Allstate has put about 150,000 pages of documents related to its pricing policy on its Web site, but it didn’t appear Monday to satisfy the state, which has suspended the insurance giant’s right to do new business in Florida.
State regulators have accused Allstate of not being forthcoming in responding to information requested in subpoenas about how it sets its premiums. The state Office of Insurance Regulation wants documents to determine why Allstate’s property insurance rates didn’t drop after a state law designed to reduce premiums.
The company has said all along it was working to supply the documents the agency wants. But after a meeting in January when company officials didn’t supply the information regulators asked for, the agency moved to suspend the company from writing new policies.
An appeals court on Friday ruled that the suspension can go into effect for now, but would end if Allstate produced the documents. State officials were seeking clarification Monday on exactly when the company would have to stop selling new policies.
On Tuesday, the court clarified by stating, “This Court’s April 4, 2008 opinion lifting the stay will not become final until the time for filing a motion for rehearing expires, and the disposition thereof, if filed.”
The Office of Insurance Regulation sought the clarification because there was ambiguity in the order as to whether the stay had been lifted immediately or was subject to the time frame for a motion for rehearing or any disposition of that motion, if one is filed.
Late Friday, just hours after the appeals court ruling, Allstate posted about 150,000 pages of information on its Web site, although it said it sill believes some of them shouldn’t have to be disclosed because they contain trade secrets.
Office of Insurance Regulation spokesman Tom Zutell said that while the state’s legal team would review the documents to determine if any are relevant to what the agency is seeking, “at this point, making the (Web-posted) documents public does not satisfy the request.”
Zutell noted that Allstate also has sent the office a 196-page list of documents the company has said it would not turn over.
“As long as they refuse to submit all documents requested in the subpoena, the suspension will resume,” Zutell said. “Allstate controls how long it lasts, all they have to do to end it is turn over all requested documents.”
Allstate said it was releasing the documents because some information from them has been cited unfairly in press reports and other forums.
“Public criticisms by people with a vested interest in creating an inaccurate picture of the company’s claim practices have been based unfairly on only snippets from the documents taken out of context,” Allstate said in a statement on its Web site.
“We continue to believe that the documents deserve protection as containing trade secret and confidential proprietary information and that our actions to protect them from general disclosure have been appropriate,” the company said. But it said that critics were distorting what was in them, so it decided to release them anyway.
Before it put those documents on its Web site, the company said it had already produced more than 400,000 pages in response to the Florida subpoenas.
The suspension applies to Allstate Floridian Insurance Co.,
Allstate Indemnity Co., Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Co.,
Allstate Insurance Co., Allstate Floridian Indemnity Co., Allstate
Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., Encompass Insurance Co. of America
Encompass Indemnity Co., Encompass Floridian Insurance Co., and
Encompass Floridian Indemnity Co.
On the Net:
http://media.allstate.com/categories/7-news-releases/releases/4395-a llstate- acts-to-dispel
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