Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty talks about "research" ...
It is always interesting, and frequently amusing, to read various “research” pieces on the Florida property insurance market. While I, like every other insurance regulator, industry professional and observer in the world, agree that the Florida property insurance market provides a challenging, to say the least, economic environment, I must also finally break down and respond to some of the more recent articles.
Here is an abstract and a link to a recent and hopefully amusing article on Florida written by a couple of real comedians (at least our friends think so). Actually, I am not sure if he is even responding to our riotous prose because Mr. McCarty does not refer to any particular piece of research and does not cite any studies or commentary in his protest regarding the amusing research. As the "regulator" he should point fingers and cite his sources of amusement for the rest of us aspiring humorists.
Here is a direct but extremely short rebuttal from the CEI. I didn't notice any belly busters or guffaw worthy bon mots in the CEI's response, but I did note (with a couple of well placed chuckles) that the CEI recently ranked Florida regulators at the bottom of a 50 state list. I suppose it probably was not for the lack of a sense of humor.
ABSTRACT (gated link, but appears to be free for now)
The Perfect Storm: Hurricanes, Insurance, and Regulation
by Martin Grace and Robert Klein
The intense hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005 caused considerable instability in property insurance markets in coastal states with the greatest problems occurring in Florida and the Southeast. Insurers have substantially raised rates and decreased their exposures. While no severe hurricanes struck the United States in 2006 and 2007, market pressures remain strong given the high risk still facing coastal states. These developments generate considerable concern and controversy among various stakeholder groups. Government responses have varied. In Florida, political pressures prompted a wave of legislation and regulations to expand government underwriting and subsidization of hurricane risk and constrain insurers' rates and market adjustments. Other states' actions seem more moderate. In this context, it is important to understand how property insurance markets have been changing and governments have been responding to increased catastrophe risk. This article examines important market developments and evaluates associated government policies. We comment on how regulation is affecting the equilibration of insurance markets and offer opinions on policies that are helpful and harmful.