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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

State Farm "encouraged" as McCarty professes optimisim



State Farm Florida said Friday it's encouraged by talks with Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty but the giant insurer is not reversing its plan to pull out of Florida's property insurance market.

"The fact is nothing has fundamentally changed," State Farm spokesman Chris Neal said. "We do believe we're having very productive negotiations, but what we're negotiating is the withdrawal of State Farm Florida Insurance. It's just that simple."

Neal said he was encouraged that McCarty acknowledges a desire to keep State Farm. Earlier, McCarty and Gov. Charlie Crist downplayed the loss of the insurer, saying that other Florida insurers could absorb most of the dropped State Farm policies. In an interview Thursday with the Palm Beach Post, McCarty said he's "cautiously optimistic" that State Farm will keep at least some of its homeowners policies in Florida.

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:05pm]


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