Allstate Insurance Company fought the law in Florida — and the law won. After Allstate and its lawyers thumbed their noses at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s requests for documents and information earlier this year, Florida insurance regulators prohibited Allstate from offering new policies in Florida. For anybody who watched the proceedings or saw the hearing on videotape, it was a disgusting display of corporate arrogance. Allstate delayed and simply refused to provide answers to regulators, even though it was legally obligated to do so.
The Office of Insurance Regulation sanctioned Allstate, and the First District Court of Appeal has backed that decision. It was the just and proper legal result. See Allstate Floridian Ins. Co. v. Office of Ins. Regulation, 981 So. 2d 617 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008). On Friday, Allstate acknowledged its wrongful conduct and agreed to a $5 million fine. It also agreed to reduce rates and sell 100,000 new residential and condominium policies.
Congratulations to Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty; he oversaw a masterful job. The resolution still allows Florida to investigate Allstate’s relationships with trade associations, reinsurers and rating organizations. This is extremely important because only the most naïve would believe that the major insurers in this state are not engaged in unconscionable conduct through these other entities. While the settlement is a great ending to a chapter of this investigation, the drama is far from over.