JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After Hurricane Ian ravaged the coast of Florida and other areas, the state is facing billions of dollars in damages.
Some people are worried about the next disaster the state faces — property insurance.
Florida Senator Jeff Brandes is calling for the second special session on property insurance year. Some people said nothing was done at the first session Gov. Ron DeSantis called in April to combat the rise in property insurance rates, but now that Hurricane Ian devastated parts of the state, they believe a second session could bring change.
The Governor’s Office told News4JAX that DeSantis has been continuously working to fight property taxes from increasing when we reached out for a comment.
According to DeSantis’ office, one month after the special session was called DeSantis signed bipartisan legislation Senate Bill 2D for property insurance reforms to provide short and long-term relief to Floridians, which included $2 billion in reinsurance relief through the Reinsurance to Assist Policy program, $150 million for the My Safe Florida Home Program to provide grants to Florida homeowners for hurricane retrofitting and making homes safer, resistance to hurricane damage.
“If the legislature waits until regular session, people are going to be looking at 30% to 40% rate increases on top of the 100% rate increases that they’ve seen over the last two or three years. It is unsustainable, and you’re about to gut the middle class of the state of Florida,” Brandes told News4JAX’s sister station WKMG.
According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, more than 335,000 insurance claims were filed after Hurricane Ian, making a total of $2.8 billion in estimated insurance losses. 246,910 of those claims involved residential property and auto damage claims.
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Those kinds of numbers are a lot for a state where some have said the insurance market is already in shambles.
A few News4JAX Insiders shared their thoughts on the possible increase because of Ian’s effects.
“Within the last two years, my home insurance almost doubled,” one person said.
“This is a disaster for the middle class. So I hate to think what the working class is doing,” another said.
The Candidate for Governor Charlie Christ Tour Bus was in Northeast Florida Thursday gathering supplies for Ian’s victims. News4JAX reached out to his campaign for a comment about his stance on property insurance following the storm, and we’re waiting to hear back.
Six insurance companies left the state this year, and people believe more could leave following Ian.