) and U.S. Rep Tim Mahoney (R-Fla.) and members of the industry also offered testimony to a crowd of nearly 100 at the four-hour public meeting at the Battle House Renaissance Hotel in downtown Mobile.


Interested parties can view a copy of Commissioner McCarty’s opening remarks by clicking here.  



The NAIC press release regarding yesterday’s meeting is below:


Insurance Commissioners Hold Coastal Issues Public Hearing

Goal is to Find Solutions, Achieve Stability for Coastal Insurance Markets

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Sept. 20, 2007) — National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) President and Alabama Insurance Commissioner Walter Bell, along with other members of the NAIC’s Southeastern Zone, is holding a public hearing to address insurance issues in coastal zones. Bell — along with state insurance regulators from Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina — will host the hearing on Monday, Sept. 24.


“There are pressing needs in the Gulf states. Rates are rising and consumers are having their policies cancelled or non-renewed.” Bell said. “Our goals are to seek input on the steps that we, as insurance regulators, will take to help ensure the affordability and availability of insurance for America’s consumers — as well as bring stability to the coastal insurance market.”


In addition to increasing deductibles and introducing other coverage limitations, insurers have been withdrawing from coastal markets by cancelling or non-renewing policies. Further, the cost of the insurance products in the Gulf Coast area is rapidly rising.

U.S. Representative Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) is scheduled to attend the NAIC public hearing. In addition, representatives from Travelers, State Farm, RenaissanceRe, Municipal Bond Insurance Association (MBIA) and ProtectingAmerica.org are scheduled to provide testimony. Additional witnesses are pending.


“The intent of the hearing is not to cast blame or disparage insurers for past actions,” Bell added. “State insurance regulators want to work together with the industry and interested parties to achieve stability in the marketplace. We face common problems that call for a collective solution.”


The public hearing will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 24, in Mobile, Ala., at The Battle House Renaissance Hotel, 26 N. Royal Street.