JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In a stop in Jacksonville Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said lawmakers will address the property insurance crisis in a special legislative session in May. It comes after a News4JAX I-TEAM investigation – showing some homeowners saw insurance premiums double – without even making a claim.
On, Monday, the Governor said, “And so those issues like property insurance and trying to, you know, bring some sanity and stabilize and have a functioning market.”
He plans to address the problems with lawmakers in a special session in May – after homeowners across the state complained of huge rate increases – some losing their coverage altogether.
“I’m confident that we’re going to be able to get that done. I am not confident we’d be able to punch it through this week,” Governor DeSantis said.
The News4JAX I-TEAM first told you about the problems in February. “My insurance agent reached out to me and said my rates are going up,” Donny Mak, an Avondale homeowner told us.
Homeowners seeing premiums hike were told to replace their roofs, plumbing and electrical, “and they also give you a deadline,” Ty Karakus of Southern Coast Roofing said. “If you don’t get your roof done in such and such time frame, you’re going to get dropped.”
Many private insurance companies are dropping out of Florida- blaming fraudulent claims and lawsuits – which has led many homeowners to get policies with the state’s Citizens Property Insurance – Florida’s Chief Financial Officer told us lawmakers must address the problems ASAP.
“There’s exploitation of state statutes in ways that were never meant to be used,” Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis told the News4JAX I-TEAM. “If individuals are able to take advantage of the current Florida laws and create what is in my eyes fraud. In the state of Florida’s eyes it is legal by the statutes. We’ve got to change that.”
The governor says he’s going to address a number of other issues at the special session – he’ll announce the dates through a proclamation in the coming days.