State cracks down on Allstate

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 9:25 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE - Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty on Wednesday suspended Allstate companies from writing new automobile insurance policies in Florida for refusing to comply fully with a subpoena from the state.

McCarty abruptly ended a scheduled two-day meeting Tuesday after just two hours. He was angered that Allstate officials failed to turn over some information the state requested on property coverage rates.

Allstate was to have provided documents into its reinsurance program and its relationship with risk modeling companies, insurance trade associations and insurance rating organizations, but instead returned a 51-page letter of objections to the state's subpoena.

"In view of Allstate's ongoing, blatant disregard of our subpoenas, I have little choice,'' McCarty said Wednesday. "Suspending their certificate of authority to write new business in our state should make my point.''

Messages left for Allstate executives to comment on the suspension were not immediately returned. The Florida Insurance Council, an industry trade association, referred calls to Allstate.

McCarty said existing policyholders will not be affected. Allstate must continue to service their clients and its companies must make all required statutory filings.

The suspension applies to Allstate Insurance Co., Allstate Indemnity Co. and Allstate Property and Casualty Co., and it only suspends the companies from writing new business in Florida.

Gov. Charlie Crist, who has long criticized the insurance industry for its recalcitrance in lowering property insurance rates, immediately praised McCarty's action against the Illinois-based carrier.

The Allstate Corp. is based in Northbrook, Ill.

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