Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dept. Of Insurance Reveals State Farm Rate Hikes

Carrier Seeks To Block On-Line Revelations Through Lawsuit

Insurance consumers will be able to get rate setting information
from a website maintained by the state regulatory agency that
rides herd on carriers.

State Farm Lloyds petitioned a Travis County state district
court to keep the Texas Department of Insurance from disclosing
rate setting information on its website.

Officials have said these revelations are pubic information.

Terming as "unprecedented" the practice of revealing the
processes of the company's record double rate hikes of 4.5
percent and 8.8 percent over the past year, State Farm sought
relief in court.

According to the TDI website:

"(March 2010) On March 2, 2010, State Farm Lloyds made a rate
filing for a 4.5% increase in its homeowners’ insurance premium
rates. The filing states that the new rates will be effective on
May 1, 2010 for new business and June 1, 2010 for renewals.
A link to this rate filing, along with supporting information, is
available below. Portions of the filings deemed confidential by
State Farm are temporarily excluded from the online posting. The
company has petitioned the Travis County District Court for an
order declaring that the excluded information is confidential and
not subject to public disclosure.

"On July 15, 2009, State Farm Lloyds made a rate filing for an
8.8% increase in its homeowners premium rates (effective
September 1, 2009)."

The state insurance department explained the new practice in an
on-line article.

"In order to provide more information to the public regarding
rates, TDI will now post rate filings for homeowners insurance
companies on its website. The ultimate goal is to provide greater
understanding of the regulatory process, and promote rate
responsiveness and price competition in the market. Initially,
the rate filings of market leaders in Texas will be posted. As
resources and time permit, rate filings of other companies
writing homeowners insurance may be posted."

State Farm has been ordered to repay $331 million in premiums, a
figure negotiated down from a record of $1 billion ordered

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