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Special Session on Property Insurance Set for May 23

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Lawmakers will consider legislation related to property insurance, reinsurance, and changes to the Florida Building Code to improve the affordability of property insurance.

Tallahassee - Tuesday April 26, 2022: The previously announced May Special Session on property insurance has been set to begin at noon on Monday May 23rd. It is scheduled to last no later than midnight Friday, May 27th.

Governor DeSantis issued a proclamation Tuesday setting the start of the Special Session. Lawmakers will consider legislation related to property insurance, reinsurance, and changes to the Florida Building Code to improve the affordability of property insurance, as well as changes to the Office of Insurance Regulation, civil remedies, and appropriations.

The proclamation notes that four insurance companies writing homeowners coverage have either gone insolvent or required midterm cancelations, and in the last three months, three insurance companies writing homeowners coverage in Florida have gone insolvent. Other insurers have not renewed policies or ceased writing new business, leaving tens of thousands of policyholders seeking coverage with limited options.

One of the few options is Citizens Property Insurance, the State of Florida's public insurer of last resort. It has seen an increase of 399,822 policies since the beginning of 2020 and is on track to register over 1 million policies by the end of the year.

As a result, the Governor's proclamation states that it's necessary "to stabilize the insurance market for Florida policyholders before the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which begins on June 1st."

A copy of the proclamation is available HERE or can be read below:

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PROCLAMATION
STATE OF FLORIDA
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
TALLAHASSEE

TO THE HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE FLORIDA SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

WHEREAS, Florida's general tort environment related to property insurance has led to thousands of frivolous lawsuits; and

WHEREAS, according to the Office of Insurance Regulation, Florida accounted for 79% of the nation's homeowners insurance lawsuits over claims filed while making up only 9% of the nation's homeowners insurance claims; and

WHEREAS, Florida citizens are seeing the effects of this higher litigation in their rising premiums; and

WHEREAS, the Florida insurance industry has seen two straight years of net underwriting losses exceeding $1 billion each year; and

WHEREAS, in 2021, four insurance companies writing homeowners coverage have either gone insolvent or required midterm cancelations, and in the last three months, three insurance companies writing homeowners coverage in Florida have gone insolvent and are either in liquidation or rehabilitation and numerous others have non-renewed policies or ceased writing new business, leaving tens of thousands of policyholders seeking coverage with limited options in the marketplace; and

WHEREAS, Citizens Property Insurance, the State of Florida's public insurer of last resort, has seen an increase of 399,822 policies since the beginning of2020 and is on track to be over 1 million policies by year end; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary for the State of Florida to act to stabilize the insurance market for Florida policyholders before the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which begins on June 1st, 2022 and ends on November 30th, 2022; and

WHEREAS, it is prudent to call a Special Session.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RON DESANTIS, Governor of the State of Florida, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by Article III, Section 3(c)(l) of the Florida Constitution, do hereby proclaim as follows:

Section 1. The Legislature of the State of Florida is convened in Special Session commencing at 9:00 a.m., Monday, May 23rd, 2022, and extending no later than 11:59 p.m., Friday, May 27th, 2022.

Section 2. The Legislature of the State of Florida is convened in Special Session for the sole and exclusive purpose of considering legislation related to (a) property insurance, (b) reinsurance, (c) changes to the Florida building code to improve the affordability of property insurance, (d) the Office of Insurance Regulation, (e) civil remedies, and (f) appropriations.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Florida to be affixed to this Proclamation convening the Legislature in Special Session at the Capitol, this 26th day of April, 2022.