Larger workers’ comp rate drop ordered
To be sure, there’s a plethora of insurance issues that the new Florida Legislature will face as well. We’ve chronicled many of them in these pages over the past months, including a few that incoming Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) says he wants to tackle. They include needed homeowners insurance reform, as we outlined in our last newsletter. Making news this past week, regulatory action from OIR and the passing of the baton at one of Florida’s premier insurance companies.
For an excellent recap of the state of Florida’s homeowners insurance market and its myriad challenges, we recommend Amy O’Connor’s excellent series last week in the Insurance Journal, aptly titled Florida Property Insurance Market Inches Closer to Crisis – Part 1 and Part 2.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has issued an Order to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) requesting an amended rate filing to further reduce workers’ compensation rates for 2021. The Order notifies NCCI that its rate filing submitted for a 5.7% rate decrease has been disapproved and if amended, will be approved with a larger rate decrease of 6.6%.
OIR also issued an Emergency Order to property insurance companies regarding Hurricane Sally, which struck the far western Panhandle of Florida on September 16. The order prohibits companies from cancelling or non-renewing personal residential or commercial residential policies covering property damaged from the storm for up to 90 days following repair. Sally made landfall just 30 miles west of Pensacola at Gulf Shores, Alabama as a Category 2 hurricane, with up to two feet of deluging rain and 105 mph winds. AIR Worldwide has estimated Sally’s insured losses will range from $1 billion to $3 billion.
Bruce Lucas, who co-founded Heritage Insurance Company of Clearwater, will be stepping down from his role as Chairman and CEO at the end of this month. He says he wants to pursue insurance technology, which he believes is the future of this industry. In the eight years he’s been at the Heritage helm, this insurance pioneer has built a strong organization, growing revenue to $1 billion. Its president, Richard Widdicombe, will become chairman. Current COO Ernie Garateix will take over as CEO. We wish Bruce the very best in his future endeavors and Rich and Ernie much success as well.
LMA Newsletter of 11-9-20