Make us your home page

First Community Insurance seeks 27% rate hike for homeowners insurance

Even in a year flush with property insurance rate hikes, this one sticks out.

First Community Insurance, a subsidiary of St. Petersburg-based Bankers Insurance Co., wants to raise homeowners insurance rates an average of 26.7 percent, among the highest requests of the year.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has scheduled a hearing for 1 p.m. today in Tallahassee to consider the proposal. The hearing comes the same day that the office's boss, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, is convening a half-day symposium in Orlando to discuss the outlook for Florida's property insurance market, which remains fragile despite four consecutive mild hurricane seasons.

Insurers have said the lack of hurricane damage payouts has done little to help their bottom line. Many insurers have either cut back exposure in Florida or sought rate increases this year, citing cost drivers like fraud, windstorm mitigation discounts and higher reinsurance. Reinsurance refers to an added layer of coverage that insurers buy to protect themselves from catastrophic claims.

In its request, First Community said a nearly 27 percent rate increase is justified in part because its lowest rates currently are in hurricane-prone parts of the state. It stopped writing dwelling fire policies with wind exposure in southeast Florida in June because of the rate imbalance, the company said. It also noted higher reinsurance costs and the financial impact of doling out windstorm mitigation discounts.

Among more than 100 homeowners' rate filings with the state so far this year, only two requests have been higher.

A 30.2 percent request from Northern Capital was withdrawn, while a 33.3 percent rate request for Castle Key Insurance was cut down to 18.7 percent by regulators.

First Community has about 61,000 policies statewide, including 2,000 in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

. If you go

The Florida Channel will cover the rate hearing at 1 p.m. today on its website at Select TFC Web 2. To see it live in Tallahassee, go to the Sen. Jim King Committee Room, 401 Senate Office Building.

First Community Insurance seeks 27% rate hike for homeowners insurance 10/20/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 10:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rick Scott appoints 'my friend,' Jimmy Patronis, as Florida CFO

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Monday appointed a long-time friend and political supporter, Jimmy Patronis, to replace Jeff Atwater as Florida's next chief financial officer, making him one of three members of the Cabinet that sets state policy on a wide range of issues. He'll take over Friday.

    Rick Scott appoints Jimmy Patronis (background) as CFO. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Local gas prices plummet as Fourth of July holiday travel approaches


    TAMPA — Local gas prices are enjoying an unseasonal dip around the $2 mark just in time for the hectic Fourth of July holiday travel weekend.

    The price of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped to $1.99 at a Rally station on Pasadena Ave. South and Gulfport Boulevard South, South Pasadena.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. Air bag recalls, lawsuits lead Takata to file for bankruptcy


    Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., saying it was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people.

    Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. CEO Shigehisa Takada bows during a press conference in Tokyo on Monday. Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of defective air bag inflators.
[(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi]
  4. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.


    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.

  5. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]