All, Special Session is already finished. One of the most important pieces of legislation that will be passed this year and next -- SB 2 Property Insurance -- was rammed through the State Legislature in a matter of 48 hours under the guise of "fixing" the collapsing insurance market. Here is a high-level synopsis of the bill:
Following the delivery of a $2 billion gift to insurance companies during a previous Special Session devoted to property insurance reform, this new bill is another $1 billion bailout to the insurance industry that has already contributed $10 million to DeSantis political ambitions since he has been in office.
The bill did nothing to reduce or stall the increasing insurance rates that policyholders are experiencing. In fact, the Democrats in the House and Senate proposed about 50 amendments to make the bill more palatable to policyholders, and all were voted down, despite Republicans admitting that homeowners will not see reduced rates for at least 18 months.
The bill actually goes out of its way to be punitive to policyholders by refusing to deal with bad-faith insurers who refuse to administer claims in a quick and fair manner and then making it harder for policyholders to retain legal counsel to fight the insurers.
In an effort to force customers out of Citizens Property Insurance, the insurer of last resort in Florida, it will force policyholders to purchase higher-priced policies on the private market and then purchase additional flood insurance policies.
We are now just beginning to digest the indigestible contents of this complicated bill as we await the hour that DeSantis will pull together a photo op to sign it into law. He will crow about the fact that it will allow more insurers to re-enter the Florida market. And that is true. The problem, as one Democratic Senator said on the floor of the Senate during debate, is that they will be coming back to Florida because there is literally no risk to them. DeSantis and his Republican puppets made sure of that. And when they sell lousy policies that will not help Floridians when they need them most, these predators will again leave the area and we will witness the carcasses of more Floridians losing their homes. So, what can we do? We can't stop the bill. That is a done deal. But we can express our outrage by contacting DeSantis (GovernorRon.Desantis@eog.myflorida.com) and our own State Senators and Representatives to let them know we vehemently disagree with this bill, and we are watching what they do during this next Legislative Session. They are not used to accountability! We can also educate every member of our DWCs, our Democratic allies in our communities, and our own personal networks of family and friends. Flood your social media with posts. Remind everyone that elections have consequences and that we must do better if we want to reclaim our rights and fight for their freedoms. Please share this Action Alert widely or modify it to fit your needs, but more importantly, please get in the fight. Thank you,
Jean Siebenaler LEGISLATIVE CHAIR, DEMOCRATIC WOMEN'S CLUB OF FLORIDA
Tallahassee #: (850) 717-5034
District #: (352) 527-4510
State House - District 23
Tallahassee #: (850) 487-5011
District #: (352) 666-5707
State Senate - District 11