• Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to Prepare January 2013 Reports on Citizens Property Insurance, Personal Injury Protection for Senate Banking and Insurance Committee
  • December 7, 2012
  • Law Firm: Colodny Fass Talenfeld Karlinsky Abate Webb P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Office
  • The Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance ("Committee") met today, December 5, 2012.

    After introductions, the Chairman, Senator David Simmons, stated that some areas of the insurance market are "broken," and that Florida needs a competitive insurance market. He added that Citizens Property Insurance Corporation ("Citizens") has too much exposure, and the assessments are a burden on all Floridians. The first thing the Committee should do, he said, is analyze the real risk of Citizens, which has an unfair advantage over the private market, because it has a large assessment potential to generate claims-paying funds.

    Chairman Simmons also stated that he would like to take a "hard look" at Personal Injury Protection ("PIP") insurance. He questioned whether PIP was a redundant coverage because of provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA"). PIP needs to be analyzed from a different viewpoint, and it may be time to repeal it, he said.

    Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty then addressed the Committee, giving a broad overview of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation's ("OIR") functions and source of its funding.

    Urging stakeholders to participate, Chairman Simmons then asked Commissioner McCarty to work on recommendations for property insurance reform and set a deadline of January 2013 for the OIR to submit a report.

    Senator Joe Negron, one of the sponsors of the 2012 PIP reform bill (HB 119), asked whether PIP insurers are reducing their rates as mandated by the legislation. Commissioner McCarty stated that some companies took 10 percent off their PIP rates, while others took 10 percent off their indicated rates. He noted that a big part of the new law does not take effect until January 1, 2013.

    Chairman Simmons also requested that the OIR submit a detailed report on PIP to the Committee later during January 2013.