Lawmakers OK Watered-Down Insurance Bill

By Ryan McCarthy, Florida Keys Keynoter, (Marathon, Fla.)

May 04, 2013

May 04–The state Senate on Thursday approved a watered-down version of a controversial bill that could have meant sharp rate hikes statewide for new Citizens Property Insurance Corp. policyholders.

But Senate Bill 1770, sponsored by Sen. David Simmons (R-Altamonte Springs), still accomplishes Simmons’ main goal of creating a “clearinghouse” by which Citizens, the state-run insurer of last resort, can steer policies into the private market.

Gov. Rick Scott has mandated Citizens depopulate at least half of its roughly 1.3 million policies to private insurance companies.

Heather Carruthers, president of Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe, said the nonprofit supports the idea of a clearinghouse but that it won’t immediately affect the Keys because private wind insurers are largely unavailable here.

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