Surplus Lines Citizens Depopulation (HB 245), HB 4059 Now Ready for Senate Consideration

Feb 3, 2012


The Florida House of Representatives met in Session today February 3, 2012, during which two insurance-related bills were considered on Third and Final Reading.

The first, HB 245, provides that eligible surplus lines insurers would be able to participate, in same manner and on same terms as authorized insurer, in depopulation, take-out or keep-out programs relating to policies removed from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (“Citizens”).

After the sponsor, State Representative Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton), introduced HB 245, State Representative Rick Kriseman (D-St. Petersberg) spoke against the bill, raising concerns that surplus lines carriers are not protected by the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (“FIGA”), and that there are no provisions in the bill to protect the insured from rate increases.  Representative Kriseman agreed with concept of taking out policies from Citizens, but said that HB 245 is not the proper mechanism. 

State Representative John Wood (R- Haines City) spoke in favor of the bill, clarifying that the best mechanism for protecting the insured from rate increases is the market.

State Representatives Bill Hager (R- Boca Raton), Dana Young (R-Tampa), Doug Broxson (R- Gulf Breeze), Ben Albritton (R-Bartow), Bryan Nelson (R-Apopka), Bill Proctor (R-St. Augustine) and Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala) also spoke in favor of the bill, while State Representatives Louis Garcia, Jr. (D-Miami), Steven Perman (D-Boca Raton), Elaine Schwartz (D-Hollywood), Hazell Rogers (D-Lauderhill), Mark Pafford (D-West Palm Beach), Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth), Evan Jenne (D-Fort Lauderdale), Frank Artiles (R-Miami) and Richard Steinberg (D-Miami) spoke in opposition to it.

After the debate on the floor, Representative Boyd closed on the bill. The bill was then passed by a vote of 66 to 48.

House Bill 4059 relating to Property and Casualty Insurance was also passed on its Third and Final Reading by a vote of 95 to 21.  Filed by State Representative Larry Metz (R-Eustis), HB 4059 repeals a requirement that the Florida Financial Services Commission provide an annual report to the Florida Legislature consisting of specified data and analysis. 



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