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May 13, 2009

NAMIC Testifies Before Florida Financial Services Commission on Not-at-Fault Rule for Auto Insurance, Commission Abandons Rule Change

NAMIC won its six-month fight with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation this morning when the Florida Financial Service Commission decided to abandon rule 690-175.008, Unfair Discrimination in Private Passenger Motor Vehicle Insurance Rates – Based on History of Accidents.

Liz Reynolds, NAMIC's Southeast state affairs manager, gave testimony before the commission regarding the rule. Reynolds was joined by Brian Newman, an attorney representing NAMIC’s Florida state trade partner, the Florida Insurance Commission, who also testified.

The commission’s decision to abandon the rule change is a favorable outcome for auto insurance consumers.

In her testimony, Reynolds told commission members – Gov. Charlie Crist, CFO Alex Sink, and Attorney General Bill McCollum – of NAMIC’s and its member companies’ stance on the rule.

“Is it fair for auto insurance applicants with unproven fault accidents on their records to pay the same rates as applicants with squeaky clean driving records?” Reynolds asked. “That’s what will happen if this rule is implemented.”

She went on to tell the commission that pooling clean-record drivers with those who have unproven fault accidents on their records will increase rates, cause pricing to be less accurate, and give insurers incentive to reject applicants with accidents on their records.

“OIR’s current, long-standing rule regarding not-at-fault accidents for applicants and for insureds is correct according to the law and is in the best interest of consumers,” Reynolds testified. “Florida currently enjoys a healthy, competitive auto insurance market. There’s no reason to create a solution for a problem that does not exist.”

Direct questions to NAMIC State Affairs Manager Liz Reynolds.