Section 627.062, Florida Statutes 2004
627.062 Rate standards.--
(1) The rates for all classes of insurance to which the provisions of this part are applicable shall not be excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory.
(2) As to all such classes of insurance:
(a) Insurers or rating organizations shall establish and use rates, rating schedules, or rating manuals to allow the insurer a reasonable rate of return on such classes of insurance written in this state. A copy of rates, rating schedules, rating manuals, premium credits or discount schedules, and surcharge schedules, and changes thereto, shall be filed with the office under one of the following procedures:
1. If the filing is made at least 90 days before the proposed effective date and the filing is not implemented during the office's review of the filing and any proceeding and judicial review, then such filing shall be considered a "file and use" filing. In such case, the office shall finalize its review by issuance of a notice of intent to approve or a notice of intent to disapprove within 90 days after receipt of the filing. The notice of intent to approve and the notice of intent to disapprove constitute agency action for purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act. Requests for supporting information, requests for mathematical or mechanical corrections, or notification to the insurer by the office of its preliminary findings shall not toll the 90-day period during any such proceedings and subsequent judicial review. The rate shall be deemed approved if the office does not issue a notice of intent to approve or a notice of intent to disapprove within 90 days after receipt of the filing.
2. If the filing is not made in accordance with the provisions of subparagraph 1., such filing shall be made as soon as practicable, but no later than 30 days after the effective date, and shall be considered a "use and file" filing. An insurer making a "use and file" filing is potentially subject to an order by the office to return to policyholders portions of rates found to be excessive, as provided in paragraph (h).
(b) Upon receiving a rate filing, the office shall review the rate filing to determine if a rate is excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory. In making that determination, the office shall, in accordance with generally accepted and reasonable actuarial techniques, consider the following factors:
1. Past and prospective loss experience within and without this state.
2. Past and prospective expenses.
3. The degree of competition among insurers for the risk insured.
4. Investment income reasonably expected by the insurer, consistent with the insurer's investment practices, from investable premiums anticipated in the filing, plus any other expected income from currently invested assets representing the amount expected on unearned premium reserves and loss reserves. The commission may adopt rules utilizing reasonable techniques of actuarial science and economics to specify the manner in which insurers shall calculate investment income attributable to such classes of insurance written in this state and the manner in which such investment income shall be used in the calculation of insurance rates. Such manner shall contemplate allowances for an underwriting profit factor and full consideration of investment income which produce a reasonable rate of return; however, investment income from invested surplus shall not be considered.
5. The reasonableness of the judgment reflected in the filing.
6. Dividends, savings, or unabsorbed premium deposits allowed or returned to Florida policyholders, members, or subscribers.
7. The adequacy of loss reserves.
8. The cost of reinsurance.
9. Trend factors, including trends in actual losses per insured unit for the insurer making the filing.
10. Conflagration and catastrophe hazards, if applicable.
11. A reasonable margin for underwriting profit and contingencies.
12. The cost of medical services, if applicable.
13. Other relevant factors which impact upon the frequency or severity of claims or upon expenses.
(c) In the case of fire insurance rates, consideration shall be given to the availability of water supplies and the experience of the fire insurance business during a period of not less than the most recent 5-year period for which such experience is available.
(d) If conflagration or catastrophe hazards are given consideration by an insurer in its rates or rating plan, including surcharges and discounts, the insurer shall establish a reserve for that portion of the premium allocated to such hazard and shall maintain the premium in a catastrophe reserve. Any removal of such premiums from the reserve for purposes other than paying claims associated with a catastrophe or purchasing reinsurance for catastrophes shall be subject to approval of the office. Any ceding commission received by an insurer purchasing reinsurance for catastrophes shall be placed in the catastrophe reserve.
(e) After consideration of the rate factors provided in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d), a rate may be found by the office to be excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory based upon the following standards:
1. Rates shall be deemed excessive if they are likely to produce a profit from Florida business that is unreasonably high in relation to the risk involved in the class of business or if expenses are unreasonably high in relation to services rendered.
