BRUCE DOUGLAS: Property-Insurance Legislation

Apr 28, 2008

The Ledger--April 26, 2008

The Florida Senate has shown leadership and vision in crafting consumer-focused property-insurance legislation. Senate Bill 2860, by Sen. Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, contains a number of provisions that benefit all Floridians. The bill significantly reduces the likelihood and amount of future assessments that could be levied on all Florida policyholders, while still imposing a first-layer assessment on Citizens policyholders.

Importantly, the bill also prohibits insurance companies from continuing to cherry-pick risks along Florida’s coast by eliminating their ability to shift wind risk to Citizens and therefore to the backs of all Floridians.

The time has come for insurers to step up to the plate and show their commitment in helping Florida solve its hurricane-insurance crisis by writing policies, including wind coverage, on our coasts. We should no longer allow insurance companies to make easy money on the more profitable theft and fire coverage in Florida while dumping all the wind exposure to Citizens and to all Floridians. If companies are unable or unwilling to be part of the solution for Florida’s hurricane insurance crisis, Citizens stands ready to provide full coverage to Floridians statewide. That’s why we’re here.

Don’t be misled by special-interest groups who oppose this consumer-friendly bill. The provisions discussed above change the status quo, which is exactly what needs to happen to put Florida on the right path for the future. It’s about time we all stood up and did the right thing.


Voluntary Chairman

Board of Governors

Citizens Property Insurance Corp.