Insurance Fairness Proposed For Gun Owners

Florida gun owners could soon see a reduction in their homeowners insurance bills.

A measure being debated in the state senate is designed to stop unfair insurance practices against gun owners.

The proposal would expand the definition of unfair discrimination under Florida law.

It would make it illegal to refuse to issue, terminate a policy or charge an unfair rate based on the lawful ownership of a gun.

"This would preclude insurance companies from going on that fishing expedition any more than they would go on a fishing expedition as to how many chainsaws your own or how many sharp kitchen knives you own, et cetera, et cetera," said State Senator Tom Lee.

Lee explained his proposal to the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee on Tuesday.

Part of Lee's bill would make it illegal for insurance companies to tell other groups about policy holders lawful firearm possession without their consent.

Tim Meenan representing Nationwide Insurance says the only issue he has with the proposal is some insurance companies use independent adjusters to write policies.

He says in some instances, they would need to share that information.

"We don't in the personal lines area ask our homeowners or auto owners do you own a gun," said Meenan. "We're supportive of the idea it should be their election," he said.

The bill was put together with the input of the insurance industry and the National Rifle Association.

"This bill would stop some wrongdoing and insurance companies who don't discriminate don't have to worry about a bill that says you can't discriminate," said Marion Hammer of the NRA.

Only State Senator Gwen Margolis of Miami spoke out against the bill.

She says there is greater liability with gun ownership.

She called the proposal absurd.

The proposal passed the committee by a 9-1 vote.

Tallahassee area Senator Bill Montford voted for it.

Only Senator Margolis voted against it.


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