Bill addressing homeowners insurance races through Florida Legislature
Last week, a controversial legislation concerning homeowners insurance flew through the Florida Senate. The legislation received strong backing from the state’s lawmakers, whom have become exceedingly involved in the problems surrounding the state’s Citizens Property Insurance organization. The state-run insurer, which accounts for the majority of the homeowners insurance policies in Florida, has been, thus far, unable to address its own problems, leading lawmakers to get more involved in these issues and create legislation designed to put some of these problems to rest.
Legislation meant to address problems with Citizens Property Insurance
The legislation (Senate Bill 1770) introduces several changes to the homeowners insurance sector in an attempt to address the continued issues that plague Citizens Property Insurance. The state-run insurer has been struggling with a financial crisis for some time, putting strain on the state’s own budget and putting policyholders at undue risk. According to Florida lawmakers, the insurer does not have the capability to financially withstand a major hurricane. While Florida has managed to avoid any major hurricane for the past seven years, lawmakers are not interested to suffer the impact such a disaster would have on the state’s homeowners insurance sector.
Consumer advocates attack legislation
The legislation includes numerous provisions that have run afoul of several consumer advocacy groups throughout Florida. The Florida Association for Insurance Reform claims that the legislation is “very damaging and unnecessary,” with other organizations suggesting that the bill went too quickly through the legislative process. One of the provisions of the bill calls for an increase in homeowners insurance rates for all new policyholders. Consumer advocates claim that rates are meant to be raised to such a point where homeowners would be forced to find coverage from private companies.
Supporters claim bill is fiscally sound
Supporters of the legislation claim that the bill’s provisions are fiscally sound. Legislators claim that their involvement in Citizens Property Insurance is necessary in order to finally put to rest the financial problems the insurer has brought to the state. Encouraging consumers to purchase homeowners insurance coverage from private companies may also help revitalize the state’s dwindling homeowners insurance sector.