Rick Scott says property insurance rates ‘skyrocketed’ in Ron DeSantis’ era
Rick Scott. Image via AP.

rick_scott_ap_05112022
“People are going bare now because they can't afford it.”

Rick Scott again isn’t providing Ron DeSantis much rhetorical cover when it comes to Florida’s property insurance problems.

During an interview that aired Sunday, Scott said that rates had “skyrocketed” in the last four years, a time roughly equivalent to DeSantis’ era in Tallahassee.

“And now what you’ve seen is the cost of property insurance has just skyrocketed, in the last four years,” Scott said on WJXT’s “This Week in Jacksonville.”

“Some people are dropping it. And it’s because they can’t afford it,” Scott added. “That’s really a problem.”

Scott said it was important to “get the prices down” in the property insurance market by “eliminating the fraud,” before offering another shiv toward the current policy, spotlighting the expansion of the Citizens Property Insurance customer base, the “insurer of last resort” which is now over a million customers as private insurers have failed or bailed on the state.

“When I was Governor, we worked on dramatically downsizing Citizens Insurance, which we did. By the time I left, it was fully funded,” Scott recounted. “The catastrophic fund was fully funded. What has happened is there was fraud. It’s going to take the Legislature and the Governor to crack down on that to get these rates down.”

“My understanding is now in Florida, the property insurance rates are, I think, three times the national average,” Scott added. “If you have plenty of money, that’s fine.”

“People are going bare now because they can’t afford it,” Scott added. “They’ve got their house paid off and they’re going bare.”

“We’ve got to have good access to insurance,” Scott added. “And it’s got to be a rate you can afford.”

DeSantis, for his part, told reporters this week that it was widely known that Citizens had capital problems and that a relative lack of exposure in Southwest Florida was really fortunate.

He said on Friday his administration “had questions early on even as the storm was hitting about the Citizens Property Insurance, which I think most of you know is unfortunately undercapitalized, and it’s something that if you had a major storm, could be in some problems.”

Luckily for those policyholders at risk from Citizens’ precarious position, “they don’t have quite as many policies in this part of the state as they do in some other parts of the state. So, they feel like they are going to be able to pay the claims that are out.”

Scott’s comments, recorded days before when he was in St. Augustine surveying damage from Hurricane Ian, are his latest expressions of concern over what he has called a “failing” property insurance market during the DeSantis era.

“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?”

Ahead of the storm,  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.

It’s unclear if Scott and DeSantis have spoken substantially since the storm. Scott wanted dialogue but he apparently was rebuffed, the latest indication that the two men don’t get along.

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


39 comments

  • Elliott Offen

    October 16, 2022 at 10:16 am

    One person who can afford it is grifter RICK SCOTT AkA Fraud Scott. If you think he really gives a sht then you are wrong. He cares about the people who work in the insurance industry but that’s about it. Mostly he cares about the abstract concept of the “free market” and not the negative externalities that he is pretending to care about here.

  • PeterH

    October 16, 2022 at 10:29 am

    Within a year after Ian property insurance will be non-existent in Florida. The “undercapitalized “ Citizens policies …… Florida’s State owned insurance company was never designed to weather repeated storms never mind a Category 4 hitting a populated area.

    Florida residents are on your own. Federal bailouts cannot continue indefinitely.

    • Anthony Ruehle

      October 16, 2022 at 3:26 pm

      Sorry to tell you but that is the same thing that was said after Hurricane Andrew that there would be no insurance within a year after Andrew. I know I lived through it.. But Guess they are still here. As for federal bailouts they will always continue, Just look at all the money Biden has just said they are sending to Puerto Rico to fix the electric system, even after the United States has dumped billions into it since the last hurricane 4 or 5 years ago to upgrade it. But this storm show all that money did not fix any of the problems, if anything it seem to be worse.

      • Sheila s

        October 17, 2022 at 10:26 am

        Work on spelling and reality

      • nail

        October 17, 2022 at 3:23 pm

        Ha, ha, ha FL Politics would do themselves a favor if they would get rid of the partisan BS these idiots spew.

        Hurricane Andrew happened in 1992.6 insurance companies became insolvent because of their losses from Hurricane Andrew. Many others fled the Florida home insurance market. The state was forced to create two home insurance pools: the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association (FWUA), which provided coastal residents with wind-only coverage, and the Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association (JUA), which provided comprehensive home insurance to Floridians who couldn’t find coverage in the private insurance market. In 2002, the two combined to form Citizen’s Property Insurance Corporation, a not-for-profit, tax-exempt government entity to provide property insurance to eligible Florida property owners unable to find insurance coverage in the private market.

