Politicians who keep their campaign promises should be applauded. They are a special breed, particularly when knowing that such integrity will be criticized. Charlie Crist kept his word to Floridians when he vetoed a property insurance bill that would have allowed insurance companies to raise rates by ten percent each year. His veto is a huge victory for every Floridian who is outraged over the highest property insurance premiums in the country. The insurance industry offered the most illogical of all arguments as to why the proposed law was "consumer friendly:" by allowing rates to go up, insurance premiums would go down. This point was made in Do Florida Legislators Think We Are Stupid?
Today is the day Governor Crist decides the fate of the pending property insurance bill by choosing whether to exercise his veto. Yesterday, investigative journalist Paige St. John‘s article, Lobby Had a Hand in Insurance Bill, was on the front page of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. While I was unsuccessfully advocating for policyholders this past legislative session, I observed the insurance lobby, with an army of insurance lawyer lobbyists, seemingly writing most of the proposed laws that eventually passed. Indeed, I have not found one quote from a Florida representative claiming to have stopped any insurance industry sponsored law.
Governor Charlie Crist will certainly be asking himself the question whether the property insurance legislation before him is bad for average Florida insurance consumers. Yesterday’s afternoon post, Pay Higher Premiums and Get Less Coverage Legislation — Can Anybody Explain Why This is Good for Floridians? provided a simple explanation of why many are calling for Governor Crist to veto this legislation. The analysis is not easy because the proposed law was rolled into one massive piece of legislation, some very bad and some good. The media is starting to pick up the overall aspects of the proposed law.
This Property Insurance Coverage Blog set record visits last month. Thank you! I noticed a significant drop as the Easter weekend started. The Florida legislature took a well deserved breather last week as well. So, it seems like it is a good time to get caught back up.
The Florida legislator is full of "flip flop" legislators that are reversing laws made in 2005 and 2006 which supported lower insurance rates and protected insurance consumers from unscrupulous insurers. Governor Charlie Crist ran on a platform of helping Floridians keep insurance rates down and he is sticking to that promise even as other politicians who once voted for such laws are now firmly supporting the opposite measures. These "flip flop" politicians are filing laws that would allow rates to go as high as the insurance industry can make them and laws that take benefits away from consumers following disaster. Crist seems to be standing tall against the insurance industry and for the people, unlike other politicians who are currently getting their responses and "speaking points" from insurance lobbyists.
My appointment by Florida’s Governor Charlie Crist to the Citizens Mission Review Task Force afforded me the opportunity to learn about and have a small voice in the Florida insurance marketplace. At War With the Weather: Managing Large-Scale Risks in a New Era of Catastrophes is a significant academic work which our regulators and legislators must read and understand to fully appreciate the complexity of the property insurance issues in Florida and elsewhere. I wish it had been published while I was serving on that Committee. The historic lessons and current conclusions contained in this book are important to everybody living and working along Coastal areas.
Governor Charlie Crist just vetoed HB 1171, which was euphemistically titled the "Consumer Choice Bill."
I do not know why the State Farm Florida President would write a letter to Governor Crist telling him State Farm will remain in Florida if Crist signs the bailout bill. Of course it would. What a competitive advantage a few large insurers would have over the rest of the domestic competition.