TALLAHASSEE — Homeowners seeking coverage from Citizens Property Insurance could wind up getting policies from unregulated out-of-state insurers.
The Florida Senate voted 22-16 Friday for a property insurance bill that could result in homeowners to be shifted to private surplus line insurance. Such companies are not subjected to the same regulations as companies based in the state.
Several senators objected to the legislation, including Republicans who live in areas with heavy concentrations of Citizens customers.
“We have insurance regulation in the state of Florida for a good reason,” said Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth. “It’s to make sure consumers in Florida aren’t being taking advantage of.”
The Republican-controlled Legislature has considered similar measures in recent years, but they have been defeated.
Lawmakers have taken several steps over the last few years to try to steer people away from the state-created Citizens.
Citizens was set up initially to be an insurer of last resort but it grew in size as Florida has been hit by hurricanes and private insurers sought to limit their exposure in the Sunshine State.