Ron DeSantis says Citizens Insurance is ‘not solvent’

The Governor continues to raise questions about the state insurance company's ability to weather a significant event.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is telling the nation that people in his state shouldn’t rely on the state-run insurer of last resort, raising new questions about Citizens Property Insurance ahead of what is expected to be an active hurricane season.

“It is not solvent and we can’t have millions of people on that because if a storm hits, it’s going to cause problems for the state,” the second-term Republican Governor said on CNBC’s “Last Call.”

The Governor’s comments are particularly interesting as they were in the middle of a rumination about private insurers bringing new capital into the state, in which he claimed that “about 30% of those policies from Citizens” taken out by “new private insurance (companies) will actually be able to offer lower rates to those people.” That suggests roughly 70% of people are paying more since the take out of Citizens’ policies.

Scrutiny on Citizens has come from Washington in recent months.

The U.S. Senate Budget Committee has probed the DeSantis administration about the company’s ability to handle underwriting losses, including the question of whether the state insurer might need a federal bailout.

“In light of the state’s acknowledgement of Citizens’ potential insolvency and the likelihood that it would be both politically and economically unfeasible for Citizens to attempt to recoup tens of billions of dollars in losses from policyholders across Florida, the Committee is concerned that Citizens and the state of Florida would turn to the federal government to bail them out. Given the potential magnitude of Citizens’ losses, such a bailout request could put substantial strain on the federal budget,” wrote Chairman Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island.

DeSantis has warned about Citizens’ bloat in the past. He noted in 2022 that Citizens was “unfortunately undercapitalized” and that the company could go “belly up” if it actually had to weather a major storm.

Questionable messaging isn’t just a thing of the past though. DeSantis, on successive days last year, blamed the Legislature for not implementing insurance reforms he wanted, then refused to say what those reforms were when asked directly.

The Governor also made news during a 2023 radio interview with a Boston host, when he suggested homeowners should “knock on wood” and hope the state didn’t get hit by a storm.

Whitehouse’s concerns have been echoed by Florida U.S. Senators, particularly Rick Scott. 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.

During an interview with WFME in Orlando, Marco Rubio said his homeowners insurance rates had “seen probably a 300% increase in the last two years.”

DeSantis has also previously blamed high insurance rates on cultural issues.

“But I think I’m concerned about this ESG, I’m concerned about them trying to say climate change and everything because that’s going to make some of these things very, very expensive if they’re pricing in all these things that very well may not happen. And that’s new from where we were 20 or 30 years ago,” he said last year on the presidential campaign trail.

Meanwhile, forecasters foretell problems, given the Atlantic already has heat more typical of May than February. Accuweather predicts a “blockbuster” storm season, especially given the fading El Nino pattern that insulated Florida from storms in 2023.

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


  • MH/Duuuval

    February 27, 2024 at 9:08 pm

    Man the bilge pumps — the MAGA captains are scuttling to abandon the ship, leaving the crew and passengers to fend for themselves.

    • Christian Nationalist Fort florida

      February 28, 2024 at 3:38 am

      Christians walk at the first sign of challenge 🤷🏻‍♂️

      • Rev. Al Sharpton

        February 28, 2024 at 8:32 am

        What is it with you and Christians? Go back to Palestine and take on the IDF keyboard warrior. Oh and take all those able bodied Mussy men in Michigan and Minnesota with you.

        • MH/Duuuval

          February 28, 2024 at 10:34 am

          You mean the MAGA meatheads who were going to kidnap the Governor?

        • Florida Sucks

          February 28, 2024 at 11:18 pm

          Smokin’ a joint, placing a legal sports bet, and reading a book that hasn’t been banned in the FREE STATE OF MICHIGAN. How y’all doin’ herding anyone who isn’t straight, white, or Christian into your little Gitmo-adjacent penal system in Florida?

      • Sally B

        February 28, 2024 at 12:02 pm

        Lacking any semblance of tolerance, this cowardly, bigoted keyboard warrior has issues with Christians and likely other people of faith. I have found such people unwilling to make such remarks in person lest face real-life consequences.

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 27, 2024 at 9:50 pm

    If everybody participated in state run insurance for cars and property, there wouldn’t be any insurance issue beyond “OMG it’s Communism” being screamed by capitalist board of director types and their lobbyists. Same goes for healthcare. Just sayin’.

    • No Mo Taxes

      February 28, 2024 at 9:44 am

      Show me a government run program that operates efficiently and under budget.

      • MH/Duuuval

        February 28, 2024 at 10:35 am

        Social Security has low operating costs.

        • The Tax Man

          February 28, 2024 at 11:55 am

          And it’s broke.The government can’t even balance its own checkbook.

