Ron DeSantis dodges question about insurance reforms he claimed Legislature didn’t want
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 5/5/23-Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference after the 2023 legislative session concluded, Friday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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'We obviously can have different policy debates when the time is appropriate.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis claimed Monday that he wanted to do more to reform Florida’s troubled property insurance market than the Legislature sought to do. But on Tuesday in Tallahassee, DeSantis deferred explaining what exactly the House and Senate wouldn’t do that he desired.

“We can talk about the policy stuff,” DeSantis said. “I think, right now, we’re focusing on the response, protecting people and then getting what we need to go there.”

“This is about execution right now, we obviously can have different policy debates when the time is appropriate,” DeSantis added. “But this is what we have to do to be able to save lives, be able to respond, to be able to get people back on their feet.”

On Monday, DeSantis made news when he suggested insurance reforms didn’t meet his muster.

“I’ve always wanted to do more than the Legislature wanted to do,” he said. “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 claimed Monday that “reforms” had paid off, meanwhile, stating 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.

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


13 comments

  • Michael K

    August 29, 2023 at 7:04 pm

    DeSantis was laughed at in Great Britain – and he has done nothing to help – except to help himself to suck up buckets full of insurance money for his quixotic campaign for the presidency.

    The federal government will end up subsidizing Ronda’s failures. The same federal government that Ronda rails against.

    • Rick Whitaker

      August 31, 2023 at 6:11 am

      desantis is laughed at all over the world

      • Gregory McColm

        August 31, 2023 at 8:22 am

        Some of us are not laughing. A martinet with power is not funny.

  • Paul

    August 29, 2023 at 11:12 pm

    DeSantis is bought by the insurance companies. He can’t be trusted. He’s a sellout. Google who DONATED to his presidential run.

    • Rick Whitaker

      August 31, 2023 at 6:15 am

      the gop is a greedy money-based party so don’t be surprised when they act that way. what i can’t
      figure is why florida elects gop thieves…

  • Arthro

    August 30, 2023 at 6:33 am

    The 2022 Florida legislature had 2 opportunities to do something substantial to fix Florida’s property insurance mess and they didn’t do squat except that lame reinsurance fix that meant nothing. DeSantis was the one who drove them back into another special session in December so they could do something meaningful, and they finally did.

  • Thomas McKim

    August 30, 2023 at 6:52 am

    Could you at least TRY to be fair on this site? Using words like “purportedly’ and “so called” is injecting your opinion instead of journalism. Just state facts.
    Has Governor DeSantis done anything right according to you? At least 60% of us think he has.

    • nail

      August 30, 2023 at 7:42 am

      No! 60% of you voted fo a letter. A big R in front of anyones name buys your vote, who are you kidding! In 30 years of R governors, there has never been one who cares less about ppl and CHILDREN.
      It’s the kids,! Who would destroy kids and their futures and education, for a feeble attempt to run for an office that he is not qualified for, when he wasn’t qualified for governor!

      Only those that do not care about the children. They are easy marks as are the GOP parents. They suck up the lies and BS fast but do not listen to the truth…When it hits them that their kids are not wanted in any college because they are uneducated.
      Like The New College. He took a world renown college and f*ed it up…Reduce the standards , bought in a baseball team without a field and all it cost the taxpayers was $300 million so they could go to the school FREE! FL kids will never get into a good school. .He pigeonholed these kids to stay in FL because they have no future anywhere else in this country, or the world.

      • DEBRA

        August 30, 2023 at 2:18 pm

        The truth

      • Rick Whitaker

        August 31, 2023 at 6:17 am

        i feel sorry for the dems of florida

    • Kenneth L Gallaher

      August 30, 2023 at 4:21 pm

      and if so they are getting what they deserve.

    • Rick Whitaker

      August 31, 2023 at 6:08 am

      so 60% of florida likes a loser like desantis. that says a lot of bad things about the florida gop. to answer your rhetorical question, no, desantis hasn’t done anything right.

  • Tropical

    August 31, 2023 at 7:56 am

    “…we obviously can have different policy debates when the time is appropriate,”
    In other words, ‘I have an campaign to run, so back off!”

Comments are closed.


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