State Farm Execs Explain Decision to Leave Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The president of State Farm Florida says the insurer has lost hundreds of millions of dollars in Florida in recent years and is at too much risk to continue writing property insurance in the state.

Jim Thompson told the House Insurance, Business & Financial Affairs Policy Committee on Tuesday that the company must stop its financial bleeding to ensure it could pay off future claims.

State Farm's repeated requests for higher premiums have been rejected by Florida regulators. The company announced last week
that it would begin the process of dropping approximately 1.2 million property insurance customers over the next two years.

Thompson told the lawmakers that it was a day the company hoped
would never come.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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