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Florida Insurance (FL)

Florida Auto Insurance
The minimum coverage provided by Florida Insurance is $10,000, of personal injury protection (PIP), and $10,000 as property damage liability. This is applicable even in conditions of the vehicle remaining outside the state. The law does not provide any kind of exemption on any basis. In case we get involved in a crash, or are convicted for any kind of offence, we will be required to purchase a bodily injury liability coverage (BIL). Florida Insurance is applicable for any person, who is the owner of a four-wheeler.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, has been given the authorization to suspend our driving privilege, including suspension on the tags of the vehicles and also registration of the vehicles. This can be made for a period of three years, or until there is a proof of Florida Insurance being made, whichever comes earlier. In case the Florida License has been suspended, there is a reinstatement fee that is levied, of $150 to $500 for the many violations that are made.

Florida Office of Insurance
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation seeks to provide a competitive insurance market that helps to maintain the interests of the consumers, thereby providing all kinds of protection to the people who are buying insurance for the public.

The Florida Catastrophe Funds capacity was increased to $ 15 billion, as there was an increase in the amount of exposure. It was the same year, when Florida was hit by many hurricanes, causing huge scale destructions, amounting to $21 billion in losses and 1.66 million in claims.

In case you desire to contact the Office of the Florida Insurance Commissioner, you can at the following address
200 East Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0305

Florida Insurance Commissioner - Kevin M. McCarty
It was on January 9, 2003, that Kevin McCarty assumed the role of Commissioner in the office of Insurance Regulation. He had wide range of duties that included activities in the form of making requests, for increase or decrease in rates, providing financial oversight, making certain approvals and disapprovals in terms of the policy and the language of the policy. It was Kevin, who established different agency policies, making provisions for new and existing insurance entities that helped in market development and existence of new accounts.

Mr. McCarty is a holder of a law degree, from the Florida University, and began his career in public service from the year 1988.In the years, he has held different positions in the Department of Labor and Employment Security and also in the department of Insurance. He has been involved in a number of lectures, many seminars and also in a number of expert panels of the United States. He has been addressing a number of key issues related to insurance, in the United States and also around the world. It was in this department, that he was appointed as director of the Division of Insurer Services, which is a Division of Insurance Fraud and also the Division of Information Systems.

McCarty has also been able to devote a large amount of his time, with the National Association of the Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in the scope of a Chairman of Property and Casualty Committee. His main duty was to develop different kinds of regulatory standards that were made across the United States. It was Mr. McCarty who made an effort to establish an insurance fund that would help in creating a reserve fund for the different disasters that can occur anywhere around the world. He has also been working on the NAIC Terrorism Task Force, and also the Workers Compensation Task Force.

Florida Insurance Rates
The Insurance Community in Florida, has been paying millions of dollars each year in terms of hospital bills as doctor care, in terms of workers compensation, on different repairs and medical treatments, on damages caused due to natural calamities in the form of accidents, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes also. There is a huge cost of providing these services, as some of these expenses are constantly increasing, thereby causing an increase of the rates in the premium of the different insurance companies. Consumers usually do not like to pay any amount in the form of Insurance premium, therefore in any case of distortion of facts of the insurance industry, it becomes quite easy to blame the Insurance Companies. There has been an increase in the different perception premiums, as there are many insurance companies, who are reaping huge profits. It is a well-known fact that the insurance rates rise with the rise in the increase of claims.

Most of the Insurance premium that is collected is used to pay amounts to the doctors, different hospitals and other pharmacies. There is an estimate that 85 % of the amount being paid to doctors and other pharmacies while the rest 15 % is paid to different agents, commissions and salaries.15 % to 20 % of the profits of the Insurance remains constant, but the payment of the claims do not remain constant, thus making the insurance rates much higher.

There are many Insurance companies, who are involved in many private businesses, thereby making profits in such businesses, in order to survive and make such claims. The profit that is earned through this is considered to be highly regulated and controlled. There are rates for the different lines of insurance that are required to be approved by the office of Insurance Regulation. The maximum return is usually 5%, with more than 2 to 3 % returns made on actual basis. There are many profit laws existing that require automatic rollback, when the maximum profit level increases.

It was in the 1990s, that flat rates of auto insurance were introduced from one year to another, which gradually decreased in the next few years. This led to a number of frauds, over utilization and any litigation that had taken over many policies such as Personal Injury Protection Policy. It was observed that the average claim of Florida had risen to 33 % in the five year period. There was an estimation made of the different loss costs that increased 35 % for PIP, and saw an increase of 18% in case of bodily Injury Insurance. It was noted by the Select Senate Committee, that Florida is the fourth highest in the State in PIP and Bl loss costs. This is ranked as per thirteen states that have insurance laws with no faults.

As per a report by The Office of Insurance Regulation, the top 10 private auto insurers raised their rates of auto insurance, by an average rate of 5.2 percent, for the year 2003, in comparison to 15.6 % for the year 2002 and 8 % in the year 2001.There is hope that auto insurance rates will increase in the near future, but still many problems continue to remain with PIP.

Florida Homeowners Insurance
The Homeowners Insurance rates are high in Florida, and ranked third in the country after Texas and Louisiana. The main reason for high insurance rates is the risks that are associated with hurricanes. Florida is located in the hurricane zone, as it is exposed to the coastline, with huge concentration of population, along with high rises and other types of concentration towards the coastline. Insurance companies pay almost 55 % of each dollar for the hurricane damaged state of Florida. The most expensive hurricane, which was a category four or five hurricane struck Florida in the year 1992.This hurricane, called Hurricane Andrew had cost the insurance companies $ 21 billion in losses. After this hurricane struck Florida, insurance rates of the homeowners increased by nearly 100%, and in southeast Florida the rate soared 200%. This increase in the rates was very much essential, as the homeowners insurance were under priced in Florida.

As per the OIR reports, the top ten insurers had raised their rates at an average of 2.7 % in 2003, and 22 % in 2002 and 3 % in the year. The recent increases are due to many high claim payments that are made due to factors like mold and water damage, along with the need of some carriers that help to keep certain funds aside.

A question often arises about the roll of the industry in order to control the costs that are involved with homeowners insurance. Some of the major insurance companies are working with Kevin Mc Carty and Tom Gallagher, who is the Chief Financial Officer. There was a special fund established that was known as The Cat Fund, that was established just after the Hurricane has hit Florida.