Florida Passes Deregulation of Certain Commercial Lines Insurance

May 3, 2010

Florida lawmakers, who turned aside efforts to deregulate home insurance prices, have passed legislation aimed at deregulating certain commercial property/casualty insurance rates.

They also made changes to the state’s own workers’ compensation program.

The commercial lines deregulation bill that passed, SB 2176, excludes certain categories of commercial insurance from the rate filing and approval process. Current state law exempts only those policies with annual premiums above $500,000 in addition to other criteria.

Under the bill, categories of insurance that will be exempt from the filing and approval process include excess or umbrella, surety and fidelity, commercial auto, and directors and officers liability.

Under SB 2176, insurers will still be required to develop rates that are subject to legal standards of not being excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory.

The bill now goes to Gov. Charlie Crist for his signature.

The bill has had the strong support of commercial insurers doing business in Florida.

“This legislation will help insurers more quickly respond to the needs of Florida’s businesses that require a competitive and healthy commercial insurance market,” said Cecil Pearce, American Insurance Association vice president of state affairs, Southeast region. “We are hopeful that Gov. Crist will sign this bill into law when it reaches his desk.”

Lawmakers unanimously passed a bill to strengthen the state’s risk management program and reduce workers’ compensation costs to the state.

Based on CFO Alex Sink’s recommendations, key elements of this legislation include:

  • Establishing return-to-work programs for certain state agencies
    Basing agency premiums on actual loss experience and loss prevention results
    Gives CFO Sink’s Division of Risk Management the responsibility to evaluate state agencies’ risk management programs as well as recommend corrective authority

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