Make us your home page

Motion lets Allstate sell policies for two more days

Allstate Insurance Corp. bought itself at least two more days to keep peddling new policies in Florida.

The state's fourth-largest property and second-largest auto insurer late Monday filed a 47-page motion asking the 1st District Court of Appeal to rehear its suspension by state insurance regulators. Allstate would have had to stop writing all types of new insurance policies in Florida immediately had it failed to meet Monday's court deadline to review the case.

"We are still open for business until the court makes a ruling," Allstate spokeswoman Amy Moore said. "We filed by the deadline to preserve our legal rights and to give us time to have our position heard.

Insurance commissioner Kevin McCarty in January ordered Allstate to stop writing new business, contending the company did not comply with state-issued subpoenas. Allstate won a stay of the order, and although the appeals court recently sided with regulators and reinstated the order, the court allowed Allstate to file for a rehearing.

In seeking another hearing, Allstate cited the issue of attorney-client privilege and whether regulators had the authority to suspend its license.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has until 5 p.m. Wednesday to respond to Allstate's motion.

Moore said Allstate has already produced more than 400,000 documents, "and we're still working diligently to get OIR everything they need."

Regulators want to know why Allstate, the largest publicly traded U.S. home and auto insurer, has not complied with legislation passed last year that directs insurance companies to lower their homeowner rates. Allstate had asked to raise its homeowner rates an average of 42 percent statewide, the largest increase of any major insurer. That request was denied in November, and the company has since voluntarily withdrawn it.

Because Allstate has dropped more than 400,000 policies over the last four years, McCarty said stopping the Northbrook, Ill., insurer from writing new homeowner business would have had little financial impact.

But add the company's lucrative auto line and the stakes change. Although existing policies would not be affected and the company could continue to renew policies, regulators say a suspension of auto business could eventually loom large. The second-largest auto insurer in Florida, behind State Farm, Allstate's 1.7-million auto policies represent more than three-quarters of the company's business in Florida.

Allstate sells about 3,500 new auto policies a week statewide. The company wrote nearly $2-billion worth of auto insurance in Florida in 2006, the last year for which statistics are available

Regulators said Monday that they expected Allstate would ask for a rehearing, and argue that the insurer has had three months to produce the documents.

"They have never requested an extension," said OIR spokesman Ed Domansky. "At this point, the stay could be lifted if the court denies the motion, or it could remain in effect until the matter is completely resolved.

"Commissioner McCarty will continue to pursue this matter until Allstate has complied with the subpoenas."

Tom Zucco can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8247.


What's next

Insurance regulators have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to respond to Allstate's latest motion. The 1st District Court of Appeal could rule in favor of Allstate and grant a rehearing, or deny the request. With a denial, Allstate could be suspended from writing new business in Florida. The company could still take its case to the Florida Supreme Court.

Motion lets Allstate sell policies for two more days 04/14/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 6:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients


    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel


    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal


    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate


    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]