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Lawmakers to tackle property insurance issues in special session

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Florida lawmakers will convene in another special session to consider the cost of property insurance and related issues during a special session slated to take place in May.

Gov. Ron DeSantis called for the special session in an April 26 memo so that legislators can consider a range of property-related issues including the cost of property insurance, reinsurance, changes to the Florida Building Code to make property insurance more affordable. Operations at the Office of Insurance Regulation, civil remedies, and appropriations are also on the docket.

According to the Office of Insurance Regulation, Florida accounted for 79 percent of the nation’s homeowner-filed insurance lawsuits over claims while making up only 9 percent of the nation’s homeowner insurance claims.

“Florida citizens are now seeing the effects of this higher litigation in their rising premiums,” DeSantis proclamation said.

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Meanwhile, the state’s insurance industry has experienced two straight years of net underwriting losses amounting to more than $1 billion each year, the proclamation said.

Finally, four insurance companies that write homeowners insurance coverage have either become insolvent or required midterm cancellations. More recently, three companies have gone insolvent in the past three months, are in liquidation, have not renewed existing policies or have ceased to write new policies.

As a result, the special session dedicated to property insurance issues is necessary, DeSantis said.

“It is necessary for the State of Florida to act to stabilize the insurance market for Florida policyholders before the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season which begins on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30, 2022,” the proclamation said.

The property insurance-related special session is slated to begin on May 23 and continue to May 27.

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