        If DeSantis was a man instead of try out his acting skills everyday, he would have called Governor Newsome and get ideas how a state with a 1M home can be insured for less than $2,000 in a earthquake zone than a 300K home 10 miles from the ocean.

        • Anthony Ruehle

          October 18, 2022 at 6:15 pm

          Guess you live in California. Since you seem to like Newsome so much, but we in Florida do not want to be forced to have a states sales tax like you a people in California do. That is why California is losing so many residence every year. BY the way if you check you will see the year Andrew hit there where other disasters around the nation and it turns out that that year was one of the biggest money making years on record. Most insurance companies underwrite the insurance they sell so as not to get hurt so bad.

          • nail

            October 19, 2022 at 3:15 pm

            I have lived in FKL for 40 years and worked in Politics for 45. Specifically the Capitol building in DC.
            I follow all politics and politicians. One think I know is a authoritarian when I see one. DeSantis is it. Trump wanted to be but he did was an idiot. DeSantis had a nice small state he took over. Everything from taking away the state financial investments last year to transferring fund from Covid to interest?? Never happened.
            And Andrew there was no insurance. Maybe you are to old or to much of a MAGAt to remember. In 2002 we have 6 insurance cos. The state had to form Citizens out of what we had in 2002.
            Maybe you need to either educate yourself on Newsome. Has insurance policies are heralded as some of the best in the country. Why would a 1M home on a earthquake vault be $3,200 and in FL it is at a min. $15,000, 10 miles from the ocean.Because there was fraud going on with DeSantis’ legislature and with his approval. 8% of the claims but 80% of the litigation. DeSantis does like to keep the kickbacks coming in. What do you think DeSantis has done. In 2019 legal bills to FL $2.4 million. This yr so far over 100 Million…Every bill he has written overturned by the courts for the 1st Amendment. Every single one. I am assuming you know what the 1st Amendment is. You Rights! Yeah, free FL, free Fl from DeSantis.
            Even Rick Scott recognized it.

            “And now what you’ve seen is the cost of property insurance has just skyrocketed, in the last four years,” Scott said. “Some people are dropping it. And it’s because they can’t afford it,” Scott added. “That’s really a problem.” it was important to “get the prices down” in the property insurance market by “eliminating the fraud,” before offering another shiv toward the current policy, spotlighting the expansion of the Citizens Property Insurance customer base, the “insurer of last resort” which is now over a million customers as private insurers have failed or bailed on the state.

            “In the popular television series Stranger Things, the ‘upside down’ describes a parallel dimension containing a distorted version of our world,” Walker,
            wrote when he rules “Woke bill was un-woke”. “Recently, Florida has seemed like a First Amendment is UPSIDE DOWN.

    • Jake

      October 16, 2022 at 3:31 pm

      PeterH,

      Citizens can never go under as it has the ability to assess pretty much any policyholder of any admitted insurer in FL.

      BTW, when FLorida’s 8% of open home owners claims in the US represent 80% of the home owners litigation in the US, do not expect the private sector to come to your rescue.

  • Ocean Joe

    October 16, 2022 at 10:47 am

    “If you have plenty of money, that’s fine.”
    Isn’t that the Republican approach to everything?

    He (Uncle Fester) actually did depopulate Citizen’s policy holder numbers, but he did this by pushing start up insurance companies, and if I recall, actually helping to fund them.
    Policy holders received a notice moving them from Citizens, unless they objected.
    Where are those companies now? Mostly out of business, leading Citizen’s numbers to swell again, and enriching the folks who opened up those companies.

  • Frankie M.

    October 16, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    Republicans talk about pocketbook issues like bidenflation but ignore property insurance reform in favor of CRT, wokeness, and immigration. Who could have seen this coming 5 years ago after Irma? Literally anyone and everyone.

    • Franco D.

      October 16, 2022 at 8:48 pm

      Right you are. Ronda Santis was busy flying immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard and getting his five minutes of fame on Fox Entertainment while Ian was boring down on SW Florida. He didn’t urge the citizens of Lee County to evacuate until one day prior to being slammed by Ian. What a waste of a governor.

      • nail

        October 19, 2022 at 3:21 pm

        The National Hurricane Center felt that it should rebut DeSantis’ lies. He did not evacuate Lee county until the day before the actual hurricane. The felt they should show a time lapse of what was happening on the ground the day before with film. Comparing DeSantis’s call for evacuation when the hurricane winds were on Lee county.
        40 yrs I have never seen anything like it where the NHA has had to defend themselves over a liar of a governor.

  • Bob

    October 16, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    Besides fraud the other problem is lack of a competitive market. The major companies do not want to do business here. Fix that and fraud problem solved. Why not make the entire state eligible for the Windstorm Pool write all the wind through Citizens. Now companies would compete for the non Hurricane premium, and would only have to reinsure those losses. Citizens would be backed by the state and reinsurance.

