hour fight against Florida's less controversial property insurance
Article Courtesy of The Sun Sentinel
Published May 22, 2009
lawmaker Julio Robaina and two consumer groups are calling for Gov.
Charlie Crist to veto property insurance measures passed by the Florida
legislature this year.
And they're not just talking about the controversial deregulation bill
that would allow large insurers to essentially charge what they want. They
also want a veto and a special session on a broad property insurance
measure that would increase property insurance premiums across the state
in order to reduce financial risks for Floridians if a major hurricane
hits. All automobile and home insurance policyholders pay fees to offset
deficits in state insurance entities such as Citizens Property Insurance.
"Our constituents understand that Citizens needs to raise
revenue...but these are not the times to raise premiums 10, 20, 30 percent
during the next three years," said Rep. Robaina (R-Miami). "I
would highly encourage people at this point to call the governor and
request a special session just on the insurance issues."
Robaina said a special session would give lawmakers another chance to
either continue the Citizens' rate freeze or perhaps reduce the size of
the annual increase to match the inflation rate.
Kimberly Pope, director of the Maitland-based Insured's Public Action
Coalition, said she hopes Crist is open to asking lawmakers to rewrite the
main insurance bill. If he simply vetoed it, there's a chance some
Citizens' premiums in South Florida would increase by 80 percent.
"If he wasn't running for Senate, he could sign the bill and not look
back. But if he does sign the bill, its our opinion that he shows that he
is in favor of a rate increase," said Pope, a public adjuster, hired
by policyholders to represent them in claims disputes.
Waldo Faura Jr., a public adjuster who co-founded consumer group
Floridians in Action, said before increasing Citizens' premiums
dramatically, he wants lawmakers to scrutinize how Citizens spends its
money and if there are ways it can cut costs. He and his members have
called the governor's office and sent e-mails and letters as part of a
last minute campaign against the legislation.
VETO PROPERTY INSURANCE DEREGULATION BILL H 1171/S2036