TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Today, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and Speaker of the Florida House Paul Renner issued an official proclamation to convene a special joint session of the two chambers to consider new legislation.
“Governor DeSantis is grateful that the Florida legislature has responded to his October call for a special session to reduce the cost of property insurance for Floridians, provide toll relief to Florida’s commuters, and deliver further aid to those impacted by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole,” the governor’s press secretary Bryan Griffin told The Florida Standard.
“Specifically on property insurance, the governor expects the legislature to rein in the costs of excessive litigation and ensure the property insurance market in Florida is both attractive to insurers and more competitive for consumers,” said Griffin.
The five-day special session will take place from December 12-16, 2022. The proclamation states that lawmakers are considering legislation to:
- Reduce the cost of litigation regarding property insurance claims.
- Foster the availability of reinsurance for property insurance.
- Improve claims handling practices in property insurance.
- Modify deadlines for notices of property insurance losses and limit the assignment of benefits under property insurance policies.
- Prescribe property insurance requirements regarding alternative dispute processes, coverage options, and agent practices.
- Increase oversight of property insurance market participants
- Improve the financial stability of the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, reduce the potential for assessments related to the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, and foster the transition of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation policies to the private property insurance market.
- Provide tax relief and other financial assistance related to damages resulting from
- Hurricanes Ian and Nicole.
- Provide additional mechanisms to support the Division of Emergency Management for natural disaster response, recovery, and relief efforts.
- Establish a statewide toll credit program for frequent Florida commuters.
- Provide appropriations to implement such legislation.
MORE LEGISLATIVE REFORMS
The Florida Standard reported on legislative reforms enacted this summer that Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis described as “a once-in-a-generation overhaul to the Florida Insurance Code.” Patronis said that more time is required for companies to realize the benefit of these significant reforms. Still, he acknowledged the need for additional legislative action in the wake of Hurricane Ian and Nicole.
“Prior to Hurricane Ian’s arrival, the Florida Legislature took steps to stabilize Florida’s insurance market and set aside record reserves and emergency funds to address future disasters,” House Speaker Paul Renner told The Florida Standard.
“We will not allow Florida’s insurance market to fail. We will actively work with our partners in the Senate on legislative reforms that ensure all Floridians have coverage for their biggest investment,” said Renner.