  • Jake

    October 16, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    What a joke! Demotech speaks truth in July, gets skewered, and no one defends them. Yet, everyone says now what Demotech said then.

  • Anthony Ruehle

    October 16, 2022 at 3:16 pm

    Most people complain because property insurance went up over the last 4 years, but fail to also say how the value of their property has gone up by around 25% or more. Also what has the cost of building supplies gone up over the same time. Wood has gone up at least
    40% since the start of Covid and all other supplies such as nail and electric supplies did the same. Not to mention that minimum wage was raised by at least 25% or more over the same 4 years. Notice Rick Scott like all politicians never mentions the cause of the price increases.

    • Berry

      October 17, 2022 at 7:57 am

      That’s because the causes are varied, but what doesn’t change is the fact that all these issues Floridians face are a direct result of Republican control. It has been over 2 decades since Democrats had any form of control or power in the state of Florida.
      Republicans have controlled the state Congress and the Governor’s house since Lawton Childs. This is why DeSantis wants to always blame the federal government and the Liberal states for our problems. When you actually look around at all the things affecting Floridians negatively, the only people Florida’s leaders can blame are in the mirror.
      Of course they’ll have their mindless followers repeating their lies for them though.

  • Isaac velez

    October 16, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    My property insurance went from 1200 to 3800 in the last 4 years and I don’t have any claims on my home. In my opinion if Governor DeSantis would put as much energy as he has against Disney and sending Migrants to Martha’s Vinyard as has.put in for the home owners we would be in a better place…

    • Wendy

      October 17, 2022 at 9:37 am

      My friend’s homeowners insurance went from $1400 to $4700 since 2018 and she just got notice that next year it is going to $5900. This is on a house that is less than $350k and the assessment went up less than 30k. She is about 15 miles inland. It’s insane.

    • nail

      October 17, 2022 at 3:29 pm

      My insurance $1,800 in 2019. to Nov 1, 2022 $9,104.
      All under DeSantis, Rick Scott even admitted it. Crist reduced the insurance and never allowed the fraud and lawyers to take over the state, DeSantis has. But when DeSantis decided to put through every culture war law and all were overturned for the 1st Amendment everyone knew the state was in trouble. Where would FL be with a real governor, not not an actor Desantis. More than half would have have insurance , and FT. Myers would not be for sale

  • Michael Adams

    October 16, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    Hey Rick, the rates went up no matter who would have been in office. At least the rates weren’t even higher for someone like you to get kickbacks and continue to line your pockets like you and your family have in the past. You are just jealous of Ron. He’s done more for Floridians in his tenure than you could ever dream of doing.

    • Patrick Kigo

      October 17, 2022 at 11:17 am

      You’re foolish and have drunk the Ron Desantis cool-aide. Common sense would tell you that something is wrong. Even when Rick Scott was Governor the insurance rates didn’t go up like now and he too was a Republican so why all of a sudden they are going up under Ron Desantis? It’s because he is doing something he has no business or either just letting things fall off the cliff. We Floridians are going to get exactly what we deserve when we keep trash bags in Office up in Tallahassee. Mark my words!!!!

  • Robert Bruner

    October 17, 2022 at 3:45 am

    Where I live at on the Gulf Coast, the waterfront homeowners are mostly wealthy republicans. I would bet most towns/cities on the Gulf Cost are the same. These people contribute heavily to GOP lobbyists to keep their insurance rates as low as possible while transfering the difference to people inland who have never filed a claim. These are the people who never really think about insurance because their property never floods and the only damage the may have from a storm is a few lost shingles. In other words, Florida insurance in socialism yet our focus is immigrants in Texas. Ronnies priorites are his plump face on TV for his own fragile ego.

  • Douglas ReardonFlorids

    October 17, 2022 at 4:48 am

    What if you got a letter saying your insurance will cancel i march of 2023 Because they are leaving state my house wont be fixed by the time UPC insurance bails on me How do i insure a he not complete because of poor response time and poor employee lying to customers????

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    October 17, 2022 at 7:33 am

    Frothing Democrats ignore the fraud that caused the problem.

    • Berry

      October 17, 2022 at 8:03 am

      How can we ignore the fact that Democrats haven’t made any decisions in Florida for decades?
      Any and all reasons for the state of Florida is the responsibility of the party who has had the most control over the law making and enforcement.
      Florida has been controlled by Republicans since Lawton Childs.
      Not surprised though that you people still try to blame everyone else for your problems, but your present leaders are full of excuses. It’s that type of ignorance that has place the vast majority of you in the situation you’re in.

