LONDON, UK – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation President and CEO Tim Cerio for a discussion with reinsurance companies in the United Kingdom. In the meeting, Governor DeSantis provided an update on Florida’s efforts to stabilize the property insurance market and secured a commitment from companies in attendance to increase access for carriers serving Florida policyholders.
“Access to affordable reinsurance options for Florida carriers is important for the stabilization and long-term growth of our property insurance market,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Florida is home to one of the largest and most complex insurance markets in the world, and I was happy to provide an update about recent legislative reforms that have made the market more attractive to businesses.”
“Governor DeSantis continues to lead efforts within the legislature and throughout the insurance sector to provide for meaningful reforms to Florida’s market that promote competition and consumer choice,” said Citizens Property Insurance President and CEO Tim Cerio. “Ensuring that Florida carriers can obtain reinsurance at a reasonable price reduces the number of enrollments and renewals within the Citizens portfolio and results in a win for Florida policyholders and taxpayers alike.”
Today’s discussion also reinforced the importance of partnerships in supporting Florida’s large insurance-related economic sector, which includes over 4,800 businesses, writing over $209 billion premiums. The insurance industry accounts for more than 213,000 jobs in Florida, generating approximately 3.5% of Florida’s GDP in 2020.
Since 2019, Governor DeSantis has secured historic and unprecedented reforms in the insurance industry designed to promote market stability and competitiveness to ensure policyholders are protected when disaster strikes.
Reform legislation enacted since 2019 includes:
- House Bill 837 was signed by Governor DeSantis earlier this year. The bill modifies the bad faith framework, eliminates one-way attorney’s fees and fee multipliers, and ensures that Floridians can’t be held liable for damages if the person suing is more at fault.
- Senate Bill 2-A was signed by Governor DeSantis in December 2022. The bill implements litigation reforms and is intended to ensure policyholders have access to quality, affordable private market property insurance.
- Senate Bill 2-A eliminates one-way attorney fees for property insurance, strengthens the regulatory authority of OIR, establishes a new optional state reinsurance program, and requires insurers to communicate, investigate, and pay valid claims more promptly.
- Senate Bill 2-A also establishes the Florida Optional Reinsurance Assistance program. The Florida Optional Reinsurance Assistance program, commonly referred to as FORA, is a one-year program designed to operate in conjunction with the RAP program and provides four optional reinsurance layers. To be eligible for coverage under the FORA program, an insurer must be a participating insurer in the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.
- Senate Bill 2-D was signed by Governor DeSantis in May 2022. The bill enacted pro-consumer measures to help alleviate rising insurance costs, to increase insurance claim transparency, and to crack down on frivolous lawsuits. This bill’s pro-consumer measures include $2 billion in reinsurance relief through the Reinsurance to Assist Policy program to benefit policyholders over the next two years, $150 million for the My Safe Florida Home Program to provide grants to Florida homeowners for mitigating their homes against disaster impacts, and prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage based on the age of a roof that is less than 15 years old.
- Senate Bill 76 was signed by Governor DeSantis in 2021 and provided important regulatory changes designed to stabilize Florida’s property market. Senate Bill 76 increased data transparency by establishing claims litigation data reporting requirements for personal and commercial residential property insurers and established protocols for awarding attorney fees in property insurance litigation.