Rick Scott says failure to fix insurance market is ‘bankrupting the state’
Sen. Rick Scott. Image via AP.

Rick Scott
Scott said 'fixing the fraud' in the market was key.

Sen. Rick Scott continues to make the case that Florida lawmakers need to fix Florida’s insurance market.

During a Monday call with Florida Republicans, the Senator warned that failure to do what he did while Governor is just “bankrupting the state.”

“You just have to do that,” Scott said about changes he made, noting that it’s “work to do it.”

Scott said “fixing the fraud” in the market was key to the changes he made, which also included moves to “dramatically downsize” Citizens Property Insurance, the state’s insurer of last resort.

The Gov. Ron DeSantis administration has stated that it is in “overdrive” in the wake of Hurricane Idalia. The Office of Insurance Regulation notes that Orange Insurance Exchange is now in the market along with Orion180 Select Insurance Company, Orion180 Insurance Company, Mainsail Insurance Company, and Tailrow Insurance Companies.

Those insurers take a burden off of Citizens Property Insurance, which now has more than 482,000 “takeout” policies being absorbed from its books later this year.

But Scott’s critiques continue all the same, with the Senator making the case that Florida elected officials to do more in a variety of forums.

“It’s way too expensive to insure homes in Florida right now. And so we’ve got to work with the insurance companies. (We’ve) got to recruit them to come back to the state. (We’ve) got to get more competition and (we’ve) got to solve the problem so they can drive their rates down,” Scott told CNN‘s Kaitlan Collins as Hurricane Idalia headed toward Florida last month.

Scott’s critiques are not new. He called the state’s insurance marketplace a “disaster” earlier this year, saying the departure of Farmers Insurance was a “wake-up call” to the state.

Meanwhile, DeSantis blamed the Legislature for not implementing insurance reforms he wanted, then refused to say what those reforms were when asked directly as the storm got closer.

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, while telling Floridians, in interviews with out of state media personalities, to temper their expectations.

He famously 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 last 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.”

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


16 comments

  • ScienceBLVR

    September 4, 2023 at 9:30 pm

    My annual Citizens policy, due this month, only increased by $600 this year, which I thought must be an early Christmas gift! Next year, who knows if I’ll be able to absorb the increases or even be assured of payment if my home does sustain damage from the inevitable storms.
    I have very little faith that Rick Scott or our feckless state legislators will come up with any workable or effective solutions, as it’s pretty difficult to focus on mundane matters like this when there’s books to ban and drag queens to chase. I did notice Rick found his Navy hat to wear for one of his many media appearances during Idalia..

  • pete

    September 4, 2023 at 9:47 pm

    $16,100.00 thats MY home owners insurance for a $1M house near the ocean…up from $9.300 last year…zero claims…ever !…yeah, the governor needs to do…something…anything…instead of ‘hoping’ we dont have any more serious storms this year so the insurance companies can “see an advantage”

  • PeterH

    September 4, 2023 at 11:39 pm

    Insurance companies exist to make money by betting against catastrophic losses!

    There are too many risks associated with much of populated Florida that is flat and slightly above sea level!

  • John Barron

    September 5, 2023 at 8:19 am

    We should Recall Ronda and replace him with Scott or Trump Jr!! The whole state would be better off!!! The DeSanctus DisAsster must be stopped!!

  • Lex

    September 5, 2023 at 8:36 am

    My answer is not to let Citizens protect any property in a Flood Zone. That would drastically reduce the cost for 95%+ of the people in the state. If you live in a location that likely floods, self-insure or find proper insurance in the open market. Most of the catastrophic damage from Hurricanes is in flood zones. Once you have fixed that issue, you can see what else needs to be done.

    • Al

      September 5, 2023 at 10:37 am

      I read Citizens Insurance is already requiring flood insurance if your in any type of flood zone.
      I don’t think it is going to make any difference with premiums.

    • Emily

      September 10, 2023 at 11:03 pm

      The problem is that many houses included in flood zones are unlikely to flood. Many houses along the coast are 20 to 30 feet above sea level but just a mile down the road, houses are right at height with the water. Because of this, the houses that are 30 feet above sea level are included in the flood zone, simply because of proximity and not because of actual risk.

  • James Gray

    September 5, 2023 at 11:04 am

    Fraud is a serious crime, and politicians have repeatedly told us that it is causing insurance rates to go up. But here is the problem with that excuse. I have never heard of a single person being arrested for insurance fraud. Have you? Makes me wonder why law enforcement or the insurance companies don’t go after them. Think about the paper trail. You need a building permit for every roof replaced in Florida, and anyone is permitted to review those permits. How hard would it be to spot the fraudulent claims, or claims without a building permit? I suspect we are being bamboozzled by politicians who accept insurance company campaign donations and law enforcement who don’t care.

    • Terry M

      September 6, 2023 at 12:05 pm

      Law enforcement and prosecutors rarely authorize insurance fraud charges, even when presented with evidence tied with a big red bow by insurers. Those cases are complex, expensive and lengthy and they would rather prosecute the easy slam-dunk cases. Insurers can’t “go after” fraud on their own. They are told it is a “civil matter” and just to file a lawsuit. It’s also seen as a victimless crime when a deep pocket insurance company is defrauded. People rarely connect the dots between fraud and higher rates.

  • Hank Hoekstra

    September 5, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    Our governor says “to wait out the crisis”. Really? I just got my bill and it went from $2,000.00 a year to over $7,000.00. It must be paid! Just how am I supposed to “wait it out?” Do without it!?!?

  • Chip

    September 5, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    Cap personal injury insurance claims, limit lawyers advertising like it used to be. Insurance companies need investigators, boots on the ground instead of caving into the lawyers and contractors. Get adjusters out from behind their computers and desks.

  • Larry

    September 5, 2023 at 4:04 pm

    Reform needs to start with reasonable caps on claims and lawyers fees combined with time limitations, mediation, and speedy trials. The insurers should continue to insist on owners managing their own risk and not insure negligent owners. The marketplace will shake this out if the legislature can’t get its act together.

  • Rosanne Friedlander

    September 5, 2023 at 5:22 pm

    Unpopular opinion, Fl insurance is the canary in the coal mine. How often can we build with these storms ravaging our coastline every year and no reprieve?
    I grieve for Florida, we all should. But rebuilding in coastal areas makes no sense, and the insurers are the only ones telling the story for now.

  • Glenn

    September 6, 2023 at 12:19 am

    Why didn’t Senator Scott fox the problem while he was governor instead of criticizing his successor.

    • Emily

      September 11, 2023 at 12:32 am

      The current problem didn’t exist when he was governor. Kind of funny how that works. Sure, there were issues. But nothing like what has transpired since he left office in 2019 and the current administration started their elaborate and boisterous campaign for president that has completely ignored and neglected the actual needs of our state.

  • Sonja Fitch

    September 7, 2023 at 4:55 am

    Of all leaders, Rick Scott evaluating an insurance failure! Damn him! Rick Scott stopped all health insurance coverage as CEO of Columbia HCA in Broward! Sorry bastard RIck Scott killed my local unit President!! She had cancer. ! Treatments stoopped! She died! Fu Rick Scott!

Comments are closed.


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