Governor Scott signs bill to reduce insurance assessments in the event of a hurricane
Apr 10, 2012
This article was published in the Palm Beach Post on April 10, 2012:
Gov. Scott Signs Bill to Reduce Insurance Assessments
A bill signed by Gov. Rick Scott will reduce the burden on customers of other insurers by more than $300 each if a bad storm rocks Citizens, the state’s insurer of last resort, officials said Tuesday.
Tom Grady, the interim president and CEO of Citizens Property Insurance Corp., called it “great news for Florida” in a statement.
Scott signed the bill (HB 1127) Friday. It takes effect July 1.
Both taxpayer and consumer advocates supported the bill as it was moving through the legislature this session.
Florida Taxwatch President Dominic Calabro called it a “positive” step.
Former state insurance consumer advocate Sean Shaw called it a “responsible” way to deal with risk by allowing more flexibility for charging assessments if needed after a big storm, spreading them out over several years.
The bill should encourage more private insurers to compete for business in Florida because their customers face regular assessments of no more than 2 percent, down from up to 18 percent in a year, Citizens officials said.
“This bill will provide an extra reason for people to purchase policies from private insurers,” Grady said. “Not only do they have the option to get better coverage, but they also get to avoid the Citizens policyholder surcharge and now they face a much lower regular assessment potential.”