Hurricane Insurance

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

State Democrat lawmakers are stirring up the waters over potential homeowners insurance increases based upon companies' losses during four hurricanes in Florida last year.

The Democrats say potential insurance policyholders should have a dedicated representative arguing their case before state rate regulators. They also say companies shouldn't be allowed to drop long-time customers who haven't had claims.

Senator Ron Klein will file legislation requiring that companies keep policyholders who haven't filed claims in five years. His proposed law also would create an official watchdog who would intervene on behalf of consumers in rate cases.

Klein is a Democrat from Boca Raton.

Klein also proposes eliminating an arbitration panel that decides some insurance rate filings.

Many insurance industry officials say their companies can't afford to expose themselves to large amounts of hurricane risk in the state for the premiums they're allowed to charge.

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