A Florida state court ruling now effectively allows State Farm (and other insurers) to make what was once publicly available information secret, in regards how many policies it has throughout the state, and how many it periodically drops.
Insurers in the state of Florida report pertinent policy information to the state’s Quarterly and Supplemental Reporting System, which shows, quarter by quarter, how many policies a company has both statewide and by county, as well as how many policies each insurer has canceled.
State Farm argued that it needed higher rates than it was receiving and canceled (or failed to renew) almost500,000 property insurance policies between the first quarter of 2009 and the end of 2013. This group made up more than half of the company’s 850,000 customers. These cancellations and non-renewals forced hundreds of thousands of Florida residents, including thousands throughout the Fort Lauderdale and Miami area, into other carriers.
In 2014, State Farm declared its information a trade secret, contending that access to this type of information would essentially undermine their marketing strategies.
This move on the part of State Farm puts many residents in the South Florida area, not only in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, but surrounding towns such as Davie, Weston, and Pembroke Pines, in significant danger. These South Florida areas are vulnerable to serious storm damage to both properties and automobiles, and State Farm’s decision to drop many of these residents could have a profound impact if they do not carefully scrutinize their coverage.
Furthermore, State Farm, who seemingly is concerned about their advertising and marketing advantages in arguing to make this information secret, has certainly put themselves in a negative light for exposing hundreds of thousands of Florida residents. More damage to their brand than likely ever would have occurred had they not picked this fight.
For more information on this topic or any other, please contact the Schulman Law Group at (954) 349-3300 or at email@example.com