Legislators on Thursday will continue debating merits of ‘surplus lines’ insurance bill

Feb 29, 2012

The following article was published in the Palm Beach Post on February 29, 2012: 

Legislators on Thursday will continue debating merits of ‘surplus lines’ insurance bill

By Charles Elmore

The Florida Senate will resume debate Thursday on a bill to move Citizens insurance customers to “surplus lines” companies whose rates are unregulated.

The Senate has taken up the bill passed by the House (HB 245) and is considering amendments before a final vote.

“This is huge issue that’s going to affect 1.5 million policyholders,” said Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, who was among those questioning sponsors today .

Bill sponsor Garrett Richter, R-Naples, acknowledged surplus-lines companies do not need the permission of state regulators to raise rates and there was no state agency to field complaints about them if the insurers do not pay.

He said the companies would need to show they have $50 million in surplus among qualifications. The main goal is to shrink Citizens, he said.

That’s one reason why the bill is set up so customers have to “opt out” to remain with Citizens rather than “opt in” to choose the new carrier, he said.

“Because we’re trying to set up the bill for success,” Richter said.

Leave it to State Senator Richter – who just happens to be a banker – to sponsor a Bill who will shift policyholders to companies that can raise your insurance rates at anytime without receiving approval by industry regulators!

This is the same guy who is also trying to constrain and minimize your monetary rights & freedom of choice for injury treatment under the auto no-fault reform Bill in the Senate, SB1860!

Email him today & tell him NO!

Find this article here:  http://www.palmbeachpost.com/storm/legislators-on-thursday-will-continue-debating-merits-of-2207884.html