Section 627.0651, Florida Statutes 2001
627.0651 Making and use of rates for motor vehicle insurance.--
(1) Insurers shall establish and use rates, rating schedules, or rating manuals to allow the insurer a reasonable rate of return on motor vehicle insurance written in this state. A copy of rates, rating schedules, and rating manuals, and changes therein, shall be filed with the department under one of the following procedures:
(a) If the filing is made at least 60 days before the proposed effective date and the filing is not implemented during the department's review of the filing and any proceeding and judicial review, such filing shall be considered a "file and use" filing. In such case, the department shall initiate proceedings to disapprove the rate and so notify the insurer or shall finalize its review within 60 days after receipt of the filing. Notification to the insurer by the department of its preliminary findings shall toll the 60-day period during any such proceedings and subsequent judicial review. The rate shall be deemed approved if the department does not issue notice to the insurer of its preliminary findings within 60 days after the filing.
(b) If the filing is not made in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (a), 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 department to return to policyholders portions of rates found to be excessive, as provided in subsection (11).
(2) Upon receiving notice of a rate filing or rate change, the department shall review the rate or rate change to determine if the rate is excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory. In making that determination, the department shall in accordance with generally accepted and reasonable actuarial techniques consider the following factors:
(a) Past and prospective loss experience within and outside this state.
(b) The past and prospective expenses.
(c) The degree of competition among insurers for the risk insured.
(d) 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. Such investment income shall not include income from invested surplus. The department may promulgate rules utilizing reasonable techniques of actuarial science and economics to specify the manner in which insurers shall calculate investment income attributable to motor vehicle insurance policies written in this state and the manner in which such investment income is used in the calculation of insurance rates. Such manner shall contemplate the use of a positive underwriting profit allowance in the rates that will be compatible with a reasonable rate of return plus provisions for contingencies. The total of the profit and contingency factor as specified in the filing shall be utilized in computing excess profits in conjunction with s. 627.066. In promulgating such rules, the department shall in all instances adhere to and implement the provisions of this paragraph.
(e) The reasonableness of the judgment reflected in the filing.
(f) Dividends, savings, or unabsorbed premium deposits allowed or returned to Florida policyholders, members, or subscribers.
(g) The cost of repairs to motor vehicles.
(h) The cost of medical services, if applicable.
(i) The adequacy of loss reserves.
(j) The cost of reinsurance.
(k) Trend factors, including trends in actual losses per insured unit for the insurer making the filing.
(l) Other relevant factors which impact upon the frequency or severity of claims or upon expenses.
(3) 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.
(4) 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 such replenishment is attributable to investment losses.
(5)(a) 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.
(b) The Insurance Commissioner shall have the responsibility to ensure that rates for private passenger vehicle insurance are adequate. To that end, the department shall promulgate rules and regulations establishing standards defining inadequate rates on private passenger vehicle insurance as defined in s. 627.041(8). In the event that the department finds that a rate or rate change is inadequate, the department shall order that a new rate or rate schedule be thereafter filed by the insurer and shall further provide information as to the manner in which noncompliance of the standards may be corrected. When a violation of this provision occurs, the department shall impose an administrative fine pursuant to s. 624.4211.
(6) One rate shall be deemed unfairly discriminatory in relation to another in the same class if it clearly fails to reflect equitably the difference in expected losses and expenses.
(7) Rates are not unfairly discriminatory because different premiums result for policyholders with like loss exposures but different expense factors, or like expense factors but different loss exposures, so long as rates reflect the differences with reasonable accuracy.
(8) Rates are not unfairly discriminatory if averaged broadly among members of a group; nor are rates unfairly discriminatory even though they are lower than rates for nonmembers of the group. However, such rates are unfairly discriminatory if they are not actuarially measurable and credible and sufficiently related to actual or expected loss and expense experience of the group so as to assure that nonmembers of the group are not unfairly discriminated against. Use of a single United States Postal Service zip code as a rating territory shall be deemed unfairly discriminatory.
(9) In reviewing the rate or rate change filed, the department 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 herein.
(10) The department may, at any time, review a rate or rate change, the pertinent records of the insurer, and market conditions; and, if the department finds on a preliminary basis that the rate or rate change may be excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, the department shall so notify the insurer. However, the department 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 department 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 department all information which, in the belief of the insurer or organization, proves the reasonableness, adequacy, and fairness of the rate or rate change. 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 department notifies an insurer that a rate may be excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, unless the department withdraws the notification, the insurer shall not increase the rate 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 department 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.
(11) In the event the department finds that a rate or rate change is excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, the department shall issue an order of disapproval specifying that a new rate or rate schedule which responds to the findings of the department be filed by the insurer. The department shall further order for any "use and file" filing made in accordance with paragraph (1)(b), 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 department finds that an insurer's rate or rate change is inadequate, the new rate or rate schedule filed with the department 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.
(12) Any portion of a judgment entered 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 shall not be included in the insurer's rate base, and shall not be used to justify a rate or rate change. Any portion of a settlement entered as a result of a statutory or common-law bad faith action identified as such and any portion of a settlement wherein an insurer agrees to pay specific punitive damages shall 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 shall not be included in the insurer's rate base and shall not be utilized to justify a rate or rate change.
(13)(a) Underwriting rules not contained in rating manuals shall be filed for private passenger automobile insurance and homeowners' insurance.
(b) The submission of rates, rating schedules, and rating manuals to the department by a licensed rating organization of which an insurer is a member or subscriber will be sufficient compliance with this subsection for any insurer maintaining membership or subscribership in such organization, to the extent that the insurer uses the rates, rating schedules, and rating manuals of such organization. All such information shall be available for public inspection, upon receipt by the department, during usual business hours.
History.--s. 22, ch. 77-468; s. 8, ch. 78-374; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 343, 357, 809(2nd), ch. 82-243; ss. 46, 47, 49, 79, ch. 82-386; s. 94, ch. 83-216; s. 16, ch. 85-245; s. 34, ch. 90-119; s. 114, ch. 92-318; s. 2, ch. 98-173.