The governor is calling for major insurance reforms. Homeowner Nicole Deg organized a rally of two busloads of Citizens Property Insurance customers from central Florida to send a message to lawmakers.
The homeowners are furious they’ve had to suck up massive premium increases with no guarantee the state-run insurance company will be there for them this hurricane season.
Deg says her insurance bill has gone up $1,300 and she doesn’t own a mansion on the beach.
Nicole says, "I’m not a millionaire. My husband’s a deputy, a detention deputy. I’m a stay-at-home mom, and we’re not rich people."
The homeowners and many lawmakers think the state should use its $3.2 billion budget surplus to prop up citizens and refund policyholders their rate increases.
Jeb Bush has been steadfast in his refusal to support a bailout of citizens, but now he’s opening the door. First though, the governor wants a real insurance reform package that will include even higher rates and limits to coverage.
Gov. Jeb Bush says, "I don’t believe we should be putting money up without any kind of reform. It’s got to be tied together."
But even with reforms, citizens’ angry customers probably won’t be getting a refund, or lower rates any time soon. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is now running nearly $2 billion in the red.
Every homeowner in the state will have to chip in to make up the difference unless the Legislature takes action.