Wilton Simpson says lawmakers will ‘fail’ citizens if they don’t tackle homeowner insurance ‘crisis’

Simpson, Wilton - 2
'If we fail, because of whatever special interests, then we’ve only failed our citizens.'

Senate President Wilton Simpson on Thursday said his chamber continues to make the state’s property insurance market a priority and warned that things could worsen if the Legislature does not act this Session.

The Senate will produce another property bill and Simpson said that he is hopeful the House will take it up before lawmakers adjourn the 2022 Session in March.

“There is something we have to do to get to this fraud,” Simpson told reporters after the Senate adjourned. “And it’s the only way we are going to bring down these prices. If we fail, because of whatever special interests, then we’ve only failed our citizens.”

Simpson said if the Legislature does not pass a bill this year, rates will rise upward of 20%.

During debate over property insurance in the Senate Wednesday, Sen. Jeff Brandes said that Gov. Ron DeSantis was not paying attention as homeowners get hit with huge rate hikes and insurers are opting to stop writing policies in the Sunshine State.

“Frankly, we have to get the Governor to get engaged on this to a level that, to date, he has not been engaged at,” Brandes said during debate.

Brandes told Florida Politics after the meeting that House Republicans and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis are not stepping forward to address the crisis either. He said he does not even know who in the Governor’s Office is even paying attention to property insurance legislation.

Devin Galetta, a spokesperson for Patronis, said the CFO has “rolled out major initiatives for protecting consumers and fighting premium increases.”

Neither DeSantis’ office nor House Speaker Chris Sprowls’ office responded to a request for a comment from Florida Politics by press time.

Florida’s property insurance market has already been called “dire” by the state Insurance Commissioner. Meanwhile, the number of homeowners shifting to the state-created Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has been growing larger. The Office of Insurance Regulation in 2020 approved more than 50 rate hikes that were 10% or larger.

Brandes is term-limited out of office after the 2022 Legislative Session and has become a maverick, bucking Simpson publicly.

Simpson, who is running for Agriculture Commissioner, agreed with Brandes that there is an urgent need to act, but he did not openly criticize his Republican brethren.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


  • PeterH

    February 3, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    Property insurance will worsen when the next massive category five hurricane rips Florida’s coast from Miami to Palm Beach. It’s just a matter of time. Everyone participating in the LLC real estate game will walk away with a business loss. Everyone else will pay their own building repairs or walk away and flush their investment into the ocean. It’s the cost of living east of Rt. 95. Shed no tears ….. we all decided to live here.

  • tom palmer

    February 4, 2022 at 12:52 am

    This is not a new issue. I heard people from the insurance industry talked about pulling out of Florida coastal areas more than 10 years ago.

  • Ron Ogden

    February 4, 2022 at 7:20 am

    Where were you folks after Andrew? This problem is about as new as termites in the garage are new.

  • George Harasz

    February 5, 2022 at 8:11 am

    This issue and the cost of auto insurance in this state are my main two priorities. I wish these Republicans and DeSantis would get behind this I’m so sick of it.

    • nail

      February 7, 2022 at 8:58 am

      DeSantis appointed the insurance commissioners. What do you expect when it is a payoff for the DeSantis pocket.
      My insurance doubled and I put on a $42,000 roof. One car is new in Nov and I pay more for that than the same car 4 yrs old. This is DeSantis world until we vote out this POS!

  • Rick Stark

    February 6, 2022 at 9:50 am

    Homeowner’s insurance premiums have been steadily rising, especially the past few years. This year, they are skyrocketing. The insurance industry continues the drum beat of bad actor contractors and attorney’s fees. This is definitely a big part of the problem. Every session there is a bill to address this, it passes, and the rate increases continue. No doubt that the geographical location of Florida is an issue too. It’s time for insurers to look inward. The kind of rate increases this year will become an economic drain on the state if homeowners cannot afford to buy coverage, especially when purchasing a new home. I’ve had people in the insurance business, or those who work with insurers tell me that the methodology of paying claims is deeply flawed, and that regardless of the reserves required, carriers don’t put enough back into the business to prepare for storm laden seasons. The Senate, House Speaker and Governor need to put politics aside, and do the right thing for policy holders. The skyrocketing rates I talked about earlier, are 40-50% rate increases, or just plain policy cancellations. This atmosphere just cannot continue.

    • nail

      February 7, 2022 at 9:01 am

      If it is not to DeSantis’ advantage, the state will suffer.
      All he is worried about is satisfying the base. They don’t complain because they were ordered to NEVER go against what any of the GQP say or do. It’s the cult. Their wires do not connect.

  • Tom

    February 7, 2022 at 8:45 am

    Simpson should know that Floridians need relief at the gas pump. Let’s get the gas tax reduced ASAP. Instead of 6 months do it for 3 months if 6 is to long.

    Simpson needs to get going here, the Gov has outlined it and the funding to compensate.

    Pump relief is needed Wilton, not raising the states workers pay. Take care of the peeps.

  • Mark E.

    February 8, 2022 at 11:28 am

    You should research what impact the attorney fee multiplier is having on the Florida HO insurance market. When Florida has 8% of the national premiums but 93% of the attorney fee awards nationally, you know something is wrong. The trial lawyers are ripping you off blind and nobody sees it. They blame the governor and legislators and regulators when they are not the real reason why you are paying more and more….

Comments are closed.


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