Florida law should reflect public policy that Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is the insurer of last resort. Currently, Citizens is merely the insurance agent’s insurer of last resort. I propose legislation be enacted that makes a clearinghouse for admitted insurers to take policies before they get into Citizens and before Citizens renews any policy.

Continue Reading Citizens Clearinghouse—A Method to Make Citizens an Insurer of Last Resort

I wanted to make sure you saw a feature published this week by the Sunshine State News. The piece is called the Soapbox, and it bills itself as a lively debate among political opinion leaders across the state. This week, the topic of discussion was Citizens rates, and I was asked to participate along side allies like Senator Fasano, and opponents like Representative Bryan Nelson.

Continue Reading Differing Perspectives on Citizens Rate Increases

In case you haven’t seen the news, Senator Mike Fasano, one of Florida’s most vocal and effective advocates on insurance issues, recently announced his intention to run for the Florida State House of Representatives. This, of course, comes as welcome news to all those who have fought against the insurance industry’s tireless lobbying efforts.

Continue Reading Florida’s Most Vocal Insurance Industry Watchdog Seeks Familiar Home

The 2012 Legislative session is right around the corner. It’s hard to believe December has already arrived, leaving only one more committee week before session begins on Tuesday, January 10, 2012.

Many bills favored by leadership have already cleared their first major hurdle by navigating through at least one committee.

Continue Reading Property Insurance Bills move through Committee as 2012 Legislative Session Nears

Floridians won a great victory on Tuesday. Against the wishes of powerful legislators in Tallahassee and the exceptionally influential insurance lobby, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty struck down most of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s proposed 447% sinkhole insurance rate hikes.

Continue Reading Groundswell of Opposition Sinks Citizens’ Rate Hike Request

Throughout my career, I have spent a great deal of time in Tallahassee, working on a broad range of insurance issues. Even with that experience, Tallahassee is a strange place to me. It is also a distant place to most Floridians – both in location and in familiarity. Some of us know the legislators in our own districts sent to represent home interests, but few know anything about the other 158 members who together create the laws which govern us. For most of us, Tallahassee is something we like to passively complain about – the punch line in an all-to-familiar joke.

Continue Reading Tallahassee Spotlight: Mike Fasano

Paige St. John reported on another blockbuster insurance story over the weekend in Gov. Scott Quietly Trying to Kill Citizens Insurance. After obtaining internal government documents and emails, St. John reported:

Gov. Rick Scott has secretly pushed to kill Citizens Property Insurance before his first term ends…

In a February meeting with the industry lobbyists writing bills for the upcoming legislative session, documents show Gov. Scott’s top staff sought to force the 1.3 million property owners who now have a policy from the state-run carrier back into the private market, "phasing out Citizens completely."

…The gap would force many Florida property owners to turn to the unregulated surplus lines market, where rates are unchecked and policies are not backed by a state guarantee fund.

Continue Reading Will Citizens Property Insurance Go Out of Business?

Before the Hurricanes of 2004 and 2005, few people showed up for insurance related legislation and committee hearings. When some suggested I get to the meeting early to make certain I could find a seat, it was obvious that times had changed.

Continue Reading A Day at Florida’s Banking and Insurance Committee Regarding the Sinkhole Debate