By now, everyone knows that the midterm elections produced joy for Republicans and sorrow for Democrats both nationally and here in Florida. Nationally, the Republicans took over control of the United States Senate and widened their control over the United States House of Representatives. Here in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott (Rep) was re-elected by a narrow margin over former Gov. Charlie Crist (Dem). In addition, Attorney General Pam Bondi (Rep), CFO Jeff Atwater (Rep), and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (Rep) were all re-elected by wide margins over their Democratic opposition. In the Florida House of Representatives, the Republicans established a super-majority in that Chamber.1A supermajority means that Republicans in the Florida House will be able to push their agenda because opposition from the Democrats is procedurally limited. Lastly, Gov. Rick Scott will now have the opportunity to appoint 3-4 new Justices to the Florida Supreme Court and numerous judges to lower appellate courts throughout the state. What does this mean for policyholders in the Sunshine State?
First, I believe it means that Citizens Property Insurance Company will continue to push its policyholders into the smaller domestic insurance companies. Second, I believe that we will see more and more unfavorable court decisions from our appellate courts. Third, I believe we will see a frontal assault from the legislature on bad faith, attorney’s fees, and/or public adjuster issues. I hope that I am wrong and that our policymakers realize the scale is already tipped in favor of the insurers. But you don’t need a crystal ball to predict what is going to happen…just check out the campaign finance records of everyone who ran this cycle.
Across the country, 36.4 percent of the voting-eligible population cast ballots last week. That is a sad indictment of our Democracy, no matter what side of the aisle you are on. Whenever there is an election (Presidential, Midterm, Municipal or Special) exercise your right to vote. Otherwise, your future is in the hands of the minority who do.