Florida lawmakers are moving to dramatically shrink 'Citizens Insurance.' It's the only option for those homeowners living in areas so susceptible to storms they can't get coverage elsewhere. The push is being spearheaded by industry lobbyists and the governor.
There's a gathering storm in Florida over just who will pay if a cataclysmic hurricane hits. With 1-point-3 million homeowners covered by the state-run Citizens Insurance Corporation, industry lobbyist Sam Miller says you, the taxpayer, would have to foot the multi-billion dollar bill.
“Citizens and the cat fund together, after a major hurricane when the national economy might be messed up and the Florida economy might be messed up, would have to sell, incur as much debt as the state of Florida has right now,” Miller said. “Can we do that? I don't know if we can do that or not.”
So, Monday the powerful Senate Budget Committee took up an industry-backed bill that would force hundreds-of-thousands of Citizens customers to find new, private coverage. It would hike rates by as much as 20 percent for everyone else.
And it's come to light Gov. Scott had a heavy hand in crafting the legislation, which accomplishes half his goal of wiping out Citizens altogether.
Maverick republican Mike Fasano is livid.
“I don't think the governor truly understands the impact this would have on ratepayers, but especially those who are in Citizens, especially those in the Tampa Bay area and throughout the coastal areas of the state of Florida, because that's the only insurance of last resort, if you will, that's available to them.”
...That is, without turning to unregulated insurance policies that could carry a price tag so hefty the only option is to move out.
Even industry leaders disagree with the governor on killing Citizens outright. To hear it from them, they only want a more competitive marketplace.
Under the bill, Citizens customers with homes worth more than a half-million dollars would see their policies dropped in 2016.
Polling Place Distirct 1A
WALTON PARK RECREATION CENTER - 122 WALTON PARK DRIVE
Polling Place District 1B
ANDREW BELLE COMMUNITY CENTER - 1270 LAKE STREET
Polling Place District 2A
ROY DRIGGERS BUILDING (CIVIC CENTER) - 126 N. ST. ANDREWS STREET
Polling Place District 2B
WIREGRASS RECREATION CENTER - 620 6TH AVENUE
Polling Place District 3A
HOUSTON COUNTY FARM CENTER - 1701 E. COTTONWOOD ROAD
Polling Place District 3B
NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY - 1842 3RD AVENUE
Polling Place District 4A
DOTHAN UTILITIES COMPLEX - 200 KILGORE DRIVE
Polling Place District 4B
DOUG TEW RECREATION CENTER - 300 GARLAND STREET
Polling Place District 5A
WESTGATE RECREATION CENTER - 501 RECREATION ROAD
Polling Place District 5B
WESLEY MANOR RETIREMENT CENTER - 718 HONEYSUCKLE ROAD
Polling Place District 6A
VAUGHN-BLUMBER CENTER - 2715 FLYNN ROAD
Polling Place District 6B
WIREGRASS COMMONS MALL COMMUNITY ROOM - 900 COMMONS DRIVE