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CFO Patronis: WE WILL HOLD FARMERS INSURANCE ACCOUNTABLE

7/12/2023

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

CFO Patronis: WE WILL HOLD FARMERS INSURANCE ACCOUNTABLE

~Says the Insurer Touts its Commitment to ESG While Leaving Florida Policyholders Behind~

Suwannee County, Fla. – Today, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis issued a statement on news that according media reports, Farmers Insurance is planning to shutdown 30 percent of its business in Florida, impacting 100,000 policyholders.

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “I’ve always said that when big decisions are made on insurance – the policyholder is rarely in the room – and unfortunately Farmers Insurance proved me right. I have asked my team to put their heads together in holding Farmers Insurance accountable to Florida policyholders. I want additional scrutiny on this company. Therefore, I have directed my Division of Consumer Services to conduct a deeper dive into Farmers Insurance complaints – and if those complaints hit a certain threshold, it will trigger market conduct investigation that could lead to fines being levied against the carrier. It is our expectation that if farmers cancels any policies, all prorated amounts must be returned to policyholders and we are currently working with the Florida Association of Insurance Agents to explore methods for a bulk transfer of policies. Moreover, I have asked Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate Tasha Carter to engage with Farmers Insurance policyholders who may be affected by this action to assess their involvement by the carrier. 

“After everything the Florida Legislature has done to assist insurance companies from slowing the bleed, and then to have Farmers communicate their intentions in such a ham-handed manner, company leadership needs to get ready, because my guess is they’re about to get hauled before the Legislature to answer for their actions when the next legislative session begins. The more we learn about Farmers Insurance the more it’s clear its leadership doesn’t know what they’re doing. While they’re bad at helping people, they’re good at virtue signaling. Instead of focusing on their policyholders and running a functioning business, the insurer became the, ‘First U.S.-based Insurer to Become Signatory of the United Nations Principles for Sustainable Insurance.’ Jeff Dailey, who was the Farmers Insurance CEO at the time went on to say, ‘Farmers is committed to operating in a way that positively impacts our customers, our employees and communities by incorporating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations into our business.’” 

CFO Jimmy Patronis continued, “It’s clear that while Farmers was making plans to exit a significant number of policies out of Florida, they were playing politics, and weren’t focused on running a successful company. I sincerely believe that with today’s actions, Farmers Insurance is well on its way to becoming the Bud Light of insurance. The Florida Legislature worked in good faith to stabilize the insurance market – and attract capital back to Florida insurance companies. The type of litigation that raises rates is already down 43% since last year. Additionally, the state-backed insurer of last resort, Citizens Insurance Corp., is already expected to generate a savings north of $600 million from these changes, and several carriers are interested in taking policies from Citizens because they see a thawing of Florida’s hardened insurance market. The Legislature did impactful work to help stabilize the market, and Farmers Insurance actions are less a representation of the Florida market – and more of bad leadership at the insurer.

“There is still time for Farmers to change course. They can reach out to my office at 1-877-693-5236 or email me at CFO.Patronis@myfloridacfo.com. We want to ensure the consumer has a seat at the table. While the communications by the insurance carrier has been garbage, there’s still time to change course.”

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).

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