Hawaii Regulator Orders Homeowners Insurers to File New Rates

July 18, 2011

Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Gordon I. Ito has ordered all homeowner insurers to submit new rate filings after a Insurance Division review found that rates were “excessive” when compared to National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) data.

Ito recently issued a memorandum on June 8, 2011, notifying homeowner insurers that they must submit their filings for the Insurance Division’s review and approval.

“After reviewing the most recent data, I concluded that rates should not be this high for homeowners who are struggling during these tough economic times,” Ito said. “We are looking out for homeowners to ensure they are being treated fairly. By implementing rate reductions, the Insurance Division seeks to help homeowners keep more money that is theirs and in turn, this will contribute in turning Hawaii’s economy around.”

In reviewing the latest data from the NAIC, Ito found that for all Hawaii insurers, the losses incurred are significantly below the national average and far below the levels necessary for insurers to earn reasonable rates of return.

By law, homeowner insurers have until Oct. 6, 2011, to make their new filings or risk the possibility of sanctions.

The memorandum does not apply to hurricane rates, which is a separate line of insurance. The memo may be found at www.hawaii.gov/dcca/ins/commissioners_memo/Commissioner_Memorandum_2011-1R.pdf.

DCCA’s Insurance Division oversees the Hawaii insurance industry by issuing licenses, examining the fiscal condition of Hawaii-based companies, reviewing the rate and policy filings, and investigating insurance-related complaints.

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