2. Rates shall be deemed excessive if, among other things, the rate structure established by a stock insurance company provides for replenishment of surpluses from premiums, when the replenishment is attributable to investment losses.
3. Rates shall be deemed inadequate if they are clearly insufficient, together with the investment income attributable to them, to sustain projected losses and expenses in the class of business to which they apply.
4. A rating plan, including discounts, credits, or surcharges, shall be deemed unfairly discriminatory if it fails to clearly and equitably reflect consideration of the policyholder's participation in a risk management program adopted pursuant to s. 627.0625.
5. A rate shall be deemed inadequate as to the premium charged to a risk or group of risks if discounts or credits are allowed which exceed a reasonable reflection of expense savings and reasonably expected loss experience from the risk or group of risks.
6. A rate shall be deemed unfairly discriminatory as to a risk or group of risks if the application of premium discounts, credits, or surcharges among such risks does not bear a reasonable relationship to the expected loss and expense experience among the various risks.
(f) In reviewing a rate filing, the office may require the insurer to provide at the insurer's expense all information necessary to evaluate the condition of the company and the reasonableness of the filing according to the criteria enumerated in this section.
(g) The office may at any time review a rate, rating schedule, rating manual, or rate change; the pertinent records of the insurer; and market conditions. If the office finds on a preliminary basis that a rate may be excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, the office shall initiate proceedings to disapprove the rate and shall so notify the insurer. However, the office may not disapprove as excessive any rate for which it has given final approval or which has been deemed approved for a period of 1 year after the effective date of the filing unless the office finds that a material misrepresentation or material error was made by the insurer or was contained in the filing. Upon being so notified, the insurer or rating organization shall, within 60 days, file with the office all information which, in the belief of the insurer or organization, proves the reasonableness, adequacy, and fairness of the rate or rate change. The office shall issue a notice of intent to approve or a notice of intent to disapprove pursuant to the procedures of paragraph (a) within 90 days after receipt of the insurer's initial response. In such instances and in any administrative proceeding relating to the legality of the rate, the insurer or rating organization shall carry the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence to show that the rate is not excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory. After the office notifies an insurer that a rate may be excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, unless the office withdraws the notification, the insurer shall not alter the rate except to conform with the office's notice until the earlier of 120 days after the date the notification was provided or 180 days after the date of the implementation of the rate. The office may, subject to chapter 120, disapprove without the 60-day notification any rate increase filed by an insurer within the prohibited time period or during the time that the legality of the increased rate is being contested.
(h) In the event the office finds that a rate or rate change is excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, the office shall issue an order of disapproval specifying that a new rate or rate schedule which responds to the findings of the office be filed by the insurer. The office shall further order, for any "use and file" filing made in accordance with subparagraph (a)2., that premiums charged each policyholder constituting the portion of the rate above that which was actuarially justified be returned to such policyholder in the form of a credit or refund. If the office finds that an insurer's rate or rate change is inadequate, the new rate or rate schedule filed with the office in response to such a finding shall be applicable only to new or renewal business of the insurer written on or after the effective date of the responsive filing.
(i) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, the office shall not prohibit any insurer, including any residual market plan or joint underwriting association, from paying acquisition costs based on the full amount of premium, as defined in s. 627.403, applicable to any policy, or prohibit any such insurer from including the full amount of acquisition costs in a rate filing.
The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to workers' compensation and employer's liability insurance and to motor vehicle insurance.
(3)(a) For individual risks that are not rated in accordance with the insurer's rates, rating schedules, rating manuals, and underwriting rules filed with the office and which have been submitted to the insurer for individual rating, the insurer must maintain documentation on each risk subject to individual risk rating. The documentation must identify the named insured and specify the characteristics and classification of the risk supporting the reason for the risk being individually risk rated, including any modifications to existing approved forms to be used on the risk. The insurer must maintain these records for a period of at least 5 years after the effective date of the policy.
