brier January 22, 2014 No Comments

Florida’s top insurance regulator says that state residents are starting to benefit from a more competitive homeowners market as rates have started to trend downward due in part to the reduction in reinsurance costs.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty released a 13-page Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) report finding that some of the state’s largest property insurers are starting to lower their overall rates as the result of falling reinsurance rates.

“The good news reflected in this report is that the trend in Florida homeowners market is positive,” wrote McCarty. “Florida homeowners are benefiting from lower reinsurance costs and the market as a whole is more robust and competitive.”

McCarty’s report was in response to a letter by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater last August in which the Cabinet officer questioned why after a decade of rising homeowners premiums due primarily to rising reinsurance costs, those premiums are not being reduced due to a corresponding drop in reinsurance expenses.

“If insurance companies can justifiably raise rates on Florida families because the reinsurance market drives the cost up, they can certainly lower the cost for Florida families when reinsurance prices fall,” said Atwater.

Atwater wrote that “Floridians not only deserve an explanation for why they have not seen any savings to date, they also deserve to quickly begin seeing property insurance savings in their bills.”

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