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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

State Farm to Crist: Sign HB 1171, we might 're-examine' options



State Farm executives are finally weighing in on HB 1171 and how it might affect their plans to exit the property insurance market in Florida.

Jim Thompson of State Farm has sent Gov. Charlie Crist a letter urging him to sign the legislation loosening state rate regulations on large property insures like State Farm. Perhaps most significantly, Thompson writes that if HB 1171 were to become law, "State Farm would be willing to re-examine its options" for dealing with the company's "rapidly deteriorating financial condition" in the Sunshine State.

Bill supporters say the legislation would allow a company like State Farm to charge what it needs to charge to cover losses -- while giving consumers the choice of paying more for a proven company like State Farm that they are confident in.

The State Farm letter is the latest in a growing collection of letters from industry groups for and against the bill that would loosen state regulation on large property insurers seeking to raise their rates. Small insurers want him to kill HB 1171, while larger organizations like the Florida Chamber, TaxWatch, AIF, etc. are urging him to pass it.

Read the State Farm letter here: Download StatefarmletterHB1171

Two more letters came in recent days from the Florida Chamber and CEOs of several major companies throughout Florida: Download HB_1171_CEO_Letter_ and Download HB1171Chamber

And a letter from the National Consumer Federation urging a veto: Download NationalConsumerHB1171 letter

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:48pm]


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