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Scott Orders Freeze On Insurance Rate Hikes

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott said Sunday that he was never told by Homeland Security officials in 2016 when he was Florida's governor that Russian hackers had gained access to voter databases in two Florida counties ahead of the presidential election.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott before the Florida House.

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday ordered the state's top insurance regulator to “freeze any and all efforts” to increase property-insurance rates as homeowners and businesses recover from Hurricane Irma.

A news release that included directives from Scott to Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier did not detail rate proposals that could be affected by the 90-day freeze. But the Office of Insurance Regulation, at least in part, held a hearing last month on a proposal by the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. that would increase rates on many customers.

“Due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, Floridians should be focused on getting back to their normal lives without their insurance premiums being increased,” Scott said in the news release issued late Tuesday afternoon.

Scott also said policyholders who had coverage canceled or not renewed in the days leading up to Hurricane Irma should receive 90 days to renew their policies or find new coverage. Also, he directed Altmaier to provide an additional 90 days for policyholders to submit required information to insurance companies. He pointed to large numbers of residents who were displaced by the storm.

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