During a press conference Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Legislature will be called back for a second special session in May. He said he would provide more details in the coming days.
DeSantis explained the legislative session is intended to address the property insurance crisis across Florida. “Issues like property insurance and trying to bring some sanity and stability, and have a functioning market, I’m confident that we’re going to be able to get that done,” DeSantis said.
Homeowners are struggling with insurance rate increases and the Insurance Journal reports, the state has lost six carriers to insolvency in the past three years. Many other insurance companies are not renewing policies and if they are, the prices are increased.
“The session is a hopeful sign for those agents struggling to provide more insurance options for their customers,” said Dustyn Shroff, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowers insurance agency.
Florida lawmakers attempted to address the issue in the 2022 Legislative Session, but the House and Senate were at odds and couldn’t reach an agreement before it ended in March. The Senate passed SB 1728. This installed a new roof deductible and allowed Citizens, the state-run, state-funded insurer, to raise rates faster in an effort to reduce the number of policies going into Citizens. Insurers have cited spikes in roof claims and litigation costs as the main drivers of their losses.
However, the proposal didn’t gain traction in the House, where some lawmakers were concerned that the changes could harm low-income Floridians, who may not be able to afford higher roof deductibles.
“If a destructive hurricane hits the state, it could cause a catastrophe with insurance,” said Dustyn Shroff, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowers insurance agency.
The special session is also expected to examine other changes that insurers have asked for, including roof-only deductibles, allowing homeowners insurance policies to pay actual cash value for damaged roofs, instead of full replacement as is now required for many homes. Other ideas include revisiting ways to limit solicitation by roofers and further limiting attorney fees and litigation.