(b) Individual risk rates and modifications to existing approved forms are not subject to this part or part II, except for paragraph (a) and ss. 627.402, 627.403, 627.4035, 627.404, 627.405, 627.406, 627.407, 627.4085, 627.409, 627.4132, 627.4133, 627.415, 627.416, 627.417, 627.419, 627.425, 627.426, 627.4265, 627.427, and 627.428, but are subject to all other applicable provisions of this code and rules adopted thereunder.
(c) This subsection does not apply to private passenger motor vehicle insurance.
(4) The establishment of any rate, rating classification, rating plan or schedule, or variation thereof in violation of part IX of chapter 626 is also in violation of this section.
(5) With respect to a rate filing involving coverage of the type for which the insurer is required to pay a reimbursement premium to the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, the insurer may fully recoup in its property insurance premiums any reimbursement premiums paid to the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, together with reasonable costs of other reinsurance, but may not recoup reinsurance costs that duplicate coverage provided by the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.
(6)(a) After any action with respect to a rate filing that constitutes agency action for purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act, except for a rate filing for medical malpractice, an insurer may, in lieu of demanding a hearing under s. 120.57, require arbitration of the rate filing. Arbitration shall be conducted by a board of arbitrators consisting of an arbitrator selected by the 1office, an arbitrator selected by the insurer, and an arbitrator selected jointly by the other two arbitrators. Each arbitrator must be certified by the American Arbitration Association. A decision is valid only upon the affirmative vote of at least two of the arbitrators. No arbitrator may be an employee of any insurance regulator or regulatory body or of any insurer, regardless of whether or not the employing insurer does business in this state. The 1office and the insurer must treat the decision of the arbitrators as the final approval of a rate filing. Costs of arbitration shall be paid by the insurer.
(b) Arbitration under this subsection shall be conducted pursuant to the procedures specified in ss. 682.06-682.10. Either party may apply to the circuit court to vacate or modify the decision pursuant to s. 682.13 or s. 682.14. The commission shall adopt rules for arbitration under this subsection, which rules may not be inconsistent with the arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association as of January 1, 1996.
(c) Upon initiation of the arbitration process, the insurer waives all rights to challenge the action of the office under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other provision of law; however, such rights are restored to the insurer if the arbitrators fail to render a decision within 90 days after initiation of the arbitration process.
(7)(a) The provisions of this subsection apply only with respect to rates for medical malpractice insurance and shall control to the extent of any conflict with other provisions of this section.
(b) Any portion of a judgment entered or settlement paid as a result of a statutory or common-law bad faith action and any portion of a judgment entered which awards punitive damages against an insurer may not be included in the insurer's rate base, and shall not be used to justify a rate or rate change. Any common-law bad faith action identified as such, any portion of a settlement entered as a result of a statutory or common-law action, or any portion of a settlement wherein an insurer agrees to pay specific punitive damages may not be used to justify a rate or rate change. The portion of the taxable costs and attorney's fees which is identified as being related to the bad faith and punitive damages in these judgments and settlements may not be included in the insurer's rate base and may not be utilized to justify a rate or rate change.
(c) Upon reviewing a rate filing and determining whether the rate is excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, the office shall consider, in accordance with generally accepted and reasonable actuarial techniques, past and present prospective loss experience, either using loss experience solely for this state or giving greater credibility to this state's loss data after applying actuarially sound methods of assigning credibility to such data.
(d) Rates shall be deemed excessive if, among other standards established by this section, the rate structure provides for replenishment of reserves or surpluses from premiums when the replenishment is attributable to investment losses.
(e) The insurer must apply a discount or surcharge based on the health care provider's loss experience or shall establish an alternative method giving due consideration to the provider's loss experience. The insurer must include in the filing a copy of the surcharge or discount schedule or a description of the alternative method used, and must provide a copy of such schedule or description, as approved by the office, to policyholders at the time of renewal and to prospective policyholders at the time of application for coverage.
(f) Each medical malpractice insurer must make a rate filing under this section, sworn to by at least two executive officers of the insurer, at least once each calendar year.
