Lawmakers Looking for Insurance Solution

One idea to solve the insurance crisis would have the state insure any loss over a billion dollars.

Sponsor Kevin Ambler says the cost would be picked up by guaranteeing the state’s sixth cent of sales tax.
State lawmakers have a few ideas for fixing Florida’s broken insurance market, but none of them can guarantee immediate savings.
Rep. Kevin Ambler, (R) Tampa, FL, said, “One third of every sales tax dollar is not paid by Floridians. It’s paid by tourists.”

For three days lawmakers have tossed out ideas, including one to stockpile lumber at today’s cost for rebuilding later. So far nothing the Legislature is talking about will guarantee that rates go down immediately. In fact, the hope is that rates will just stabilize for the time being. Democrats are suggesting the creation of a super board with super powers to roll back some rates.

Rep. Dan Gelber, (D) Miami Beach, FL, added, "We’ve got to start treating this problem like, just really the greatest economic crisis Florida has faced. That’s exactly what it is.”

And with the election of Charlie Crist, the state's insurance commissioner is now embracing the idea of requiring companies that sell everything but wind insurance in the state to also assume that risk.

Kevin McCarty, Florida Insurance Commissioner, said, “And if you’re gonna make profits in Florida and participate in the good times, we need to spread that risk as much as we can.”

The irony is that at the end of the day just about every idea suggested so far takes the state deeper into the insurance business, which is exactly what it is hoping to avoid.