DeSantis Announces Special Legislative Session to Fix Florida’s Insurance Industry

“Replacing a roof today costs a lot more than it did just three years ago,” says DeSantis. “So we need to push it back and do everything we can to fight for a more competitive market where interest rates are motivated to cut.”

Florida has seen private insurers collapse or scale back coverage options in recent years, but the size of state-created citizen insurance designed to be an insurer of last resort is growing. increase. Citizens currently has over one million policyholders.

The Florida insurance market was already in a precarious position even before Ian hit Southwest Florida. More than 500,000 of his claims worth an estimated $6.45 billion have already been filed with private insurers, and that number is expected to keep growing.

This is the second time this year that legislators have been asked to address property insurance.

The Republican-controlled Congress held a special session in May, when the state agreed to use taxpayer money to add $2 billion in reinsurance to private insurers. State lawmaker also says he agreed to put $150 million into programs to help hurricane-resistant homes, targeting lawsuits alleging insurers overcharged businesses in the state We’ve made a series of changes designed to:

The next special session will be the fourth this year, the same number as in 2007.

DeSantis noted that Congress had previously met to address property insurance, but did not provide details on what policy measures might be considered at an upcoming special session. .

“There have been some very positive reforms,” ​​says DeSantis. “But there were some things that Congress didn’t want to do at the time, and we wanted to do that, and I think we can do that in this special session.”

Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s chief financial officer, who is running for reelection, said Wednesday that homeowners will be prohibited from allowing contractors to repair their homes to bill insurance companies directly for repairs. He released a number of proposals that he would like lawmakers to pursue.

He also wants to create a special prosecutor who will be assigned to tackle property insurance fraud.

DeSantis said Thursday it will issue an executive order delaying property tax payments for businesses and homeowners whose buildings were made uninhabitable by Hurricane Ian.

He said Congress will offer tax refunds to these property owners at the next special session.

“We want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to remove the burden that people are coping with when it comes to recovering from this storm,” the governor said.

There was no immediate response from the Florida Democratic Party.

Former Governor Charlie Christo, a Democrat seeking to reclaim the governor’s mansion, responded to the special session announcement by calling DeSantis “the worst property insurance governor in Florida history.”

“Nobody believes Mr. Ron will finally do the right thing and fix the collapsed insurance market,” Christo said in a press release.

manager Val Demings (D-Fla.), about to unload Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called for a “unified effort” on October 3, including a special session to address the property insurance crisis.

“Our response to this storm must go beyond sandbags and plywood. We owe it to families in Florida to build an accessible and affordable insurance system.” said Demings.

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