Florida Senator: 3 Things Needed to Fix a Struggling Insurance Market

orlando, florida – Many consumers still struggle to find and purchase property insurance.

Florida’s insurance market was already in crisis before Hurricane Ian, but now Florida legislators are gearing up for this year’s second special session on property insurance.

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Florida Senator Jeff Brandes, D-St. St. Petersburg says some things are needed and need to be done quickly, including restructuring how legal fees are paid to curb what insurers call excessive litigation.

Consumers are concerned about two things.

Ginger Singer says he was completely caught off guard when he received a renewal notice from his insurance company that his policy had been cancelled.

“It was a complete surprise to me,” Singer said. “And I was just blown away by what they said about why they wouldn’t update their policy. I’m like, ‘Why, how can they do that?'” she said.

According to the letter, the company is “mitigating hurricane damage,” which is increasingly being seen in the Sunshine State.

“People need to have insurance,” Singer said. “If something terrible happens, they need to know that they can bounce back financially and still have a home,” Singer said.

The list of insurers going out of business or leaving the state has grown longer over the past two years.

In fact, the governor is calling for a special legislative session on property insurance later this year.

“All these sessions are not rocket science,” Singer said.

Mr. Brandes has been in the Florida legislature for 12 years, but has not run for re-election due to term limits.

“I think you get things done. The question is, is that enough?” Brandes said. “The whole industry is now having stage 4 terminal cancer.”

Insurers argue that excessive litigation, roofing schemes and reinsurance costs are driving up prices.

Brandes said the first thing Congress would have to get rid of is the one-way attorney fee where insurers pay a consumer’s attorney fees after a lawsuit.

“70% of what insurance companies paid out last year went to court, 20% went to defense costs, and only 10% went to homeowners. Something is wrong with the math,” Brandes said. Told.

Next, Congress should allow insurance companies to provide real cash value for roofs instead of replacing entire roofs, Brandes said.

Finally, civic insurance needs to be addressed, Brandes said.

“Government insurance companies of last resort have become predatory competitors in Florida. Prices in the Tampa Bay market and Miami-Dade are 50 percent below market prices,” Brandes said.

Citizens need to raise interest rates to stabilize the market, he said.

“Please understand how politically difficult it is for Tallahassee politicians to raise the citizen tax rate to the level it should be. It means there is,” said Brandes.

Other insurers can ask the Insurance Regulatory Authority to raise rates by 10, 15, or 20% per year if they choose, making Citizen cheaper than other insurers.

Such price increases are often approved because insurers would go bankrupt if they didn’t, according to the state.

Currently, Citizens is only allowed to increase by a fixed percentage per year until reaching 15% after 2026, a Citizens spokesperson told News 6.

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