The Florida insurance regulator has denied the rate requests of three insurers for “not substantially lowering their prices”

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has denied the rate requests of three companies for not substantially lowering their property insurance rates.

It said the rates were not acceptable under new legislation passed in February.

The insurers are Cypress Property & Casualty, First Floridian Auto and Home and Travelers Indemnity Company of America.

"Governor Crist and the Legislature made some courageous decisions during the January Special Session," said insurance commissioner Kevin McCarty, "and we will not allow companies to file incomplete or inadequate rate reductions affecting the policyholders of this state."

The regulator sent Notices of Intent to deny the rate filings “because the reduced rates filed did not adequately reflect all of the savings realised when the state offered less expensive reinsurance to companies last spring”.

“We will not allow companies to file incomplete or inadequate rate reductions affecting the policyholders of this state

Kevin McCarty

"House Bill 1A made $12bn of less expensive reinsurance available from the state, and the law requires the insurance companies to pass along that savings to their policyholders in the form of lower rates," said McCarty. "Not to be invested in extra, duplicative reinsurance contracts or profit margins."

The regulator has also postponed a public hearing for State Farm Florida Insurance Company, State Farm Florida Fire and Casualty Insurance Company and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.

The regulator issued subpoenas directing the three companies to appear in Tallahassee to answer questions about its business practices.

It says the companies failed to provide all of the information requested in the subpoenas by the date set forth in the subpoenas and has therefore postponed the hearings.