LETTER TO GOVERNOR DESANTIS
AND HIS CABINET
November 30, 2022
Dear Governor DeSantis, CFO Patronis, Attorney General Moody, Commissioner of Agriculture Simpson & outgoing Commissioner of Agriculture Fried:
You are all aware of the 6 year property insurance crisis that is causing major financial strain for Floridians. While I am encouraged by the new makeup of the Florida House and Senate, Florida homeowners are in real and immediate danger even with another special session, new legislative leadership, and potential legislation.
As an insurance agent, I see homeowners with 40%, 50%, even 100%+ rate increases on a daily basis; this is on top of increases from last year. This literally means thousands of dollars a year in increased household expenses to Floridians already fighting the increase in cost of gas, food, and other necessities.
Insurance capacity and insurance competition are almost non-existent right now, and Floridians will suffer several more YEARS of significant financial pain if you count on Legislative reform alone as the solution
The adversarial stance of the Office of Insurance Regulation to insurance companies, liberal judicial rulings over the past 7 years, and legislative inaction have driven capital, competition, and innovation away from one of the greatest insurance markets in the world: the free state of Florida.
In order to see any rate relief for Floridians in the next 12-18 months, you must have a combination of legislative reform AS WELL AS a near 180 degree change in the attitude and direction of the Office of Insurance Regulation.
The Florida OIR is often compared to regulatory agencies in New York and California, which is not very flattering. Certainly not good company for those of us proud to live in the free state of Florida.
The OIR’s Mission is: “To promote a stable and competitive insurance market for consumers.” Additionally, it’s Vision is: “The Office envisions a robust and competitive insurance market while maintaining protections for the insurance-buying public.” Clearly, it is falling short on both because of its current attitude, philosophy, and direction.
I have included all of you in this letter because Commissioner Altmaier needs explicit direction from his leadership to make this change in the direction of the OIR:
Direct the OIR to decrease the regulatory burden on filings for insurance carrier forms, products, and coverage options AND expedite their approval. This will encourage innovation, attract capital, increase competition and provide a clear public example that Florida is open for business.
This change will likely be ridiculed and unpopular in the next 6 months. Within a year, it will be crystal clear it is the way to prosperity for Floridians.
Each of you have proven you have the courage to do what is necessary for Floridians even when it means taking the short term slings and arrows from your political rivals and the media.
This shift in the OIR’s attitude and practice (along with reasonable legislative reforms) will attract the desperately needed capital back into the Florida market which will stabilize rates, increase competition in the insurance and reinsurance market, and ultimately put downward pressure on the rates paid by those of us living in the great, and free, State of Florida.