Florida lawmaker proposes bill to make changes in insurance coverage

He says it will lower property insurance premiums

Florida lawmaker proposes bill to make changes in insurance coverage

Insurance News

By Abigail Adriatico

State Representative Spencer Roach has proposed the creation of House Bill 1213 which will make changes in the coverage provided by Citizens Property Insurance (Citizens), a government-backed insurance company, as reported in an article by WFLA.

Filed together with State Representative Hillary Cassel, Roach said that the bill will make Citizens a first option for people looking to have windstorm coverage for their properties.

“Florida at some point is going to embrace the idea of universal wind coverage,” he said.

Roach’s proposal followed his experience with Hurricane Ian which had caused catastrophic damage in the state in 2022. His insurance company at the time, UPC, went out of business which caused issues when it came to the recovery of his damaged home.

Currently, Citizens serve as a last resort insurer for those who can’t get coverage in the private market. If the bill becomes a law, the insurer will provide windstorm coverage and will be an option that will provide cheap insurance premium rates.

Roach further explained that it will be akin to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a program providing flood insurance to property owners. The difference lies in it being offered at a state level compared to NFIP’s federal reach and its coverage for wind damage.

Insiders from the insurance industry have expressed their concerns about the bill as it could potentially bankrupt the state. Mahsa Saeidi, a reporter from WFLA News Channel 8 asked Roach about the bill being modelled after the NFIP as it has a lot of debt, but he insisted that it will not be a problem.

“This plan which I’m talking about would be tied to the sort of fiscal solvency of the state of Florida, which is very good,” Roach explained.

“We do have stretches of time, sometimes a decade, without a major storm, and during that time that fund would continue to grow, invest and make more money,” he said further.

A senator has yet to sponsor a version of the bill.

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