McCarty cites Allstate’s “blatant disregard” after the insurer submits objections to subpoenas

Florida insurance commissioner Kevin McCarty has announced that he is suspending the certificate of authority of Allstate Companies to write new insurance in Florida until it fully complies with the subpoenas served 16 October by the Office of Insurance Regulation.

"In view of Allstate's ongoing, blatant disregard of our subpoenas, I have little choice but to take an action that will send a clear message about how seriously I am taking this issue," said Commissioner McCarty. "Suspending their certificate of authority to write new business in our state should make my point.

The decision by the commissioner follows Tuesday's action when he abruptly halted the scheduled two-day hearing into the Allstate Companies’ reinsurance programme, its relationships with risk modelling companies, insurance rating organisations and insurance trade associations.

"If Allstate is willing to pay $25,000 per day in fines to a Missouri court for its ongoing failure to provide similar documents, it's obvious to me that it will take more than a monetary sanction to get them to comply with our subpoenas," added McCarty.

Allstate was to have provided all appropriate company documents related to the above topics at or before Tuesday’s hearing, but failed to do so, according to McCarty. Instead, the commissioner received 51 pages of objections to the subpoenas.

The suspension applies to Allstate Insurance Co, Allstate Indemnity Co and Allstate Property and Casualty Co, and it only suspends the companies from writing new business in Florida.

Existing policyholders will not be affected. Allstate must continue to service them and the companies must make all required statutory filings including, but not limited to, audited annual financial statements, quarterly financial statements and rate filings.

"The duration of the suspension is up to them," added McCarty. "It will be lifted when I am satisfied that we have received each and every document we need to properly investigate the important issues before us.

"It continues to trouble me that Allstate has not complied with our subpoenas and is not willing to explain to us their relationships with rating agencies, modelling companies and trade groups and how these relationships might have influenced the huge rate increases they have requested. This clearly cannot be in the best interests of Florida consumers."

This is the first time the commissioner's office has suspended a company for failure to "freely" provide documents as required by Florida law.