CEI Questions FL Insurance Commissioner’s 'gut feeling' on State Farm

CEI Questions FL Insurance Commissioner’s 'gut feeling' on State Farm

'Nothing has changed'
July 10, 2009

Tallahassee,
Florida, July 10, 2009—The
Florida Office director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Insurance
Project today questioned the basis for Commissioner Kevin McCarty’s “gut
feeling” that State Farm will reverse course and remain offering property
insurance in the state.

“I
am not aware that anything in Florida
has changed from yesterday, a week ago, or even a year ago,” said Florida
Insurance Project director Christian
Cámara
. “Florida continues to be
unwelcome territory for nationally recognized insurance carriers that would
bring the state much-needed capital. This is evident from the commissioner’s
actions over the past few years and even the governor’s own hostile,
anti-market rhetoric.” 

Earlier
today, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that Insurance Commissioner
Kevin McCarty said he had a “gut feeling” that the state’s largest private
insurer may continue writing property insurance policies in Florida despite its
declared intention and formal steps taken to withdraw from the state
entirely. Last month at Commissioner McCarty’s suggestion, Governor
Charlie Crist vetoed this year’s one piece of market-freeing legislation that
would have likely kept State Farm from leaving Florida and incentivized other large
carriers to compete in the state.

“Unless
the legislature rightfully pursues a veto override, as far as we know the
insurance crisis in Florida
remains unchanged.  As for the commissioner’s assessment on State Farm, it
appears his gut may be off kilter,” said Cámara. 

CEI is
a non-profit, non-partisan free-market public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited
government. For more information about CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.