          • MH/Duuuval

            February 28, 2024 at 1:47 pm

            Social Security is not broke and it needn’t be if the MAGAs revert to permanent minority and the rest of the governing bodies could increase the contribution limits.

      • Duke of Hazard

        February 28, 2024 at 11:34 am

        Show me how many insurance companies want to insure homes in Florida. All that freedom down there turned Florida into the Socialist State. Reap what you sow. This is what happens to states when they go full GOP. No rules for me but many for thee.

      • Sally B

        February 28, 2024 at 12:05 pm

        He or she can’t, simply regurgitating talking points of the collectivists among us.

      • karl bellstedt

        February 28, 2024 at 12:17 pm

        Then dont get it. Your free to find your own plan. lol

  • VD

    February 27, 2024 at 10:01 pm

    Post picture of our fine Governor and watch the howler monkeys scream. This is a given.

    • Christian Nationalist Fort florida

      February 28, 2024 at 3:37 am

      Christina, you and Earl, Impeach and all your sock-puppet bot accounts are home crying as Uncle Joe moonwalks into FOUR MORE YEARS!

      • Hi Nikki

        February 28, 2024 at 6:22 am

        Only the dumbest of dumb, the cultists, zombies, etc. would vote for that senile old man again. He is an embarrassment.

        • Tom

          February 28, 2024 at 7:09 am

          Despite that, trump may still get elected.

        • Robert Schafer

          February 28, 2024 at 9:34 pm

          Who might you be referring to, Biden or Trump? Both are senile.

      • Rashida T.

        February 28, 2024 at 7:38 am

        Move to Dearborn Michigan and be with your people.

        • MH/Duuuval

          February 28, 2024 at 1:49 pm

          Still with the ad hominem as your only gambit?

        • Florida Suckss

          February 28, 2024 at 11:23 pm

          Michigan is unironically way better than Florida. 1/3rd of it won’t be under water in 80 years, either. Florida sucks. The people who moved there during the pandemic cause the most jarring vibe-shift in existence. Whatever. Enjoy your $10,000 property insurance bills in a few years.

          MAGA might not believe in climate change, but actuaries do 🙂

          • ladylawyer

            February 29, 2024 at 1:38 pm

            Just can’t drink the water!

    • Uncle Matt’s gonna babysit, ok?

      February 28, 2024 at 4:31 am

      It looks like Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is facing a House Ethics Committee probe into allegations that he paid a 17-year-old to have sex with him, is adopting a rather Trumpian strategy of attacking the people investigating him.

      A federal sex trafficking probe by the Justice Department concluded a year ago without any charges for the Florida Republican, though former Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg pleaded guilty to six charges, including sex trafficking of a minor, and is serving an 11-year prison term. But the House Ethics Committee is still investigating the matter and has subpoenaed one of Gaetz’s ex-girlfriends to testify Thursday.

      • dangerous florida; kids at risk

        February 28, 2024 at 4:32 am

        The man chosen to represent you; seems right.

        • MH/Duuuval

          February 28, 2024 at 1:50 pm

          BIG QUESTION: Will the MAGAs make him the next Governor? [retching sound]

      • ladylawyer

        February 29, 2024 at 1:40 pm

        Try again, Pal. That was debunked several years ago. Nothing new, so continue to regurgitate old BS. Listening to Joy Reid too much!

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 28, 2024 at 7:20 am

      And you try to change the topic. Every. Single. Time.

      And your only defense of Tiny Dee is a silly claim that he would be re-elected. You make that claim because it cannot be disproven. It also cannot be proven, as he cannot run again unless Florida has a recall vote but G0P run states do not have recall votes because recall votes actually give voters a say.

      I would be Citizen Insurance is insolvent from having to pay out liability claims filed against Rhonda and his little uncultured war he started for campaign purposes and now acts like a drama drag queen that other folks aren’t done with it even though Rhonda’s done and assumed it all go away just as soon as his campaign failed and BOY did it fail.

    • What screaming?

      February 28, 2024 at 7:54 am

      I don’t see anyone screaming about Monkey Ron prior to your 10:01pm post about howler monkeys screaming.

      Did you see somebody screaming about Monkey Ron? You might be hallucinating. Too much drinking can do that, over time.

      Or do you just get triggered and auto-post about monkeys when you visually parse a JPEG and detect what appears to be Monkey Ron?

    • Dave M.

      February 28, 2024 at 11:24 am

      Lol. He’s a keeper.

