As insurance reform loses momentum amongst legislators, the Florida Insurance Council says that it will continue pushing for major changes to the state’s regulations and the Citizens Property Insurance group. Reform has fallen to the wayside in the current session of the state’s Legislature, which will begin next week. While lawmakers focus more on budget and redistricting, the much needed insurance changes are not to be considered until the next legislative session, which will happen much later in the year.
The Insurance Council is pushing for changes to the state’s personal injury protection (PIP) regulations. The insurance system has been the target of fraud in recent years, much of which is the result of the personal injury protection mandate. According to the Council, more than staged accidents have driven auto insurance premiums up by more than $900 million. While the Council has the support of Governor Rick Scott, lawmakers have yet to make PIP regulations a priority.
The state’s Citizens Insurance group is in dire need of reform as well. The state-run insurer is the largest property insurer in the state and accounts for more than 1.5 million policies. The insurer offers prices well beneath those offered by private companies. The drawback to this is that Florida is home to many high risk regions where natural disasters can cause significant damage. When these disasters come, the costs generated by them are much more than the insurer can recover through premiums. Governor Scott has suggested privatizing the group, but legislators have not determined a course of action as of yet.