Aug. 11 Public Hearing Scheduled in Bradenton, Fla. to Gauge Commercial Insurance Woes

August 9, 2006

A public hearing to gauge the scope and nature of the burgeoning commercial insurance crisis in Florida has been scheduled held Friday Aug. 11 from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. in Bradenton, Fla. by Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. During testimony data will be compiled on commercial insurance problems faced by Florida businesses.

The hearing, sponsored by Bradenton Rep. Bill Galvano, will be held at the Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive, in Holmes Beach, Fla.

“We have heard from the governor’s office as well as numerous lawmakers from around the state about how difficult accessing commercial property insurance has become,” McCarty said. “An online poll conducted by the Office of Insurance mirrored the concerns forwarded by policymakers, therefore, I want to hear from commercial property owners, insurance agents and businessmen and women who are having these difficulties face-to-face.”

The online poll conducted by the office found that of the 1,900 respondents, 42 percent were either cancelled or non-renewed by their insurer in the last six months and 32 percent were able to secure new coverage but with generally much higher rates, less coverage or both. Some of the respondents said they may relocate their businesses to other states due to insurance difficulties.

McCarty recently presented a draft plan to the governor and Cabinet to help Florida businesses that cannot find adequate insurance coverage to protect their commercial property.

In his presentation, McCarty said that under existing law the state can form an association to help provide commercial property coverage if enough businesses appeal to the state because they cannot access adequate insurance.

The Office of Insurance is now drafting a rule to create such an association to present to the Cabinet at its meeting Aug. 15th.

Interested parties who cannot attend the hearing can submit written testimony to the office by email at with Bradenton Town Hall in the subject line of the email.

Source: Florida Department of Insurance

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