    • Sally B

      February 28, 2024 at 12:06 pm

      Ain’t that the truth: DDS, or DeSantis Derangement Syndrome …

  • More chicken little from do-nothing governor

    February 27, 2024 at 10:05 pm

    This “governor” would rather play chicken little than actually do something useful like use federal Covid funds to establish a reinsurance fund or bolster the reserves fund for the same. Instead he passed out ridiculous paydays to his cronies, raided the reserve funds for his dress up army and own personal use, and did not come out with a single proposal other than to blame the homeowners for “fraud” when it was the insurers who were running the show and manning their own “losses” hand over fist. There should be separate insurance pools for people who choose to live in risky areas. Development has been unfettered and overcrowded in areas known to be prone to higher risk, at much higher lost rates and cost. This state does not care about middle or lower income people being able to stay in their homes. They want them gone anyway. This guy talks so glibly about what is a survival issue to everyone else, he just comes off like a sociopath. Both the governor and this legislature ought to be held criminally responsible for willful and malicious abdication of basic fiduciary obligations of their elected office, and the harm this has caused and will cause. Rubio and Scott can go jump in a very deep lake. No one will miss them.

    • Christian Nationalist Fort florida

      February 28, 2024 at 3:40 am

      He’s a GINO; governor in name only.

      • Sally B

        February 28, 2024 at 12:08 pm

        And what are you?

    • jean solomon

      February 28, 2024 at 11:14 am

      developers are biulding row upon row of cheap,stick built houses. these houses wil blow away in a high wind. th houses built on land that once was under water.will float away…i almost feel sorry for the people moving here from other states..they have never been in a real, wet hurricane.. now even going to mention the mcmansions biult on the beach sand…good grief, even their bible cautions against biulding on sand..oh well..

      • Sally B

        February 28, 2024 at 12:09 pm

        I’ll take the Bible over Das Kapital, Comrade!

        • MH/Duuuval

          February 28, 2024 at 1:53 pm

          Myth vs. rational thought and you would choose the former?

  • Michael K

    February 28, 2024 at 2:41 am

    There are people in the “free state” of Florida who can ONLY get Citizens, the insurer of last resort.

    Follow the money: how much is our “fine” governor and Republican cronies receiving from insurance companies? And what do they expect in return?

    Regarding “ESG” as culprit? Nonsense. Climate change is a global reality – saying it isn’t so does not change the facts and the science. Wake up and think about the future.

    • ladylawyer

      February 29, 2024 at 1:42 pm

      Not true. Three new companies have entered the state within the past month.

  • Christian Nationalist Fort florida

    February 28, 2024 at 3:35 am

    Defunded and insolvent:

    Floridians’ new motto!

    Defund Fort Florida Now!



  • Defunding Fort florida; now a Federal Prison Peninsula

    February 28, 2024 at 6:00 am

    You’re all fuc€ing liars:

    Lawyers for Donald Trump’s co-defendants charged in Georgia over efforts to overturn the 2020 election were unable on Tuesday to get their star witness to repeat in court what he had previously alleged about the Fulton county district attorney’s affair, as they seek to have her thrown off the case.

    • Sally B

      February 28, 2024 at 12:13 pm

      Language, please. Take the psychotropic medication your therapist prescribed you for DDS and try to decompress because you’re not going to like what’s coming.

      • MH/Duuuval

        February 28, 2024 at 1:54 pm

        You planning a strip search?

  • Dilate N Cutterage

    February 28, 2024 at 7:23 am

    The best thing Florida and Texas can do to save the USA is to abort their statehoods. The best thing USA could do for itself is to let Florida and Texas go.

    Without having to carry those two unusually populated red states, the remaining 48 states would be overflowing with federal tax money for helping the governed and not just making bombs and stuff.

    • Sally B

      February 28, 2024 at 12:15 pm

      You left many states out of your civil-war plans, at least half the country.

  • when the hurricane hits Florida is bust

    February 28, 2024 at 7:52 am

    If one doesn’t have a Citizen’s homeowners policy then one pays a surcharge to support Citizens policies. Duh. Obviously it’s a losing proposition because our “leaders” and greedy developers have built along the coastlines and in wetlands and only Citizens is willing to assume such high risk of losses when the inevitable storms come and the houses are taken out. So, there is no solution to fix the so-called insurance crisis. Look around and more risky developments are happening so that people can move to Florida and cheer for DeSatan. Stupid!

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 28, 2024 at 8:02 am

      The solution is for the state to be the exclusive non-profit provider for all insurance on all property within the state, and for insured properties to pay accordingly based on their risk location and their construction.

      The problem, as with the gun industry and car insurance, is private sector profit and C suite salaries aka GREED

  • The Hump

    February 28, 2024 at 7:59 am

    A place gotta be in a good place before any big decline can happen.

    Florida will never get over the hump to become San Francisco.

