In an unusual move, one of Florida’s largest insurers, Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Co., has withdrawn its request for a 14.9 percent rate increase, Florida regulators said Tuesday.
Here is a statement from Amy Bogner, spokeswoman for the Office of Insurance Regulation:
“The Office has undertaken a thorough review of the rate filing submitted by Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Company and held productive discussions with the company to address various items within the filing. The outcome of this review has resulted in Heritage electing to withdraw the filing at this time. The Office looks forward to working with Heritage when it resubmits the filing again and to address any concerns that may arise on behalf of the consumers of Florida.”
Attempts to reach Heritage officials for comment were not immediately successful.
The Palm Beach Post reported the insurer’s claim losses had been falling as a share of premiums, even as Heritage Insurance Holdings Inc. CEO Bruce Lucas nearly quadrupled his compensation in one year to a whopping $27.3 million.
That was more than 50 times what the CEO gets paid at larger, state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp., where Heritage got most of its customers on its way to becoming one of the state’s five largest property carriers.
“Your loss ratio is going down, you’re paying your executive $27 million — how do you justify a 15 percent rate increase without just saying ‘we’re being greedy’? ” said Ken Schurr, a Coral Gables attorney who represents policyholders against insurance companies.
The requested increases would have raised rates 22 percent to 25 percent in Palm Beach County.