The Florida Legislature’s second special session of the year on buttressing a floundering home insurance market entered its second day Tuesday, with senators hoping to pass their version of property insurance legislation by day’s end.
The bill includes shortened timelines for insurance companies to process and pay claims, an added option of including mandatory arbitration in policies, and lower rates for Floridians. One of their primary goals is to help people dealing with double- and triple-digit increases, as so many in Florida are still healing after Hurricane Ian.
But one senator asked a question that has been on many of our minds.
“This is the question I am getting from my constituents: ‘I’m already paying an additional $100 a month for insurance, which has my budget at the max; how does this bill help me right now?’” said Democratic Sen. Rosalind Osgood from Broward County.
Republican Sen. Jim Boyd, of Bradenton, responded:
“Thank you, Madam President, and thank you Sen. Osgood. Immediately—we talked about this in prior legislation, and I know this isn’t particularly palatable for those who are suffering that scenario right now—immediately, there is no impact unless you go to a new policy with the arbitration and provision and you get a little bit of a discount. As we look forward, and as these reforms take place and make their way through the rate-making process, I absolutely believe this will drive their costs down. So, while it may not happen today, I absolutely believe we will have rate relief as we move forward in the future.”
But you won’t see those changes in the near future; it could take up to 18 months before you notice a lower price in your homeowner’s insurance premium if this bill becomes law.