Delayed Property Insurance Savings
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) – Homeowners are suffering sticker shock as home insurance rates rise rapidly in Florida.
New reforms to lower rates come into effect on July 1, unless the governor vetoed it, but it could be more than a year before rates stabilize.
Florida’s 6.2 million home insurance customers are seeing double-digit increases for home insurance, and law reform does not address one of the major cost drivers.
âThe roofs are covered by the amendment, just as they have been in the past in your landlord’s policy,â said Jim Boyd, Senate Godfather.
Co-sponsor Senator Jeff Brandes explained that lawmakers couldn’t agree on a sliding scale to replace a roof based on its age.
“What they see as the roofs get older, they have to replace these 20 year old roofs that were frankly at the end of their useful life anyway,” Brandes said.
The legislation also makes significant changes to the way lawyers are paid.
âIf everyone is reasonable, then everyone pays their own legal fees. Before, if you got a dollar more, the insurance company had to pay all the legal fees, âBrandes said.
Even supporters have said it will take 18 to 24 months for the legislation to cut rates. Democrats tried to freeze current rates during the changes.
“And let’s make sure it saves consumers money and doesn’t create more profits for an industry,” State Senator Janet Cruz said. It failed. House Democrats told us they believe the rejection makes the legislation unilateral.
“This is a bill that really aims to put as much money in the pockets of an insurance company as is humanly possible,” said Representative Evan Jenne. Under the law, homeowners must accept a quote from a private insurer, even if it is up to 20% higher than that from the state’s insurer of last resort.
The law also prohibits adjusters from offering inducements to inspect your roof and provides penalties for those who circumvent the law.