Rising property insurance costs in Florida may begin to taper off in time, if new legislation works as hoped.
The Florida Legislature in special session hammered out a 105-page bill that seeks to stop the bleeding from two years of stiff rate increases and the loss of insurance for a number of residents.
Republicans who crafted the bill say it is designed to spur competition and eventually bring down costs.
Democrats don’t like the bill. They wanted to just hand out money, which is their remedy of first resort for most problems. Also, the new law is likely to reduce litigation and trial lawyers are a support group for tax-and-spend Democrats.
Litigation, however, is a big driver of insurance costs and current law induces litigation.
In 2021, Florida had 7% of property insurance claims nationwide, but had 76% of insurance litigation, according to Florida Politics, quoting data from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
The new law also seeks to move people out of Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state-backed insurance company that has grown to more than a million policies in recent years. It was intended to be an insurer of last resort.
There is no easy way out. Florida has hurricanes and they do extensive property damage. Insurance is a way to protect property owners but there is no magical way to make it cost less, other than competition and reducing unnecessary litigation.
One Democrat mayor complained that Florida has rates “three times the national average.” Typical liberal sophistry. Oklahoma has the most expensive rates, followed by Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Texas. Florida rates are less than the national average, according to insurance.com.
Liberals think government can wave a magic wand and change reality but never have demonstrated that they can make it happen.