    Or wait are talking 1906 San Francisco? Florida is right there.

    OKAY now i get it.

    Yes, Florida, let’s please stop being like 1906 San Francisco.

  • PeterH

    February 28, 2024 at 8:31 am

    The State’s insurance will fail. Florida residents should have enough private resources to abandon Florida and move to higher ground.

  • Ivy League

    February 28, 2024 at 9:07 am

    “Insolvent” must not be a word that’s taught in Ivy League law school.

    Or maybe it is taught, but little Ron was out playing with his balls while somebody else took his tests for him.

    If that happened, that would explain why so much of Rhonda’s legislation is overturned in the courts.

    It would also explain why Rhonda doesn’t exactly seem to be Ivy League law school kind of smart or edumacated.

  • Pancho Villar

    February 28, 2024 at 9:58 am

    I suspect that all FL property insurers are severely under-capitalized, not just Citizens’. We’ve been fortunate that a catastrophic event really hasn’t impacted one of our denser metros so far.

    • MH/Duuuval

      February 28, 2024 at 10:39 am

      There are numerous examples of Florida insurers looting their own companies after a good year, then crying poor mouth in a subsequent bad year.

      My question: What kind of reserves does Florida require of insurance companies, and are these companies ever stress-tested like banks?

  • twbb

    February 28, 2024 at 10:21 am

    Insurers factoring in climate change isn’t a damn “cultural issue” so please do not uncritically parrot DeSantis’ stupidity over this.

  • ScienceBLVR

    February 28, 2024 at 11:02 am

    I remember when that good old neighbor, State Farm, dropped me like a rock. Considering my 25+ year homeowner policy was 1 of 6, I had with them at the time, I was blindsided by the drop. Been with Citizens ever since, and 31 years into paying for insurance, never made a claim. My 65 year old house is not in a flood zone, and at a relatively high elevation, so the only explanation given by SF is that my home is too old to insure. She may be old, but she’s sturdy, well built and has a new tile roof. Solutions anyone? All that money wasted by our governor and legislature for failed presidential campaigns and useless culture wars against teachers and companies, fix the problem!

    • MH/Duuuval

      February 28, 2024 at 1:56 pm

      What can we do when a 30-year roof is purchased by a homeowner only to be told by an insurance agent that the same roof is good for only 12 years?

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 28, 2024 at 3:45 pm

      Yeah if I were an insurer, I would exclusively cover older homes. New construction homes are just cheapo garbage compared to houses built in the 1940s and 1950s which will still be standing after new homes have fallen to pieces.

      • Nope

        February 29, 2024 at 12:24 am

        Bravo. And how about the fact these homes which have NEVER had a claim. In you know, like 80 years. Never a single incident. Lived through every disaster. Does that figure into their business model? Nope. But isn’t that the same principle as in actuarial science and medicine, the longer you live, the longer you live. Well it applies to houses too. You gotta be tough to get old. But these yahoos don’t want to cover them because “age”. It’s an idiocracy.

  • John L

    February 28, 2024 at 12:11 pm

    Maybe DeSantis could tell the state legislature what they should have done to solve the insurance last legislative session instead of gallavanting around the country running for president. HE WAS MIA for a year and now trying to shift blame. loser

    • Sally B

      February 28, 2024 at 12:25 pm

      You don’t have a calendar or the ability to calculate time, do you? You’re just another product of government-indoctrination camps.

  • Tony Diaz

    February 28, 2024 at 1:11 pm

    rhonda is a loser, a has been. can not wait until he is done and dusted and we dont have to watch him try to fake a smile in his high heels. goodbye ron ya lil terd.

  • james

    February 28, 2024 at 1:12 pm

    WELL Governor, if you didnt keep approving insurance company rate hikes and people could ACTUALLY Afford other carriers we wouldnt need citizens.. Not like you need to worry about that. On top of that, even if you roof is 8-10yrs old and has a 20yr warranty ins companies are require you to have a new one done before even giving insurance .HOW are you ACTUALLY Helping Any of your homeowners expect for making it a LOT harder to Keep the home

  • John L

    February 28, 2024 at 1:15 pm

    DESANTIS hits all IOWA counties was big headline on news. Pretty sure that is not in florida

  • Kenneth L Gallaher

    February 28, 2024 at 1:36 pm

    Mother Nature does not care whether you believe in Global Warming or not.

    • Frank

      February 28, 2024 at 4:21 pm

      It is not only Mother Nature that does not care. It is the fossil fuel industries who over active in influencing the public to deny climate change.

  • Mark Anderson

    February 28, 2024 at 7:30 pm

    The shortstop always had problems with line drive drives to his left. It’s those shoes and those toes.

Comments are closed.


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