House Speaker Paul Renner says homeowners insurance market will stabilize ‘in a couple of years’
House Speaker Paul Renner spoke about the positives and negatives of requiring Primary runoffs. But no committee in his chamber weighed the issue. Image via Colin Hackley/Florida Politics.

'It took years to get in the ditch and it will take a couple of years to get out.'

Florida homeowners who are concerned about spiking insurance premiums should be prepared to wait it out a little while longer.

That’s one takeaway from House Speaker Paul Renner’s interview that aired Sunday on WJXT’s This Week in Jacksonville.”

“It took years to get in the ditch and it will take a couple of years to get out of it,” Renner said.

Renner pointed to legislative changes that ended the “wild, wild west of litigation practices” driven by “unscrupulous contractors” that put undue pressures on insurers.

“And that had caused a lot of our insurers to go out of business and leave the state billions and billions of loss and dollars of losses. And so people looked at the state of Florida from the insurance market and said, stay away,” Renner said.

The Speaker acknowledged that the “reforms have not yet hit the consumer,” who is beset by “price increases” due to claims made during Hurricanes Ian and Nicole last year. These “are really creating some pressure on the back end of these reforms that we haven’t got out from under yet, but we will get out from under it,” Renner said.

The Speaker noted that “new insurers are coming into the market,” and they are needed given the state’s exposure via “a record number of people that insurers that are trying to take out Citizens Insurance policies.”

“And for those that don’t know, it’s supposed to be a last resort. If you can’t get anywhere else, you go to this government run Citizens program. And we have a real big number of folks that are on Citizens. We’ve got to depopulate that.”

Renner went on to blame “spikes in premiums” on “misbehavior by people that are not only contractors but lawyers who are making this a cottage industry.” By working to “rein in some of the mischief,” he said consumers will eventually benefit from a “healing” market.

Renner is the latest state official to tell Floridians to pack their patience when shopping insurance.

Gov. Ron DeSantis urged Florida homeowners to “knock on wood” and wait out the crisis during a radio interview earlier this month.

“I think they’re going to wait through this hurricane season and then I think they’re going to be willing to deploy more capital to Florida,” DeSantis said on the Howie Carr Show. “So, knock on wood, we won’t have a big storm this summer. Then I think you’re going to start to see companies see an advantage.”

Those Republicans currently not in Tallahassee are singing a somewhat different tune, meanwhile.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott said the recent departure of Farmers Insurance was a “wake-up call” to the state.

“Stop and think about it, here’s what happens for a company like Farmers to leave,” Scott said during a press conference. “They’ve spent years and decades to build up that clientele and just walk away. So this is a wake-up call to the state.”

The departure of Farmers comes after seven other insurers went insolvent in the last year, and is an indication to many homeowners and observers that the state’s insurance market is still in crisis.

Scott is urging talks with companies leaving the state.

“What you have to do is you have to sit down with the companies,” Scott said. “State Farm had left the state before I became Governor. I sat down with State Farm and said, ‘What are your issues?’ It always comes down to fraud. It always comes down to, there’s fraud going on in the market and guess what? If there’s fraud you pay for it because insurance is a shared cost.

“So I think what the state has to do is it’s got to sit down with Farmers, State Farm, all these companies and say, ‘What are the problems?’ Then what legislation do you need to get rid of it?” Scott continued, adding that “everybody involved needs to sit down with all these insurance companies to find out why their costs going up so much.”

A.G. Gancarski

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


  • A Random Guest

    July 23, 2023 at 11:11 am

    Funny to hear the Medicare über thief Scott blaming the insurance crisis on fraud.

    There he goes, projecting again.

    Rhonda and Paulie are just plain gaslighting.

  • Michael K

    July 23, 2023 at 11:12 am

    How about disclosing the huge hauls of cash our “lawmakers” are pocketing from the insurance companies? And while our governor and his sycophants are going after drag queens and destroying public education – (Look! Squirrel!) – insurance rates are skyrocketing. But lawsuits against Bud Light are more important.

    And lest we forget, all this “ditch digging” happened under Republican rule. Well Florida, you got what paid for (i.e. Corcoran’s million dollar golden parachute to destroy New College).

  • Andrew

    July 23, 2023 at 12:06 pm

    Meanwhile during the 2-5 year hiatus that even legislative leadership admits they can’t wean themselves off of Insurance PAC money, we need a statewide referendum that gives ALL Florida citizens, no political parties, no ideologies, the right to a REFUND of the amount of their insurance premium used to keep these legislators elected!

  • johnnyjohnny

    July 23, 2023 at 8:40 pm

    UH…hate to mess up your ‘political’ story, but it ain’t repubs’ bogeyman ‘litigation’ that caused insurance companies to desert the state. it’s 50 years of climate change denial by the repubs running the state, which resulted in hurricane, wind and flood damage that no insurance industry can cover and stay in business. might mention it next story.

  • Andrew

    July 23, 2023 at 8:47 pm

    Amen ! DeSantis isn’t running for President, he’s running away from the fact he can’t resolve GOP lies about climate change and what it has done to Florida’s economy! Highest inflation and insurance rates in the Country!

  • Colin

    July 24, 2023 at 2:49 am

    Rising ocean levels and stronger storms are a problem for any coastal state, but Florida seems to have the highest level of risk and denial. Insurers make money by accurately assessing risk. They’re leaving the Florida market because it’s too risky.

  • woke up

    July 24, 2023 at 7:26 am

    The Speaker’s crystal ball is amazing and apparently free of storm clouds from the Cat 5 that is coming now that the coastal waters around the State are almost boiling with heat! Couple of years to get out of the ditch, yeah, right! Risky coastal and wetlands development was foolhardy and we will all pay the price to keep insuring that risk.

  • Lex

    July 24, 2023 at 8:57 am

    I think passing a simple rule that state reinsurance will not cover anything in a Flood Zone would solve the problem, so that normal citizens are not subsidizing the uber rich with their beachfront homes.

    • Confederacy of dunces

      July 25, 2023 at 6:26 am

      Dear Lex, and Linda, you are my heroes. You have big beautiful brains. What you (and others here) say is correct. Thank you. The whole state is paying for unfettered risky overdevelopment in areas where they never should have been built (and also poorly built and getting worse).. Millions dollar mansions built on sand now tipping over in south PVB and Vilano and now $20 million MORE in taxpayer funded SAND to build back dunes to protect these homes some of which are covered by CITIZENS and owned by out of staters. There used to be alll mangroves and guess what, no flooding and minimal erosion. One small example. Why are inlanders and people who chose to live in NON Flood zones and low risk rated areas forced into the same insurance pools as people who just flat out disregarded all of that because they wanted their ridiculous McMansions built on sacred wetlands and devastated mangroves and literally on the coast? There should be a different system for these people and high value:-high risk homes, it’s just logical. Floriduh killed Florida. Not minimizing effect of climate change which we are only just seeing tip of. Too much damage before then so no defenses left.

  • Linda

    July 24, 2023 at 9:37 am

    We could end subsidized coverage of beachfront megamansions owned by people who don’t live in Florida. I almost never see anyone on the massive decks of these monstrous homes, and they accepted the liability themselves of living next to the Atlantic. Begin insurance coverage two miles inland.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704