Florida property insurers file rate reductions with state. But will your premiums fall?

Experts say rate reductions likely will not lead to lower premiums

A state program created after a special legislative session on property insurance is supposed to pass on savings to consumers.

A state statute required insurers to file their potential savings with the Office of Insurance regulation by June 30. Many companies have filed and there are reductions, but experts believe you might not see it in your premiums.

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Bronson and Elizabeth Collins said the latest increase in their property insurance premium was jaw-dropping.

“We were shocked and angry at such an increase,” Elizabeth Collins said.

“I renewed my premium,” Bronson Collins said. “And it had increased 46%.”

The 88-year-old said it went from $1,640 a year to $2,473.

“It just seemed unreasonable to see that much at one time,” Bronson Collins said.

The couple is by no means alone.

After a special legislative session, lawmakers passed SB-2D.

“Insurers that participate in the Reinsurance to Assist Policyholders or ‘RAP” program,” this year “shall reduce its rates to reflect the cost savings realized by participating in the program,” according to the statute.

Reinsurance is basically insurance for insurance companies, and like everything else, the cost has increased, according to insurers.

The idea behind the legislation is if insurers get reinsurance from the state that they don’t have to pay for, they’ll pass that savings along to consumers.

Insurers were required by statute to file those rate reductions “no later than June 30,” according to the statute.

“Unless we get some relief from the state. I don’t think it’s going to get better with any insurance company,” Bronson Collins said.

News 6 has learned that 69 insurance companies filed those rate reductions with the Office of Insurance Regulation.

We randomly selected a handful of companies to analyze.

Safepoint Insurance is proposing a 1.3% reduction in premium.

National Specialty Insurance Company is proposing a 2.6% reduction.

Slide Insurance company — a 5.7 % reduction.

American Reliable Insurance is proposing a 1.3% premium reduction.

There are highs and lows, but most companies seem to fall in the 1-2% percent range.

Paul Handerhan is the President of the Federal Association for Insurance Reform.

“If the rate benefit was a 1% reduction in costs, that’s not really meaningful,” Handerhan said.

These rate reductions, likely will not lead to you paying less for your premiums, according to Handerhan.

“You’re not going to go to the mailbox, pull your latest insurance renewal and see your rates going down.

For example, the Collins’ company has not filed a rate reduction for this year, but their latest increase in premiums was 46%, and his insurer requested a 48% increase from the Office of Insurance Regulation for next year — so reducing 1-2% wouldn’t really move the needle.

“If the goal was to reduce rates for consumers, certainly that’s not materializing,” Handerhan said.

“I just wonder how much money they wasted having their special session. I don’t think anything was accomplished,” Bronson said.

Republicans, who wrote and supported the legislation, said people should start seeing a decrease in their property insurance premiums in 12-18 months.

Meantime, if you would like to check to see if your insurer has filed a rate reduction, click here and follow these steps:

  1. Click the “Advanced Search” tab at the top of the page.
  2. Select “Property & Casualty”
  3. In the Keywords box enter “SB 2D: RAP Filing” and hit search.
  4. Companies will appear under the results tab.
  5. Find your company then click the arrow on the far left of the company’s name.
  6. Next click, the documents symbol under “Filing Actions.”
  7. Request the Explanatory Memorandum or the Actuarial memorandum. You will have to enter your email address and prove that you are not a robot by answering a numerical question, then the document will be emailed to you.

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About the Author:

Emmy Award-winning reporter Louis Bolden joined the News 6 team in September of 2001 and hasn't gotten a moment's rest since. Louis has been a General Assignment Reporter for News 6 and Weekend Morning Anchor. He joined the Special Projects/Investigative Unit in 2014.