The overhaul for the state backed insurer is being held back yet again in Florida.
On Wednesday, a vote that had been scheduled for a sizeable overhaul of homeowners insurance in Florida was delayed, yet again, which may suggest that the fear of sending rates skyward is holding the bill down in the state Senate.
It is not that the bill is without the necessary support, but the sponsor is seeking additional time.
The sponsor of the bill is Senator David Simmons (R-Altamonte Springs). He indicated that he has already had enough support for the homeowners insurance reform bill since last week, but he would still like more time in order to build a greater consensus and make a few amendments. The purpose of this 100 page long bill is to lower the risk level that is currently faced by Citizens.
The state back homeowners insurance company would then be able to increase its rates.
Should Citizens be able to raise its rates, it would allow the private market to become more competitive, so that a larger number of homeowners insurance customers will be forced to buy private policies, instead. These rate increases are geared primarily toward the policyholders who joined Citizens most recently and who have the “wind only” coverage, which has a very high risk.
Nearly immediately before its first scheduled vote, last week, Simmons withdrew the homeowners insurance bill from the schedule. This occurred once again this week, when it was “temporarily postponed” on Wednesday. After it made its way through the committee process quite smoothly, the bill has seen three delays on the Senate floor within the span of the last two weeks. It has also faced forty different amendments.
According to Simmons, he would like to further amend the homeowners insurance bill so that it is better able to address lawmaker concerns regarding the financial impact that it would have on their constituents if it should pass.
Barry Gilway, the president of Citizens homeowners insurance, had previously announced in April that the bill would result in rate hikes of 60 percent or higher in eleven different state counties. Many of those massive rate hikes would be for the policyholders of wind only coverage.