No solutions for homeowners

Dear Editor:

One of the most important pieces of legislation that will be passed this year and next — SB 2 Property Insurance — was pushed through a special session of the State Legislature in a matter of 48 hours, under the guise of “fixing” the collapsing insurance market.

Following the delivery of a $2 billion gift to insurance companies during a previous Special Session devoted to property insurance reform, this new bill is another $1 billion bailout to the insurance industry. This industry has already contributed $10 million to DeSantis’ political ambitions since he has been in office. It looks like payback to me.

The bill did nothing to reduce or stall the increasing insurance rates that policyholders are experiencing. In fact, there were about 50 amendments proposed to make the bill more helpful to policyholders, and all were voted down, despite representatives admitting that homeowners will not see reduced rates for at least 18 months. Homeowners need help now, not in a year and a half.

The bill is punitive to policyholders because it does not deal with bad-faith insurers who refuse to administer claims in a quick and fair manner, and it will also be harder for policyholders to retain legal counsel to fight the insurers.

In an effort to force customers out of Citizens Property Insurance, the insurer of last resort in Florida, it will force policyholders to purchase higher-priced policies on the private market and then purchase additional flood insurance policies.

DeSantis is crowing about the fact that it will allow more insurers to re-enter the Florida market. And that is true. The problem is that they will be coming back to Florida because there is literally no risk to them. They will sell policies that will not help Floridians when they need them most, then they will again leave the area and we will witness more Floridians losing their homes.

It is our elected representatives’ job to balance our need for safe affordable homes with the need for insurance companies to make reasonable profits. Home ownership is out of reach for more and more North Florida residents, and our reps in Tallahassee could actually solve this problem or explain honestly why they can’t. Voters will be listening.


Kate Ellison