Rick Scott concerned about ‘failing’ Florida property insurers
Image via AP.

rickscottdesantis
'We've got to have a robust property insurance market in this state.'

The property insurance market continues to get scrutiny during the Gov. Ron DeSantis era, with his immediate predecessor the latest to denote distress amid Hurricane Ian’s onslaught.

Rick Scott spoke Wednesday night about solvency issues with the property insurance market, which has driven unprecedented growth of the Citizens Insurance customer base.

“Citizens has grown quite a bit recently. We’ve got to figure out why these companies are failing. There’s a lot of property insurance companies that have failed recently. We’ve got to figure out why Citizens is the size it is. And how do we make sure that when you have insurance, you actually have real coverage?”

“And so, I think it’s something the state’s going to have to put a lot of effort into,” Scott continued. “We’ve got to have a robust property insurance market in the state, and we’ve got to have insurance companies that are fully funded, so that they can provide the resources if something like this happens.”

Scott was responding to the introduction of a POLITICO article entitled “DeSantis faces the true test of any Florida Governor,” which bemoaned what was called a “faltering” property insurance market. He agreed with the idea that major hurricanes do indeed test Governors.

“Every time you learn something,” Scott said when asked if hurricanes represented a “test” for a Governor by Fox host Bret Baier. “They’ll learn something from this one.”

DeSantis’ campaign rapid response director Christina Pushaw refuted the idea that a storm was a “test” at all.

Media talking point is Hurricane Ian is a “test” of Gov. DeSantis. No — it’s a natural disaster; the governor is focused on saving lives. Stop politicizing! If you are genuinely curious about how Gov. DeSantis responds to emergencies, see Surfside 2021. We are in good hands,” Pushaw tweeted.

Scott is the most high-profile Florida Republican to air concerns about the state’s property insurance market, but he is not the only former Governor voicing qualms.

DeSantis’ opponent in November, Democrat Charlie Crist, has maligned DeSantis as “the worst property insurance Governor in Florida’s history.” He has demanded DeSantis “provide emergency, 90-day coverage for homeowners who were dropped by their failing companies.”

The latest Crist blast came as FedNat became the sixth Florida company to leave customers in the lurch, due to unresolved solvency issues. Florida’s Department of Financial Services filed a petition to put the company into receivership.

This came after ratings agency Demotech earlier this year riled state officials by announcing intentions to downgrade 17 companies.

DeSantis defended his record on insurance during a press conference in Tallahassee Monday morning.

“We just did a Special Session. We put $2 billion into a fund to provide a backstop that kept a lot of them from going out of business,” DeSantis said, referring to the money allocated for reinsurance.

“And this is a problem that we’re going to continue to tackle,” DeSantis said. “Clearly, there’s other things legislatively that I’d like to see done. I think we will get that done soon, but this is something that we will respond to.”

“First of all, we’re a strong state. We’ve got a huge amount of financial wherewithal right now so we’ll be able to get through it,” DeSantis added. “But if you’re asking would I rather not have had a storm hit us, then the answer is yes.”

Other Republicans have been open about describing a market on the verge of seismic collapse, including outgoing state Sen. Jeff Brandes. He tweeted ahead of the storm, when a Tampa Bay landfall was expected, saying that impact could have resulted in $40 billion in claims damage to insured properties alone.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


10 comments

  • PeterH

    September 28, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    After this storm there will be no property insurance in Florida. The very wealthy will rebuild. Many many upper middle class and middle class seniors will walk away from their real estate that the price of restoration will be quadruple the price that they paid for the property twenty years ago.

    The lucky millionaire investors who set their property ownership as an LLC may be the only winners in this mess.

    • Elliott Offen

      September 28, 2022 at 8:20 pm

      Yep. The Republicans have allowed the hogs and grifters to run Florida into the ground. It’s a low wage, hardcore exploitation state, grifter state, money vaccume for the rich. Too many stupid people voting for people who only serve the intrests of the rich. The snake oil salesmen have roped in these dopes with their right wing culture wars.

    • Tom

      September 28, 2022 at 9:00 pm

      This us classic chameleon crisp.
      Just a pathetic demagogue, the lowest end.

      Crisp is getting his pathetic as kicked!

  • Tom

    September 28, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    Let’s see how this plays out.
    Can you ever not act like a know it all?
    My goodness.

    Citizens received a $2 billion investment.
    I am sure the state will do what it can to help create a stronger back stop. Insurance is based upon risk. The risk unfortunately outweighs investment right now.

    Between the federal and state some options may present itself.

    • Tom

      September 28, 2022 at 11:21 pm

      Oh I almost forgot…prayers to all who were effected by the tropical 3 ocean windcane 🤡

  • Alejandro

    September 28, 2022 at 10:53 pm

    This is not a political issue. It’s a fraud issue. Too many fraudsters making too many fraudulent claims with too many willing lawyers and firms that rake in millions in false claims. That’s what driving the insurers out of the state or causing the ones that are staying to raise their rates.

  • Tom

    September 29, 2022 at 8:41 am

    Gee Whiz. Alien Rick and the GOP was eager to allow risky coastal and wetlands development so their donors could make ton of money selling the “dream” to yanks to live the good life in sunny Florida. Then, when the smart insurance companies refused to insure those sitting ducks, they decided to keep the scheme up with a socialist State insurance company called “Citizens.” They named it that because everyone who has an insured home gets an assessment to fund the losses. No matter where and how safe they decided to live. So, Alien Rick, your after the fact expression of concern is silly. Allowing dumb risky buildings was sure to result in multi Billion dollar losses from a tropical cyclone.

    • Morrolan

      October 4, 2022 at 1:06 pm

      I was wondering why government thinks it is fine to build up all this infrastructure with residential neighborhoods on the coast that is susceptible to hurricanes.

  • Sam

    September 29, 2022 at 10:31 am

    Florida hasn’t had a robust home insurance market in 30 years.

  • Morrolan

    October 4, 2022 at 11:49 am

    The overhead of litigation for insurance companies have led to some companies backing out of the state entirely, and others refusing to write any new Florida policies. With 80 percent of the litigation in the country happening in Florida. Why is that? Can’t that be solved?

Comments are closed.


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