On Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 76, which builds on Governor DeSantis’ commitment to insurance reform in Florida. This bill protects Florida families by restructuring litigation rules for disputed insurance claims; expressly disallows contractors, public adjusters, and companies from using prohibited advertisements that encourage Floridians to make an insurance claim for roof damage; and imposes a fine of up to $10,000 when companies violate the law.
“I’m proud to sign SB 76 today to continue our mission of insurance reform in Florida,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Since my first days in office, I have been committed to doing whatever it takes to reduce the burden of property insurance on Florida families. That includes signing into law historic reforms to the assignment of benefits process and appointing principled justices to our state courts.”
“Homeowners property insurance rates have increased by 20, 30, 40 percent or higher in some cases,” said Senator Jim Boyd. “Since 2013, $15 billion has been paid out in claims in Florida. From those funds, 71 percent went to attorney fees, 21 percent to insurers defense costs, and a mere 8 percent went to the property owners for their losses. Florida accounted for over 76 percent of all homeowners’ litigation in the country in 2019. With the passage of SB 76, I believe we will see a downward impact on those rates. I appreciate the Governor’s leadership on this issue that will save our constituents on their annual homeowners insurance costs.”
President & CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Mark Wilson, gave props to the Governor saying: “When Florida accounts for only 8 percent of the nation’s property insurance claims but 76 percent of national property insurance litigation, you know there is a problem.
“The Florida Chamber thanks Governor Ron DeSantis for signing SB 76, which addresses some of the root causes that are rapidly increasing homeowner’s insurance rates. Thanks to the work of Senator Jim Boyd and Representative Bob Rommel, SB 76 contains meaningful attorney fee reform to bring all parties to the table and reins in roofing solicitation practices that were driving lawsuits due to questionable roofing claims.”
However, Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo had a different perspective: “One thing you have to give Governor Ron DeSantis credit for is his consistency when it comes to helping his campaign donors over everyday Floridians. This year, the Governor has raised taxes on all Floridians by $1 billion to fund tax cuts for the largest corporations, raised property taxes to slash impact fees for the largest developers, and now he’s raising property insurance rates for homeowners while making it easier for insurance companies to deny claims for damages and forcing people out of Citizens and into more expensive private plans.
“This is a pattern for Governor DeSantis. At every turn, the Governor takes from the pockets of working Floridians in order to fatten the bottom line of the wealthiest and well-connected corporations in our state. The Governor’s message to Floridians is clear: you pay more while his cronies make bigger profits.”