Florida Senate gives the nod to homeowners insurance overhaul

Homeowners insurance - Policy

The changes will involve new lawsuit limits, among others to ease the burden to property owners.

This week, the Florida Senate gave its approval to overhauling homeowners insurance in the state, targeting the areas causing property owners – and therefore insurers – the largest amount of pain.

The industry in the state will be undergoing a number of critical changes to help lift it out of crisis.

Among the changes to the homeowners insurance industry that received approval include a new limit on lawsuits. There are also changes designed to push property owners back out of coverage with Citizens, the state-backed insurer of last resort, which is currently bloated with policies. Moreover, the Senate approved an additional $1 billion in taxpayer money to prop up the crumbling industry in the state.

Homeowners insurance - Legislation - Sign

The SB 2A legislation next proceeded to the Florida House and its Republican-led Legislature, where the end-of-week special session called by lawmakers will focus on the Senate-approved changes. The goal is to add some stability to the market that suffered even greater damage from Hurricane Ian after it was already struggling to keep its head above water.

The homeowners insurance bill was approved by 27-13 in the senate and is considered industry-friendly.

While the bill is meant to bring ease to property owners across the state, the focus is on salvaging the industry as a whole and does not come with any guarantee that policyholders will see relief in the premiums they are paying.

At the same time, for homeowners insurance policyholders – particularly the 1.1 million of them currently receiving their coverage through the state-supported Citizens Property Insurance Corporation – there will certainly be a difference felt.

The market itself in the state will undergo some notable reshaping due to the changes that have been approved by the Senate, should they make their way through the House as well. The market is in dire need of greater stability, where more than a dozen insurers have exited the state or have gone bankrupt, which was the case for 7 of them. While policyholders are still looking for relief, the goal at the moment is to recover the industry’s downward spiral.

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