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Florida special session for property insurance set for next month, governor says

WESH Updated: 4:50 PM EDT Apr 26, 2022

State lawmakers are ready to tackle skyrocketing homeowner’s insurance rates.

The governor’s office announced Tuesday the special session will start May 23.

The goal is to come up with laws to control the out of control rate hikes and cancellations that tens of thousands of Floridians are dealing with.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has previously pledged to address Florida’s ever-worsening home insurance crisis.

Earlier this month, speaking from a hospital in Jacksonville, the governor said the issue of soaring insurance prices would be addressed by a special session in May. 

“Trying to bring some sanity and stabilize and have a functioning market, I’m confident that we’re going to be able to get that done,” he said. 

WESH 2 Investigates has been following the insurance issues plaguing homeowners in Florida all year.

Florida Senate Bill 76 went into effect last July to crack down on some of the factors that were driving up insurance premiums, including contractors who were soliciting roof jobs and limiting attorney fees. Since that time, however, the last resort nonprofit insurance provider Citizens has seen an increase in the number of its policyholders.

In 2021, “we saw an increase in policy count of about 39%, almost 40%. We are now at over 750,000 policies,” Citizens spokesperson Michael Peltier said.

According to Citizens, part of the reason they’re seeing more policyholders is that more private companies are leaving the state and property owners need coverage options.

Peltier said Citizens is in a strong position financially, however, he noted that the current trend is unsustainable.

“We are doing what we can to, to work with private carriers and with other stakeholders to see if we can get policyholders back into the private market to make the private market healthier,” Peltier said.

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