By: Carolyn Johnson, Sr. Director of Business, Economic Development and Innovation Policy, Florida Chamber of Commerce
Governor Ron DeSantis called a special session for the week of May 23rd to tackle the property insurance crisis and stabilize the market. In last month’s FL 2030 From the Capitol update, we discussed which Florida 2030 Blueprint goals might be impacted by the special session based on previous legislation filed. Now that special session has concluded, the legislature not only made progress on stabilizing the property insurance market and reducing cost drivers, but it also advanced three Florida 2030 Blueprint goals.
Florida 2030 Blueprint Goal: Legal Climate Improved to Top Quartile in the Nation
The Florida Chamber has long-advocated for lawsuit abuse reforms pointing out that a key cost driver to rising property insurance rates has been Florida’s bottom-five legal climate. During the special session, the Legislature passed several provisions that cracked down on unscrupulous vendors and plaintiff attorneys that have been taking advantage of case law and Florida statutes. National data shows that Florida accounts for 8 percent of all property insurance claims but accounts for nearly 80 percent of all homeowners’ insurance lawsuits. The Legislature took steps to address runaway attorney fee provisions and crack down on assignments of benefits abuses that still plague the insurance market despite previous reform.
Florida 2030 Blueprint Goal: Regulatory, Labor and Operating Risk Environments Rated Among Top 5 in the Nation
Florida’s property insurance market has been described as “dire” or on “life support” by top regulators and insurance officials. By tackling roof claims, which has resulted in significant litigation and increased costs for insurers, the Legislature took steps to improve the operating risk for insurers. Lawsuit abuse reforms improve the risk environment and eventually may lead to reduced costs for consumers.
Florida 2030 Blueprint Goal: All Florida residents protected by resiliency plans
The Legislature also reinstated the My Safe Florida Home program which encourages homeowners to take steps to mitigate against future risks. Under this program, homeowners can receive a free inspection on how they can harden their home, and grants are available to offset some of the costs for these mitigation efforts.
For a recap of Special Session D, click here.