Florida Local News, Politics, Sports & Business

One other insurance coverage particular session. What now? | Editorial [South Florida Sun-Sentinel] – Insurance coverage Information Internet

Given the complexity of insurance coverage, a functioning Legislature would begin by getting essentially the most dependable info potential about the issue. That may begin with intensive committee hearings nicely earlier than the common session and proceed with as a lot debate as potential.

‘A baked pie’

As an alternative, legislators could have the weekend, perhaps, to learn lengthy, detailed payments and put together for flooring debate as early as Tuesday. As state Rep. Kelly Skidmore, D-Boca Raton, informed the Solar Sentinel Editorial Board, “We’ll get a baked pie. Then we resolve if we would like a chunk.”

All of the bakers are Republicans. The GOP now has supermajorities of greater than two-thirds membership in each chambers.

Happily, the proclamation for the session is broadly-worded. As a result of it covers all elements of insurance coverage and reduction for storm-damaged areas, legislators can supply many amendments to enhance the invoice.

However the rushed schedule probably implies that payments gained’t change a lot from what the sponsors supply. Right here’s a novel concept: Since Republicans haven’t resolved the disaster utilizing their standard concepts — which means regardless of the insurance coverage business desires — how about contemplating some concepts from the Democrats?

Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, would love an impartial evaluation of the business’s rivalry that 80 p.c of all insurance coverage lawsuits nationwide are in Florida, despite the fact that the state has simply 9 p.c of all claims. “I don’t imagine that’s good knowledge,” mentioned Polsky, an lawyer who mediates insurance coverage claims.

The business’s response to fraud has been to limit policyholders’ entry to the courts and to painting attorneys and their charges because the villains. Assembly with all events earlier than the session, Polsky mentioned she discovered that in some instances trial attorneys are the one ones holding insurance coverage corporations accountable for paying claims.

A fragile stability

That’s the stability Tallahassee should strike. Laws that offers reduction to corporations however to not prospects gained’t ease this disaster. House owner insurance coverage charges in Florida already are rising 33 p.c yearly, in comparison with 9 p.c nationally. Floridians ought to get one thing in return for these premiums.

The state wants extra corporations writing house owner insurance policies — not fewer. That may take the strain off state-run Residents, which is meant to be an insurer of final resort however is again above 1 million insurance policies and desires to boost charges to discourage extra individuals from signing up.

Particularly in South Florida, Residents could be the solely different, as different corporations maintain dropping insurance policies.

So we recommend once more that the Legislature require any firm that writes insurance coverage in Florida to supply all traces of protection, not simply profitable auto insurance policies. The business will resist. However extra of the identical clearly isn’t working.

And if insurance coverage fraud is so rampant, regulators ought to ask for cash to crack down. Gov. Ron DeSantis acquired hundreds of thousands for an election safety unit and to ship Texas migrants out of state.

Lastly, any laws that reduces value for insurers ought to require them to go financial savings on to prospects.

Insurance coverage ought to have been the precedence throughout common periods each this 12 months and final. As an alternative, Republicans targeted on tradition battle sideshows as a substitute. This rush job of a particular session holds little promise that Tallahassee considers the insurance coverage disaster to be something particular.

The Solar Sentinel Editorial Board consists of Editorial Web page Editor Steve Bousquet, Deputy Editorial Web page Editor Dan Sweeney, and Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson. Editorials are the opinion of the Board and written by considered one of its members or a designee. To contact us, electronic mail at [email protected].

©2022 South Florida Solar-Sentinel. Go to sun-sentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content material Company, LLC.

Comments are closed.