Jim Boyd promises to revisit homeowners insurance reform this Session
Dominc Calabro and Jim Boyd. Image via Florida TaxWatch.

Dom and Boyd
Lawmakers passed reforms already, but Boyd wants more.

Sen. Jim Boyd feels confident insurance reforms passed this year will eventually result in lower homeowner rates in Florida. But he also thinks the work is not done.

The Bradenton Republican will file legislation seeking further reforms, including changes to roofing insurance that stalled in negotiations between the two legislative chambers. He would also like to revisit solicitation restrictions tossed out by the courts.

“I still think there ought to be a way to hold unscrupulous solicitations accountable,” Boyd said. “I understand free speech, and I certainly support and appreciate that. But those that are out there causing the problems by doing things that aren’t right, there’s a question as to how much they should be protected.”

Boyd discussed the issue at Florida TaxWatch’s annual meeting, held this year at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota.

The legal problems that blocked parts of Boyd’s legislation this year related to contractors and adjustors who offer gifts and other perks to people for free inspections, then try and convince homeowners to conduct repairs on homes on the promise everything will be billed to insurance, only for the matters to end up in litigation involving policyholders and insurers.

Boyd also wants to revisit a change in roofing policies in Florida that could also impact disputes. Right now, Florida law only allows for policies that cover the full replacement cost of a roof. Boyd pushed last year to allow for lower cost policies that only cover a depreciated value of a roof, but that provision ultimately disappeared before a final product could be passed by the House and Senate.

Outside of insurance, Boyd discussed data privacy legislation, but cast some shade on its future. A bill this past Legislative Session came undone in the final hours amid business concerns about the cost of litigation. That’s been a chief concern for TaxWatch, which released a report pegging direct cost to Florida businesses between $6.2 billion and $21 billion, and annual compliance costs between $4.6 billion and $12.7 billion.

Boyd expects the topic to come up again this year but predicted resistance in the Senate.

“I don’t sense that we will pass anything that puts our businesses back,” Boyd said.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


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