Florida has lost three property insurance companies in as many months and could be on the verge of losing another after FedNat insurance was downgraded Friday.
The four losses combined would leave as many as 400,000 policyholders without coverage.
Homeowners in Northeast Florida are now beginning to see the double-digit year-over-year rate hike that was once reserved for places like Miami.
Some state lawmakers are arguing that without a special session, things are just going to keep getting worse.
Ronnie Rohn is 78.
He lives on Social Security and works here and there to make ends meet.
So, when he was told he’d be seeing his homeowner’s insurance increase by $600 this year, it hurt.
“Half our Social Security goes toward medicine and stuff and the extra $600 would help,” said Rohn.
Rohn is far from alone in his financial struggles.
Rising rates in Northeast Florida are driving more and more Duval residents to the state’s insurer of last resort.
Citizens Insurance has seen its number of Duval policies double over the last year.
“What started out as being a south Florida issue has started to work its way throughout the state,” said Citizens spokesperson Michael Peltier.
State Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) told us the state’s private insurance market is on life support.
He has initiated a call for a special session to help stop the bleeding.
“And the Legislature’s either going to get our arms around this or the whole market is going to start shutting down,” said Brandes.
The Secretary of State sent out an official poll of lawmakers Thursday.
Two-thirds of lawmakers from both chambers will have to agree by Monday for a special session to be called.
Brandes said that even with a special session, any reforms will take between 18 and 24 months to affect rates, but he argues waiting is no longer an option.
“Let’s make this the primary focus of everything we’re dealing on. This is quickly becoming the number one issue and the number one challenge facing the State of Florida,” said Brandes.
We’ll have a first look at the number of those who have voted yes sometime Friday evening.
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