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Florida senate passes sweeping legislation to calm state’s property insurance crisis

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(AP Photo/John Raoux)

(TALLAHASSEE, FLA) — A property insurance reform bill passed the state senate yesterday in Tallahassee that lifts the requirement that insurance companies pay a homeowner’s legal fees if the homeowner successfully sues the company. Lawmakers are meeting a special session in Tallahassee to stabilize the state’s property insurance crisis.
Florida has struggled to control rising property insurance costs and hold onto insurers that are struggling due to insolvencies, high costs and major storms.
The bill would create a $1 billion reinsurance fund, reduce litigation costs and compel some customers to leave a state-created insurer. It also would force insurers to respond more promptly to claims and increase state oversight of insurers’ conduct following hurricanes.
The state House is expected to give the measure final passage this week.
The bill is meant to stabilize the market, which then could lower rates in the future.

“As we look forward, and as these reforms take place and work their way through the ratemaking process, I absolutely believe it will drive their costs down,” said Republican state Sen. Jim Boyd, who sponsored the bill. “While it might not happen today, I absolutely believe we will have rate relief as we move forward in the future.”