Florida Chamber of Commerce calls for more property and casualty insurance reform as special session approaches

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Florida is in the middle of a storm and the property insurance market has been described as a free fall.

Late August marked the 30th anniversary of Category 5 Hurricane Andrew, which made landfall in South Florida. At the time, Andrew was the most costly natural disaster in U.S. history. Most recently, parts of Florida were destroyed by Hurricane Ian. This powerful Category 4 hurricane joins the ranks of the deadliest hurricanes in the Atlantic, and unfortunately he is one of the worst ever to hit Florida.

Simply put, Hurricane Ian is a crisis upon crisis.

As Floridians, we know it’s not If there is a hurricane, whenThis season, much like hurricane season, we must do our part to strengthen our homes and businesses to mitigate potential damage and prepare for the worst. Catastrophic storms not only wreak devastation and suffering on those affected, they also drive up the fees consumers have to pay and, most recently, only intensify the man-made property insurance crisis.2021 , Florida generated 7.03% of property and casualty insurance claims nationwide, but was responsible for 76.32% of homeowners insurance lawsuits filed nationwide. These numbers are particularly alarming given that no major storms hit the Florida coast since 2018 until Hurricane Ian hit.

Mark Wilson, President, Florida Chamber of Commerce

Unfortunately, because our legal environment is in the bottom five ( FloridaScoreCard.org(combined by the Chamber Foundation’s Community Development Partnership Council) promotes unnecessary lawsuits and fraud, causing property insurance rates in Florida to jump three times the national average. Additionally, non-catastrophic claims and incentives to litigate have driven many property insurers out of business or reduced coverage in Florida. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, a taxpayer-funded “last resort insurance company,” recently reached more than 1 million policies, putting all taxpayers at risk if a major storm drains their reserves. We are at risk of a huge “hurricane tax”. Before Hurricane Ian hit land last week, Citizens president and CEO Barry Gilway was outspoken that “the industry is on life support.”

To address this crisis, Governor Ron DeSantis wisely called a special legislative session that met in May. The reforms passed are an important step forward, but like previous efforts to fix the market, barristers and fraudsters are fighting policy makers to stay ahead of the reforms.

Markets must be stabilized by limiting fraud and abuse by bad actors and eliminating excessive litigation incentives. We must welcome new capital and create competition in the market by addressing submarket taxpayer subsidies for civil property insurance. The ultimate goal is to reduce insurance premiums for hardworking Floridians and protect Florida taxpayers.

Named storms hitting our coasts will exacerbate our man-made insurance crisis and test the limits of our struggling property insurance market. In addition, claims from hurricane damage have increased insurance premiums and unexpected payments by taxpayers due to the “hurricane tax”, increased payments by insurance companies, increased litigation, and increased premiums for insurance companies. leads to to maintain its presence in Florida. This will ultimately reduce competition and capital in Florida, furthering the crisis in the insurance market.

As we begin the long road to recovery from this storm and encourage Floridians to do their part in preparing for the next one, policy makers are working to stabilize the Florida property and casualty insurance market and provide Florida with insurance capital. It is imperative that we encourage an influx of people and start considering additional reforms to improve them immediately. Our bottom five legal environments.

Mark Wilson is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. This perspective is reprinted with permission from the Florida Chamber of Commerce.previously executed Orlando SentinelThe Chamber of Commerce will host its General Insurance Summit December 5-7 in Orlando.

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