DeSantis’s First Order of Business? Lining the Pockets of Big Insurance Companies

Ron DeSantis is getting right to work after the midterm elections, calling a special legislative session to reward the big insurance companies that supported his campaign. As Floridians struggle with some of the highest housing and insurance costs in the country, DeSantis is again working to bail out insurance companies while raising rates on homeowners.

Less than six months ago, instead of fixing the property insurance crisis Floridans are facing, DeSantis bailed out the insurance companies.

Orlando Sentinel: “Florida Insurance Firms, Not Homeowners, Reap Benefit Of $2 Billion Taxpayer-Financed Fund”

Pensacola News Journal: “Plus, many of Florida’s undercapitalized insurers depend on reinsurance to ensure they pay out claims, but much of those costs are passed onto consumers, others pointed out.”

Following DeSantis’s special session in the summer – and before Hurricane Ian – the insurance crisis got even worse.

E&E News: “In late May, the Florida legislature met in a special session to address the insurance crisis and it enacted two laws aimed at strengthening industry finances in part by controlling costs arising from lawsuits filed by policyholders who challenge claims settlements. But since then, three Florida insurers have gone bankrupt, affecting 170,000 policies, and others have announced they are withdrawing from Florida — a process that involves not renewing policies as they expire. A fourth insurer, Avatar Property & Casualty Insurance Co., went bankrupt in April.”

Tallahassee Democrat: “Close to 400,000 Florida homeowners have lost their insurance coverage this year.”

Tallahassee Democrat: “But even with the benefits enacted by the governor, homeowners’ insurance rates continue to climb. Property insurance premiums in Florida are three times the national average, according to the Insurance Information Institute.”

Since DeSantis first took office, Floridians have seen their property insurance bills increase by over $1,500. 

Orlando Sentinel: “Insurance costs have risen since DeSantis was sworn in from $1,989 in 2019, according to the Insurance Information Institute, to a current average of $3,585, according to Insurify, which provides online rate comparisons.”

CBS Miami: “State regulators have asked a judge to place a property-insurance company in receivership, making it the sixth Florida property insurer declared insolvent this year amid widespread financial problems in the industry.”

Now, the Republican-led Florida legislature is meeting over a proposal that would cut more breaks for insurance companies but are expected to approve a plan to increase Floridians’ insurance rates even further.

Tallahassee Democrat: “Lawmakers have taken the approach that they will give the industry what it wants in a desperate bid to stop them from leaving a high-risk state. The insurance industry got lawmakers to do a lot of what it wanted in May. And the same theme is expected to dominate next week’s session.”

Miami Herald: “It’s unclear if any of the changes will lead to lower rates any time soon for Floridians, who are paying the highest homeowners insurance premiums in the nation. But hundreds of thousands of homeowners covered by state-run Citizens Property Insurance are almost guaranteed to end up paying more.”

Costs have skyrocketed for years in Florida under Ron DeSantis, and he’s only made the problem worse. This special session will be the latest in DeSantis’s long track record of bailing out big companies while working Florida families foot the bill.