Florida Legislature – Special Session on Property Insurance

Members of the conference committees have managed to make some progress on the differences between the House and Senate positions.

House and Senate members signed off on a measure aimed at preventing insurance companies from “cherry-picking,” or refusing to sell homeowners insurance in Florida while marketing other kinds of policies here, such as automobile coverage.

Under the proposal, the state will force insurers to cover homeowners in Florida if they sell the policies anywhere else in the country.
Lawmakers tossed out the existing 10 percent cap on property insurance deductibles, allowing insurance companies to write any level of deductible. They also agreed to let homeowners exclude the more costly windstorm coverage from their policies, provided they agree to the exemption in writing and win approval from their mortgage holder. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

However, the debate over other issues continues.

A lead Senate negotiator sent a shockwave through the late-night talks, warning that House leaders must back off their objections to deeper Citizens’ rate cuts. “We came forward an awful lot, but just one side moved,” Senate Banking and Insurance Chairman Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, said.

House Republicans didn’t flinch, insisting there’s still plenty of time to forge an agreement.

“This isn’t the 11th-hour,” the top House negotiator, Rep. Ray Sanson, R-Destin, told reporters. “We have some time. They need to relax.”

Still on the negotiating table, though, were hefty issues, mostly dealing with whether to expand Citizens — the state-backed property insurer and now the biggest with 1.3 million policyholders — to allow it to sell broader policies and how deeply to cut its premiums. (South Florida Sun Sentinel)

The session runs through Tuesday.

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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