Insurance Reform Task Force Moving Forward

You can now count Gov. Jeb Bush among the growing chorus of those who want to put real property insurance reforms in place before we have another nasty hurricane season, and preferably before the new governor inherits the mess.

"Earlier the better, I believe, for the people of the state."

The governor likes many of the recommendations formally outlined by his special insurance reform task force, chaired by Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings.

"I think we’ve got some good ideas," she said.

At the top of the list is expanding the state catastrophe fund that helps insurance companies cover major losses. The hope is insurance companies would pass their savings on to customers, but the governor wants a signal from house and senate leaders like incoming House Speaker Marco Rubio before he calls a December special session.

Rubio says he's prepared to do it.

"Go, that’s our signal. I mean, we should. We’d like to do a special session," Rbio said.

Key senators, however, are sounding a little less enthusiastic about proposals that may look great on paper, but have unintended consequences down the road. Insurance reform task force member J.D. Alexander, for one, is wary about the rush to expand the CAT fund and the impact on homeowners' premiums long-term.

J.D. Alexander, Insurance Reform Task Force Member, said, "If you can move one way, you maybe, you can reduce rates in the short term. On the other side, if we had a storm next year, their assessments could be twice as much."

But with rates already through the roof, angry property owners are tired of all the talking, and ready for action.