(8)(a)1. No later than 60 days after the effective date of medical malpractice legislation enacted during the 2003 Special Session D of the Florida Legislature, the office shall calculate a presumed factor that reflects the impact that the changes contained in such legislation will have on rates for medical malpractice insurance and shall issue a notice informing all insurers writing medical malpractice coverage of such presumed factor. In determining the presumed factor, the office shall use generally accepted actuarial techniques and standards provided in this section in determining the expected impact on losses, expenses, and investment income of the insurer. To the extent that the operation of a provision of medical malpractice legislation enacted during the 2003 Special Session D of the Florida Legislature is stayed pending a constitutional challenge, the impact of that provision shall not be included in the calculation of a presumed factor under this subparagraph.
2. No later than 60 days after the office issues its notice of the presumed rate change factor under subparagraph 1., each insurer writing medical malpractice coverage in this state shall submit to the office a rate filing for medical malpractice insurance, which will take effect no later than January 1, 2004, and apply retroactively to policies issued or renewed on or after the effective date of medical malpractice legislation enacted during the 2003 Special Session D of the Florida Legislature. Except as authorized under paragraph (b), the filing shall reflect an overall rate reduction at least as great as the presumed factor determined under subparagraph 1. With respect to policies issued on or after the effective date of such legislation and prior to the effective date of the rate filing required by this subsection, the office shall order the insurer to make a refund of the amount that was charged in excess of the rate that is approved.
(b) Any insurer or rating organization that contends that the rate provided for in paragraph (a) is excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory shall separately state in its filing the rate it contends is appropriate and shall state with specificity the factors or data that it contends should be considered in order to produce such appropriate rate. The insurer or rating organization shall be permitted to use all of the generally accepted actuarial techniques provided in this section in making any filing pursuant to this subsection. The office shall review each such exception and approve or disapprove it prior to use. It shall be the insurer's burden to actuarially justify any deviations from the rates required to be filed under paragraph (a). The insurer making a filing under this paragraph shall include in the filing the expected impact of medical malpractice legislation enacted during the 2003 Special Session D of the Florida Legislature on losses, expenses, and rates.
(c) If any provision of medical malpractice legislation enacted during the 2003 Special Session D of the Florida Legislature is held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the office shall permit an adjustment of all medical malpractice rates filed under this section to reflect the impact of such holding on such rates so as to ensure that the rates are not excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory.
(d) Rates approved on or before July 1, 2003, for medical malpractice insurance shall remain in effect until the effective date of a new rate filing approved under this subsection.
(e) The calculation and notice by the office of the presumed factor pursuant to paragraph (a) is not an order or rule that is subject to chapter 120. If the office enters into a contract with an independent consultant to assist the office in calculating the presumed factor, such contract shall not be subject to the competitive solicitation requirements of s. 287.057.
History.--s. 3, ch. 67-9; s. 3, ch. 71-3(B); s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 21, ch. 77-468; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 93, ch. 79-40; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 341, 357, 809(2nd), ch. 82-243; ss. 45, 49, 79, ch. 82-386; s. 93, ch. 83-216; s. 9, ch. 86-160; ss. 19, 114, ch. 92-318; s. 8, ch. 92-328; s. 5, ch. 95-276; s. 4, ch. 96-194; s. 7, ch. 96-377; s. 8, ch. 2000-370; s. 55, ch. 2001-63; s. 1064, ch. 2003-261; ss. 40, 84, ch. 2003-416.
A. As amended by s. 1064, ch. 2003-261, enacted at the 2003 Regular Session. Section 40, ch. 2003-416, enacted at Special Session D, 2003, failed to incorporate the amendment by s. 1064, ch. 2003-261, which substituted the word "office" for the word "department."
B. Section 84, ch. 2003-416, provides that "[i]f any law that is amended by this act was also amended by a law enacted at the 2003 Regular Session or a 2003 special session of the Legislature, such laws shall be construed as if they had been enacted during the same session of the Legislature, and full effect should be given to each if that is possible."