Ron DeSantis says he wanted to go further than Legislature in fixing insurance problems
Ron DeSantis signs a 'common-sense' insurance reform bill that's loved by the industry and hated by consumer advocates.

DeSantis 2
'I've always wanted to do more than the Legislature wanted to do.'

Florida’s homeowners’ insurance market is about to be severely tested by Tropical Storm Idalia, and while the Legislature passed a package to support it this year, the Governor says he would have done more if he could.

“I’ve always wanted to do more than the Legislature wanted to do,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in Tallahassee.

“We got the Legislature to do a lot more this year than we’ve ever had. So, whatever is down the pike that could be beneficial to the market, I’m all ears for it.”

The Legislature has shored up the reinsurance market and made various legislative reforms recently, as insurers have bailed from Florida.

SB 2A, passed in December, provided $1 billion from the state’s general revenue fund to bolster the reinsurance market, to stop last year’s attrition of available providers. This followed up another $2 billion allocation from a Special Session in May 2022 for essentially the same purpose.

But despite that, DeSantis has been compelled to defend insurance changes, not just in Florida but during his presidential campaign, pushing back against the “false premise” that not enough had been done.

DeSantis said Monday that “reforms” had paid off, meanwhile, saying that the response to a potential storm strike this week “would likely be more feasible and sustainable than prior to our reform.”

The Governor believes “the fact that people are coming into the market for the first time in a long time shows that we identified problems and that we offered good solutions.”

However, he has acknowledged elsewhere that Floridians will need some luck to deal with this storm season, as he 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 of insurance companies earlier this month 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 with policies from Citizens Property Insurance may need to knock the loudest. DeSantis noted last year that the state-sponsored insurer of last resort was “unfortunately undercapitalized” and that the company could go “belly up” if it actually had to weather a major storm.

DeSantis purportedly helped to boost the reinsurance market during his stop in England this spring. He met with British reinsurance companies, and “secured a commitment from companies in attendance to increase access for carriers serving Florida policyholders,” according to a media release from the Governor’s Office.

Despite these efforts, confidence is far from universal that recent fixes will help people this storm season.

House Speaker Paul Renner said last month that it “took years to get in the ditch and it will take a couple of years to get out of it.”

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 news 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 came 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. That’s despite new companies entering the market in recent months, such as Orion180 Select Insurance Company, Orion180 Insurance Company, Mainsail Insurance Company and Tailrow Insurance Company.

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

  • Michael K

    August 28, 2023 at 10:31 am

    Liar.

    • Tjb

      August 28, 2023 at 12:25 pm

      Exactly. Ron is passing the buck. The Legislatures were DeSantis’s puppets.
      Thus Ron is lying again.

  • Dale A Arnold

    August 28, 2023 at 10:32 am

    It’s not my fault! Getting ready to push the weak Republican legislators that bowed down to his every whim under the bus! That’s not leadership as Christ Christie rightly said of DeSantis!

  • Earl Pitts "Earl Told Ya So" American

    August 28, 2023 at 10:45 am

    Good mornting America,
    The problem with the last legislative session was not the Dook 4 Brains Leftist membership. No not at all, The Ronald and I Earl Pitts American, had them totally under our thumb.
    The problem which brought on more than just Legislative property insurance failures was 100% the fault of Senate President Passadomo, who was seceretly back stabbing both important legislation and Desantis personally, behind the scenes.
    We at the time thought she was off a little mentally so, as gentelmen with great respect for the ladies, we did not call her out like we should have. Perhaps, in her mind, she thought she had a greater political future, we did not know why she killed or watered down so much major legislation to the detriment of Florida’s Citizens.
    But looking back I, Earl Pitts American, shoulder the full responsability for failing to put Passadomo on a short political leash.
    Totally my fault and not America’s Govornor’s fault.
    Thank you America for letting me clear this up and air my, Earl Pitts American’s, dirty laundry with you. Again totally my fault totally my bad and not “The Ronald’s” fault for not putting Passadomo on a short political leash.
    EPA

  • John.Q.Public

    August 28, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    Well now Earl that totally explaines the questionable epic fails of Florida’s last legislative session. Granted it was a great session with lots of quality laws passed for the betterment of Florida’s citizens.
    Best of all it is now totally clear Desantis was not at fault for open carry being shot down and home insurers bunkey-holeing Florida’s citizens with no lube. And as for your responsability, Earl, I think I speak for all Floridians when I say Earl you did the best that you could do and you are forgiven. John

  • My Take

    August 28, 2023 at 11:02 pm

    It’s AWAYS someone else’s fault.
    Trump-II.

  • B.Joseph

    August 29, 2023 at 3:15 am

    Gov Disastrous is fiddling with CRT, DIS, fighting wokeness, LB letter salad (you know, the important things to improve citizens lives), while FL burns. A weaker tRUmp 2.0…sad, bc they cant even replace the loser, who will lose again. Only Darwin’s theory is winning in FL and in 2024 for the cry-baby GOP, who ignore their jobs, and their voters love that 🙂

  • Lex

    August 29, 2023 at 10:02 am

    We need two separate insurance systems in Florida. One for everyone in a flood zone and one for everyone else who is not in a flood zone. We should not lump together people who own property in locations that know they have a high likelihood of flooding with everyone else in the state. A lot of those properties are worth a lot of money and if the properties are worth a lot of money, the people living in them should be able to pay the full amount of their own insurance, or they should sell to someone else that can afford to insure the property without the rest of the state subsidizing it.

    • Florida market is worst combo of socialized costs and individual burden

      August 30, 2023 at 11:33 pm

      Hi Lex, agree and have been saying the same for years. It is crazy the way costs are socialized where so many Floridians in lower risk zones subsidize the expensive properties in known high risk zones, where people can afford to carry the load via self insurance or pay more. Also people who don’t carry flood insurance when they are in flood prone areas should have to bear some of that responsibility whether through local tax, or denial of service/bail outs. We cannot afford to keep bailing people out who choose to build or buy in known flood plains and high risk areas. I am not talking about decades long ownership or people who previously lived in safe zones per se but even those people still have to cover their losses now. There is no private market for flood insurance and they don’t even know how to build one. The federal govt is basically subsidizing the bailouts if you get anything at all, and that can’t/won’t continue at the rate things are going. Maybe subsidies for seniors or something. Don’t know. Prefer small/no gvt solutions but in case of Florida don’t see how that’s possible. So reinforces your point of splitting those pools up (which has to be authorized by law in FL) in order to drive more logic into the market. It is well past time… I have relatives who own a beach property, in known disaster path, and pay basically the same property insurance as another family member who lives in center of town, high ground, lowest risk, small house, less than half value of the beach property, flood zone X. Why is that, tell me. Because the costs are socialized. It’s nuts.

  • Andrew

    September 6, 2023 at 9:30 am

    What a farce! =the Guy knows his book tour was subsidized by the industry that charged us the highest premiums in the Country, let alone he owns the legislature, and they are the top recipients of insurance company campaign donations. We need the ‘FREEDOM’ to opt out of the amount of our insurance premiums that are used for ‘political purposes’. If the legislature can do this without input from Florida teachers, then we can move forward with it on their prime campaign donation spicket!

Comments are closed.


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