Alfa raises Ala. insurance rates by 20%

Alfa Mutual Group has raised insurance rates for homeowners by 20% across Alabama, with bigger increases for landlord and farm policies.

Charles Angell, the state's actuary, says the increase isn't designed to make up for losses from the tornadoes that struck the state in April. Angel evaluates requests by insurers to change rates.

The Press-Register reports ( ) that Angell says insurers will only be allowed to include a fraction of their 2011 tornado losses in upcoming rate requests.

Jeff Helms, a spokesman for Alfa, an affiliate of the Alabama Farmers Federation, says the increase in frequency and severity of storms in recent years is putting pressure on insurance rates.

Angell says his calculations support Alfa's changes, which took effect Thursday. 

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