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Rep. Perez: “Relief from Florida’s property insurance crisis may be 18 months away”

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In this Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014 photo, a For Sale sign is posted outside of a newly renovated waterfront property on the market during a viewing for brokers, in Miami Beach, Fla. Freddie Mac reports on average U.S. mortgage rates for this week on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

(MIAMI, FLA) — Floridians are paying property insurance premiums nearly three times the national average and one state lawmaker tells 850WFTL that relief from the crisis may still be a year-and-a-half away.

State Representative Daniel Perez (R-Miami) says while lawmakers passed legislation to solve the burgeoning property insurance crisis in the latest special session, it will take at least 18 months for the affects to kick in.

The insurance reform package passed in May was designed to increase competition by attracting more carriers, but Rep. Perez says that will take time to see more insurance companies come to rather than flee from the Sunshine State.

He says he believes it’s better to allow the market to stabilize on its own without burdening it with regulations.

On May 20, the House and Senate released their respective identical proposals, which included measures related to reinsurance, roof solicitation, roof underwriting, bad faith, attorneys’ fees, insurer regulation and transparency, and building codes.

He says that we have seen some benefits from previous laws.  Two years ago House Bill 305 was passed to reduce fraudulent litigation in Florida and since then, there has seen a 22% decline in insurance litigation specifically from fraudulent roofing claims.  He adds that the reduction in lawsuits did translate into a reduction in insurance rates.