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FLORIDA INSURANCE REGULATORS REACH AGREEMENT WITH 'THE HOME'

 TALLAHASSEE, Fla., July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- State insurance regulators have reached an agreement with The Home Indemnity Co. that will guarantee its Florida homeowner's insurance policyholders continued coverage throughout hurricane season, State Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher said today.
 "When we learned that the Home was proceeding with its plan to non- renew homeowners' policies in Florida -- in spite of the moratorium -- we ordered them to halt the plan or face huge fines," Gallagher said.
 "This agreement arose from that action and is specifically designed to protect Florida consumers, consistent with the freeze on homeowners' policy non-renewals imposed by our department and the Legislature. But, again, I repeat that it would be in everyone's best interests if the insurance companies would focus their energies on solving the homeowners' insurance crisis that emerged after Hurricane Andrew, rather than disputing the moratorium."
 The agreement, signed today on behalf of the state insurance department, The Home Indemnity Company, The Home Insurance Company and the affiliated City Insurance Company:
 -- Requires the Home, a New York-based insurer that was seeking to non-renew more than 20,000 homeowners insurance policies in Florida, to comply with the state's moratorium prohibiting cancellation of policies due to hurricane risk;
 -- Requires the Home to offer to reinstate any policies it non- renewed from the moratorium starting date, May 19, until July 6 when it ceased its non-renewal campaign. In the event that former Home insureds non-renewed during this period have subsequently obtained coverage from the more expensive Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Assn., the Home agreed to reimburse the policyholder the difference in premium costs during the six month period of the moratorium.
 The agreement also requires the insurance company to hire an independent auditor to certify that the company is complying with the agreement.
 Gallagher said the agreement acknowledges that "The Home" initiated its non-renewal program in 1991, before Hurricane Andrew struck. But, he said, the department persists in its finding that the moratorium applies to "The Home." The insurance company has told department officials that it will continue to challenge the applicability of the moratorium through an administrative hearing while complying with the terms of the agreement signed today.
 -0- 7/28/93
 /CONTACT: Jill Chamberlin, press secretary of the Florida Department of Insurance, 904-922-3108, ext. 2840/


CO: Florida Department of Insurance; The Home Indemnity Co. ST: Florida, New York IN: INS SU:

RC-JB -- FL013 -- 6907 07/28/93 16:20 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 28, 1993
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