Insurance Reform

By: Whintey Ray Email
By: Whintey Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL - The state is in the insurance business, but instead of backing safe inland homes… Florida's Citizens Property Insurance mostly takes on coastal homes.

Citizens has 1.3 million properties and just half a billion dollars to pay claims.

Opponents say that's not enough, because if a major storm hit a large Florida city the state would owe Citizen's customers 10's of billions of dollars.

If the state doesn't have the money all property owners would have to pay more through higher assessments on their home and auto insurance.

By some account, each family would owe 14-thousand dollars…. and would have 30 years to pay it out.

A group of businessmen, economists and environmentalist are asking lawmakers to force Citizens to raise rates and drop customers.

They want rates to increase more than 20 percent a year, and million dollar homes to be dropped. They also want members Citizens Board of Governors to step down.

Barney Bishop with the Associated Industries of Florida says, "We are going to write a letter to the Senate President, the House Speaker and Governor. We're going to ask that they ask all of their appointees to resign and give all of them an opportunity to put the right people there."

In this case the right people are those not willing to take no more risk than they can afford.

Environmentalists say beefing up Citizens will discourage people from developing along the coast and damaging sensitive ecosystems.

Jay Wiles comments saying that, "This is one way that uses market forces to strictly say if you don't subsidize people they will not build in places where they shouldn't build."

Most of the changes proposed by the group are in legislation this year, the group is asking lawmakers to act quickly before the scheduled end of session Friday night.

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