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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Nelson dogged by insurance question



For weeks, in races from governor to state legislator, candidates from both parties have blamed Bill Nelson's decision in 1998 to allow national insurance companies to create Florida-only subsidiaries for Florida's skyrocketing insurance rates. Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist repeated the charge again this week. And Nelson's Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris, has made it a central part of her campaign.

But the rhetoric doesn't match the reality. And off the campaign trail, even some who have criticized Nelson's decision acknowledge a less sensational reality, which is also embraced by regulators and industry insiders: Allowing Florida-only subsidiaries, known as "pup" companies, so far hasn't changed how Florida's property insurance market has performed for consumers - though someday it could. And most believe permitting the subsidiaries has kept more private insurance investments in Florida, providing more competition and lower rates. Full story here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:47pm]


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