Crist likely to veto insurance billby Dara Kam | June 3rd, 2009
Gov. Charlie Crist said today he will likely veto an insurance deregulation bill that consumer advocates charge will lead to rate increases.
Crist said he will probably not sign HB 1171 that would give carte blanche to insurers with more than $200 million in surplus to raise rates.
“The odds are not. But I haven’t made a final decision,” he said.
Department of Insurance Regulation chief Kevin McCarty urged Crist to veto the bill in a letter sent last month and last week saying that it would unfairly benefit large insurers and destabilize the insurance market.
It would also give a leg up to State Farm, the insurer that is canceling its Florida homeowners policies because McCarty rejected its rate increase requests, McCarty said.
State Farm was overexposed in Florida and would likely have canceled the policies regardless of how much they were allowed to charge, McCarty said.
“In fact, State Farm and other companies may actually use excessive rates to effectively non-renew policyholders under the ruse of consumer choice,” McCarty wrote.