JACKSONVILLE, Florida. Lawmakers are issuing new calls for accountability as Florida homeowners face record property insurance spikes and outright cancellations of their policies.
The Florida state senator representing Jacksonville is calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to call another special session on property insurance this summer with the sole purpose of creating savings and benefits for homeowners.
Senator Tracey Davis said lawmakers need to get back to Tallahassee as soon as possible because she said the new property insurance law signed into law last December gave insurance companies support and stability but did nothing to immediately address the exponential an increase in the amount Florida residents pay for property insurance. .
“Governor, go home and take care of your staff. We all know he’s running for president, but we have real problems, real problems and a property insurance crisis,” Davis said.
Davis wants DeSantis to promise that more will be done this summer to help Florida residents who are struggling to pay their property insurance bill.
On average, Florida residents spend $6,000 a year on property insurance, while the average for the rest of America is about $1,700.
Davis said the last special session was successful in passing legislation to reduce insurance fraud and excessive litigation, as well as unilateral attorneys’ fees on property insurance claims. But insurance companies have received more than $3 billion to stabilize their businesses while homeowners have been forced to pay more or refuse insurance, she said.
“We went back to these special meetings and none, none of these special meetings did anything to provide any savings for policyholders at all,” Davis added.
News4JAX viewer Kelly Morgan feels the pressure and says her bonus has gone from $1,800 to $6,600 a year.
Viewer Sharon Glover told News4JAX: “Our homeowner’s insurance has increased by $7,000 … for a total of $10,600 in one year.”
“That’s why the legislature needs to do something to fix this problem,” Davis said. “We have options, but Floridians are running out of the options they have.”
News4JAX contacted DeSantis’ office and specifically asked if he would consider calling another special session on property insurance. Although his spokesman did not give a direct yes or no answer to the question, he did provide examples of what lawmakers are doing to deal with the crisis.
Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern pointed to the record number of Hometown Heroes applicants.
Redfern also wrote in part: “Florida’s property insurance market has been chaotic since 2007, when bad public policies forced insurers to flee Florida and the government’s insurance company of last resort, Citizens, swelled…Even the most aggressive reforms will take time to affect the insurance industry.” . Legislative efforts in 2021, 2022 and 2023 will be effective.”
However, Davis said homeowners need financial help now.
“Before it gets better, it gets worse,” Davis said, adding that she believes insurance companies will continue to leave the state.
Farmers Insurance announced Tuesday that it will no longer offer coverage to Florida residents, and 18 other property insurance companies in Florida are on the government’s watch list due to concerns about their financial health.
However, the Insurance Regulatory Authority does not release the names of these companies because it does not want to cause panic, and some of these companies are expected to survive the property insurance crisis.
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