House Commerce Council Meeting re HB 7225 4/25/06

Jan 10, 2007

House Bill 7225 was heard by the House Commerce Council on April 24, 2006, and is now poised to be heard on the House floor. Among other things, the bill creates a new account in Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (“Citizens”) for non-homestead property, contains a rapid-cash build-up for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (“FHCF”), provides a low-interest loan program for homeowners to retro-fit their homes and provides for automatic approval of private insurers’ rates for policies in Citizens’ High-Risk Account, if those rates are lower than Citizens’ rates.

In addition, the current bill contains a provision creating a fourth account in Citizens for new policies that are no longer eligible for coverage in Citizens’ existing accounts. Citizens has testified that it opposes the legislative proposal contained in the House bill and cites issues with the funding mechanism in place for these policies.

House Insurance Chairman Dennis Ross offered a strike-everything amendment that included a provision allowing limited apportionment companies in certain circumstances to buy down their FHCF retention to one-third of their surplus for the 2006 hurricane season only. The proposal also eliminates the $50 million cap on Citizens’ assessments for limited apportionment companies; however, it allows these insurers up to 12 months to remit their assessments. The Committee approved the strike-everything amendment.

The Commerce Council also approved a proposal allowing companies writing fewer than 500 policies to be exempt from the annual rate filing and certification requirement.

The House bill is here.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact this office.