Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM) is filing an appeal with the First District Court of Appeals to overturn the Office of Insurance Regulation’s (OIR) rejection of FIRM’s petition for an Administrative Hearing on excessive and unaffordable commercial and residential windstorm insurance rates in the Keys.
FIRM takes the position that FIRM and the Citizens Property Insurance policy holders that it represents are entitled by state law to an administrative hearing on recent Monroe County windstorm insurance rate increases approved by the OIR. FIRM also contends that the Monroe County rate increases should not go into effect until the conclusion of the legal proceedings.
OIR in its order dismissing FIRM’s petition contends that its Rate Orders are final and are not subject to challenge in an administrative proceeding.
“Our opinion and the opinion of our attorneys is that the OIR’s Final Order is legally unsound and appears to be an effort by the OIR to avoid a proceeding which would require it to justify the rate increase,” explained FIRM President Mel Montagne.
FIRM is also pursuing a legislative mandate to control run-away rates through the efforts of Senator Anitere Flores and Representative Holly Raschein. As the legislative situation evolves, FIRM is planning to ask its members to contact their representatives in Tallahassee to ensure our state officials understand that, with the highest windstorm rates in Florida, further increases for Monroe County policy holders are unaffordable.
FIRM is a grassroots organization formed in 2006 to fight for fair property insurance rates for property owners and residents of Monroe County, Florida, including the Florida Keys. Through advocacy and community outreach, FIRM contributes to housing and business affordability and helps residents remain and prosper in our community.