A push by Senate Republicans to try to salvage Florida’s fragile property insurance market continues to move along — but it remains unclear if a major overhaul will make it to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis.
A Senate committee Wednesday pushed ahead two bills that cover everything from the rates charged and coverage provided by the state-created Citizens Property Insurance to changing how private insurance carriers handle roof claims.
Senators stressed the need to act this year, noting a long line of private carriers that are halting renewals or pulling out of the market.
“It’s not sustainable,” said Sen. Jim Boyd, who runs his own insurance agency in Bradenton and is the main sponsor of the Senate’s primary property insurance bill (SB 1728).
Boyd and other Senators also called the ongoing problems with property insurance a “catastrophe” that would only worsen if legislators failed to act. Saint Petersburg Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes is sponsoring a bill (SB 186) that takes aim at Citizens. Brandes has publicly complained that DeSantis and others are not taking the state’s property insurance crisis seriously.
Boyd’s legislation includes a provision that would give greater leeway to insurers on the type of coverage they provide for roof damage if the roof is 10 years or older. It could result in some homeowners receiving coverage that does not cover the full cost to install a new roof.
But it’s this provision that is drawing some questioning from other legislators — including House Speaker Chris Sprowls — who worry about whether people would be able to replace their roofs.
“I want to make sure people are compensated,” the Palm Harbor Republican told reporters on Wednesday. “If you get a hurricane, and you’ve got a senior citizen on a fixed income, I am cognizant of the fact that they may not be able to go and get a huge roof. I totally understand the arguments, so we’ll see how the conversation goes in the next several weeks.”
But Sen. Jason Brodeur, a Lake Mary Republican, brushed aside that point of view, contending people need to be more “serious” about setting aside money for repairs. He noted that drivers don’t expect their automobile insurance to cover the cost of new tires.
“These are not supposed to be warranties, they are supposed to be insurance policies,” Brodeur said.
Meanwhile, Senate President Wilton Simpson said property insurance remains a top priority for his chamber and that if lawmakers don’t pass legislation this year, then the Legislature will have “failed our citizens.”
February 16, 2022 at 10:23 pm
Thats a big crisis in FL let see if GOPers do anything for homeowners.
February 18, 2022 at 1:35 pm
Roofers and lawyers are milking the system, driving up premiums, causing cancellations and restrictions of writing, and resulting in looking at potentially disastrous legislation for property owners like actual cash value on roof replacements. Several insurers have already stopped writing, and it will get worse.
Best Roof Hatches
February 22, 2022 at 1:27 am
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