Fla. Homeowners Call for Insurance Reform

October 16, 2006

About 200 homeowners demanded aggressive action to curb Florida’s soaring insurance costs last week at a state meeting on insurance reform.

“When your CEOs are making $26 billion a year, we need to make some changes,” said Ginny Stevans, president of Homeowners Against Citizens, a group protesting skyrocketing insurance costs at the state-created insurer of last resort.

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has become the state’s largest insurer as private companies fled in the wake of the back-to-back storms of the 2004-05 hurricane seasons.

During the seven hour meeting last Thursday, the state’s Property and Casualty Insurance Reform Committee focused on increasing ire against Citizens.

“If Citizens is not going to function as the insurer of last resort, we need to look at getting rid of it,” said state Rep. Kim Berfield, R-Clearwater.

The committee also discussed lengthening the amount of notice an insurer must give before dropping a policyholder.

“The governor is very interested in any solutions we come up with,” said Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings, the committee’s chairwoman.

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