Special Session on Property Insurance Underway
Tallahassee - Monday May 23, 2022: The second Special Legislative Session of the year gets underway in Tallahassee today. It will focus on property insurance reform.
After failing to address the issue during the regular session, Florida lawmakers will try and come up with a measure to provide some relief for residents who've been hit with enormous increases in home insurance rates.
Property insurance premiums in Florida surged 25% last year according to the Insurance Information Institute. The average cost of homeowner’s insurance rose to $3,600 in 2021, double the average in the rest of the country, and polices on more than 400,000 Florida home were dropped, according to the Institute.
Governor DeSantis spoke about the problem during a news conference last week. "This is a market that has been problematic in this state for a long time. And some people have seen obnoxious rate increases," he said. "Part of the reason that that happens is because we don't really have a competitive market. A lot of these companies, major companies, have left the state because of how hostile the underlying framework is."
Litigation over roofing claims is the main problem. A homeowner who has 25% or more damage to their roof can hire a contractor to replace the entire roof at no cost to the owner because the contractor collects from the insurer who often disputes the amount and takes the case to court. "We have 8% of the property claims nationwide and 78% of the litigation," said the Governor. "That is causing these premiums to escalate."
Last month the Governor called for the special session and he confident lawmakers will be able to hammer out some relief this week for homeowners by the end of the week. "Once I knew we had a framework in place to be able to do property insurance, we went ahead and did that. I think we're going to get really, really significant reforms."
The Special Session is authorized to run throughout this week. It must end no later than midnight Friday.