UPDATE: On July 31 the FIRM’s attorneys at Oertel, Fernandez, Bryant and Atkinson filed a Reply Brief, a request for Oral Argument and a Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs on behalf of FIRM . The next step is that OIR will have an opportunity to file a response to the Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs by August 10, 2017. Sometime afterwards, we will either receive an order from the court scheduling a time for oral argument, or an order denying our appeal. The brief and requests have been added to the paper trail below.
Although the proposed rate increase for Monroe County for 2018 is smaller than in years past at 3.8%, FIRM contends that Monroe should not have any increase at all. We will attend the rate hearing this month once again to present our arguments.
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In an effort to avert the 8.9% increase in windstorm insurance rates schedule to take effect
across Monroe County Florida on February 1, FIRM petitioned on January 31 for the assignment of an independent Administrative Law Judge to conduct a formal administrative hearing on the issues raised by FIRM concerning the rate increase. The petition requests a delay in implementing the increase until the petition is heard.
The petition asserts that:
- the new rates are not affordable as required under Florida Statutes
- in violation of Florida law, the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) did not even consider whether the rates would be affordable
- OIR did not adequately review applicable hurricane loss projection models, and that these models are not tested for accuracy against actual losses
- OIR failed to consider Monroe County’s unique geography in calculating potential losses
- OIR did not adequately consider Monroe County’s paid premiums with its loss history–nearly $700 million dollars more in premiums over claims
- Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s methods and arbitrary authentication of models are unfair to Monroe County.
In accordance with the requirements of the administrative appeal process, FIRM previously sent letters of protest to Citizens and OIR requesting that those entities again review the proposed increase. Unsatisfactory responses to these early actions warranted yesterday’s petition. Copies of the petition and earlier letters are linked below.