Florida House and Senate leaders have scheduled a special legislative session to address skyrocketing property insurance costs for the week of Dec. 12, when lawmakers in Tallahassee must hold committee hearings ahead of the 2023 regular session.
Earlier this week, House Speaker Paul Renner and Senate President Kathleen Passidomo made the announcement as they wrapped up their organizational session (a routine post-election meeting to swear in members and elect new leaders).
“We expect to issue a formal proclamation after the Thanksgiving holiday,” Renner and Passidomo wrote.
The details of the legislation to be discussed are yet to follow.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been working with the legislature on an agenda for the special session, has called for solutions to Florida’s insurance system, which has faced massive rate hikes; property tax credits for people who suffered hurricane damage this year; and maybe other things.
Multiple insurers have canceled policies in Florida or requested and received rate increases from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. They have cited higher losses due to worsening weather, widespread litigation, rising costs of construction and repairs, and rising property values.
In a separate special session in May, the legislature took a first step to respond to insurance market disruptions further fueled by hurricanes Ian and Nicole.
That legislation addresses the costs of litigating claims disputes; prohibits insurers from denying homes just because the roofs are more than 15 years old; and increases condominium safety after the deadly collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside in June 2021.
In addition, that special session provided a $2 billion injection of taxpayers’ money into reinsurance coverage to help companies that can’t get it in the private market.
Meanwhile, the car insurance market is also deteriorating. As the Phoenix reported Wednesday, Florida is the nation’s most expensive state for auto insurance, with an average premium of $2,560 per year or $213 per month — up 23% from 2021.
This report first appeared on the website of the Florida Phoenix, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to reporting on state government and politics from Tallahassee.