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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT… Tampa Bay Times: “Atwater: Stress tests may instill confidence in insurance”

1/27/2015

Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413- 2842

“Atwater: Stress tests may instill confidence in insurance”

Tampa Bay Times
Written by the Associated Press
January 27, 2015
For Full Article Click HERE

Florida's top financial officer said Tuesday that creating a "stress test" will help instill public confidence in the smaller insurers that have come to dominate Florida's property insurance market.

Creating a stress test to check the health of insurers and making those results public would give property owners the confidence that the smaller companies are well-managed and will deliver when the next major hurricane hits the state, said Jeff Atwater, Florida's chief financial officer.

The stress test can show the process through which the smaller insurers have gone through to prove their financial soundness, Atwater said.

Atwater also said consumers are ready for rates to come down. The chief financial officer said he had asked Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty to report to him if this is the year when Florida's rates, among the highest in the nation, will come down given that the state hasn't had a hurricane strike in years, the insurance market is more competitive than it has been in a while and reinsurance costs are down. If not, Atwater said, he wants an explanation of what it's going to take to bring down rates since changes made by the Legislature two years ago were supposed to help lower rates.
"The wait is over," Atwater said. "The consumer has grown tired. If the changes that were put in place two years ago can't achieve the savings the Legislature expected, something has got to change."
McCarty said Florida's insurance market is in the best shape it has been in a while. He said his goal is to pass on reductions in the cost of reinsurance as savings to homeowners.

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