Fla. Business Coalition Offers Advice for Solving Insurance Crisis

A coalition of Florida business groups has unveiled a set of principles and interim policy recommendations aimed at restoring a competitive private insurance market in Florida.

The coalition’s principles include an admonition to policymakers to be truthful with the public about the extent of Florida’s hurricane risk, and how that risk impacts the amount of real premium savings from legislative proposals:

The Florida Hurricane Crisis Coalition, established under the auspices of Associated Industries of Florida, brings together members of the Florida business community to speak with one voice to policymakers on property insurance issues.

The coalition promises to utilize its guiding principles to assess legislation proposed for during an upcoming special legislative session on insurance. The coalition has urged legislators to focus on a limited agenda that includes mitigation measures to limit hurricane damage, a temporary expansion of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and additional insurance coverage options for consumers.

Cecil Pearce, American Insurance Association vice president, Southeast Region, is a board member of AIF and served as a co-chairman of the Hurricane Insurance Crisis Coalition.

“Members of the business community are experiencing – both personally and professionally – the very real hardship of higher insurance premiums and lack of capacity in the Florida property market,” said Pearce.

“But they all understand that if Florida wants to restore a competitive private insurance market, the only solutions worth pursuing are long-term in nature and potentially difficult for all involved. The coalition’s interim recommendations for the upcoming special session are based on its guiding principles for reform: to maximize market-based solutions and minimize government intrusion.”

In keeping with its call for truth-telling, the group says Florida should support actuarially sound rates, and should not subsidize the rates of policyholders who live in high-risk areas; If further government involvement in insurance is necessary, it should be done so only under certain conditions.

The coalition also calls for participation in catastrophe management from all corners. “There must be a sense of shared responsibility to solve the hurricane crisis. This means that policyholders, builders, insurance agents, insurance companies, Citizens, lenders, real estate professionals, governments at all levels, tourism officials and others must share in the solution,” its guidelines say.

Source: www.aiadc.org