State officials skeptical of State farm filing

Tallahassee, Florida – As State Farm Florida files a request for a 47-percent hike in homeowners' insurance rates, it faces some skeptical state officials. Margie Menzel reports.

State Farm claims its filing is necessary because it's paying out $1.20 for every dollar it takes in and expects the discrepancy to grow. The Office of Insurance Regulation is reviewing the filing, and has scheduled a public hearing for next month. Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, for one, will be watching to see if State Farm can justify its request.

"Every company deserves a fair hearing, and obviously they think they have a case. In fact, there's publicity today about the 47 percent they're asking for. Their information that they sent me said that they actually calculated that they deserve a 67 percent increase, and I just find a hard time believing that."

The President-designate of the Florida Senate, Jeff Atwater, is also skeptical; he told the Orlando Sentinel he was "deeply disappointed by the size and timing" of State Farm's request. The public hearing will be held Aug. 12 in Senate Office Building, Room 401, at 9:00 a.m.