The legislation hopes to attract more companies to the state by underwriting part of their risk and retrofitting older homes.
But don’t look for rates to go anywhere but up. State Farm is already asking for a 70 percent rate hike. Mobile home insurers are finding it harder to get coverage.
But with the stroke of his pen, Gov. Jeb Bush signed a massive 156 page rewrite of the states insurance laws that is almost certain to increase rates in hopes of increasing availability.
Gov. Jeb Bush, said, “I will accept responsibility that we will have higher rates. And I feel horrible for people on fixed incomes, particularly lower income working families that own their home that will have to pay that higher premium. But there’s really no other option right now.”
Citizen’s rates are expected to double within 18 months. The legislation does spend 715 million dollars to pay off part of the one point seven billion in losses from last year. That alone spared insurance customers across the state a massive assessment.
Tom Gallagher, Chief Financial Officer, said, “Instead of a 20 percent assessment, it’s going to be a lot less because the rest of it will be spread out over a 10 year period. So we’re looking at 3 or 4 percent.”
Million dollar homes along the coast will not be covered by the state run insurer after 2008. Second homes will face a 25 percent assessment. There is also $250 million in the bill to make homes more safe.
Homeowners will get free inspections and can then apply for up to a matching $5,000 grant to upgrade the safety of their homes.
Language designed to cut down on frivolous sinkhole claims and make sinkhole coverage more affordable is contained in the 156 page insurance bill signed into law by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush Tuesday.