House and Senate Hear Presentations on State’s Property Insurance Market for Third Consecutive Day
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2021
CONTACT: CAITLIN VAN GRONINGEN
Tallahassee, FL – Today, the House Commerce Committee heard presentations from the Commissioner of the Office of Insurance Regulation, David Altmaier, as well as Barry Gilway,
President of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, and Insurance Agent Mary Katharine Lawler on behalf of the Florida Association Insurance Agents.
The Commerce Committee testimony took place on the heels of the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee meeting on Wednesday and the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee meeting on Tuesday. The Legislature convened for the first time this week to conduct Committee business in advance of the 2021 Legislative Session.
All three Committees heard testimony focused around the skyrocketing rise in Property Insurance premiums, the rise in litigation driving the rate increases, and the new growth Citizens is seeing as a result of the hardening market.
Commissioner Altmaier told the committees that there is no indication that the current trends, showing a deteriorating Florida insurance market, will reverse absent significant reform. Florida domestic insurers had net underwriting losses over $1.1 billion through 3 quarters in 2020. The Commissioner said that insurers have had to seek larger rate increases in recent years to account for such large losses. He believes that 5-10 carriers are seeking additional capital to prevent financial impairment in the future.
At the conclusion of today’s final meeting Floridians for Lawsuit Reform Executive Director, David Santiago, issued the following statement: “Litigation is the primary cost driver that leads to increased rates for Florida’s homeowners. It is significant that the Florida Legislature committed 3 hearings on this issue in the first week of the 2021 Legislative season and hopefully a strong indication that critical reform to remove the incentives driving manufactured lawsuits is on the way.”
ABOUT FLORIDIANS FOR LAWSUIT REFORM
Floridians for Lawsuit Reform is a 501(c) (4) organization that was formed by Floridians to pursue lawsuit reform. The goals of the nonprofit are to: 1) raise awareness for the abuse of the system; 2) demonstrate the impact of frivolous lawsuits and over-the-top attorney fees on insurance rates; and 3) promote possible solutions that will benefit Florida families.