  • Jeff Thompson

    October 17, 2022 at 9:12 am

    First of all we have had multiple hurricanes Michael up to Ivan.
    I do work for homeowners insurance companies don’t want to pay claims this causes lawsuits so insurance rates go up. Lobbyists are the biggest problem.
    Citizens insurance sucks!! You have to use their sub-par contractors to do the work unless you want to pay out of pocket thanks to the insurance cap and policy language.

    • Hope

      October 17, 2022 at 10:32 am

      And yet it’s all Democrats in Tallahassee who have been indicted, prosecuted, and imprisoned in federal penitentiaries recently. Andrew Gillum and his Democratic Party co conspirator trials up next. People need to be thankful that Governor DeSantis was elected – who can solve problems – not create them. If Gillium had been elected Florida would be upside down.

      • nail

        October 17, 2022 at 3:33 pm

        federal judge on Thursday blocked Florida from enforcing a key aspect of the state’s new law restricting what Gov. Ron DeSantis calls “woke” workplace trainings about race.

        In a 44-page decision, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker slammed Florida’s “Stop-WOKE” Act, criticizing its policies as “bordering on unintelligible” as he granted a injunction on the grounds the law violates the First Amendment.

        “In the popular television series Stranger Things, the ‘upside down’ describes a parallel dimension containing a distorted version of our world,” Walker,
        wrote. “Recently, Florida has seemed like a First Amendment upside down.”

  • sabrina haake

    October 17, 2022 at 9:24 am

    Florida, and US taxpayers, will spend hundreds of billions to repair the damage caused by escalating hurricane strength powered by warming and rising seas. It’s an ignorant approach. We should be spending hundreds of billions to upgrade the grid and battery capacities to power the state with solar and offshore wind to stop the temps from climbing more. Where is DeSantis’ climate change policy? It’s non-existent, because he’s “anti-woke.” Anti-science is more like it.

    • Hope

      October 17, 2022 at 11:33 am

      Sci-co-paths AKA climate change fanatics have proven to be ridiculous lunatics where they have no scientific facts to base their ridiculousness on.

      Don Lemon’s attempt to legitimize it by living on the Gulf of Mexico growing up has been debunked and he has been demoted. That is their beginning of their end.

  • Darlene Sierocuk

    October 17, 2022 at 9:46 am

    Rick Scott is blaming DeSantis? The same Rick Scott who dismantled the Florida state agency which was charged with stopping additional building and development in high risk (of flood and windstorm damage) areas?
    So Scott assisted the wealthy by allowing them to build waterfront homes (as investments or personal homes), and now he blames the next governor for unmanageable insurance losses?
    I am not a supporter of our current governor, but surely Floridians are smart enough to link Scott’s decision to allow development in uninsurable areas, to the failure of insurance companies who are stuck with the bill later? And BTW all Floridians will be sharing in the surcharge to cover the Citizen’s losses soon enough 😢

  • Eamon

    October 17, 2022 at 1:46 pm

    It definitely did. I don’t have a single neighbor or know a single homeowner that hasn’t been affected by this. Mine doubled.

  • Hal Bedlam

    October 17, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    Rick Scott is only interested in lining his own pockets. Biggest POS in the Republican Party.

  • William Brown

    October 17, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Are you kidding me Rick Scott? I remember when you ripped off medicare. That is how you become wealthy. You sucked as the governor of Florida . Taxes went through the roof here.
    Cut the bullshit. Lies and facts will stop your election. We the people haven’t forgotten.

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 18, 2022 at 4:56 am

    Desantis is a damn human trafficker on Florida tax dollars. Just like Rick Scott willingly killed humans as CEO! Lock up
    Desantis and Scott!

    • SuperMario45

      October 18, 2022 at 1:58 pm

      You off your Meds again Hunter? The laptop got you down?

  • SuperMario45

    October 18, 2022 at 1:57 pm

    Rick Scott should know that it is THE AMBULANCE CHASING LAWYERS that have destroyed the Homeowners Insurance Industry and caused rates to fly, DeSantis is working on that, people need to settle with the Insurers and NOT hire the Sharks because a settlement with the Insurer will be better than the minority share of a Legal Settlement. DON’T GET RIPPED OFF BY THE LAWYERS.

  • Linwood Wright

    October 18, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    Rick Scott & Ron DeSantis hate each other. This is a pretty open secret in Tallahassee.

    Too bad DeSantis wasted his term playing Culture Warrior and “triggering the libs” instead of doing anything useful.

  • Conor

    October 19, 2022 at 11:57 am

    I agree with Scott when he says Desantis needs to sort it out but I also think he is deflecting blame as he was the governer who set the stage for this mess!

Comments are closed.


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