The following Letter to the Editor was published in The Daily Sun on July 23, 2023.
Recent data from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation showed 521,819 Ian residential property claims have been opened with 23,818 still open without payment, 152,877 closed without payment, and who knows if adequate payments were made on the 287,021 claims closed with payments?
After Hurricane Ian, DeSantis, pocketing millions in insurance company donations, complained on CNN that his Republican Legislature had not done enough to reduce insurance litigation.
Then he called a special 2023 legislative session which produced a bill, signed by him, giving $2 billion to insurance companies promising the giveaway would ultimately reduce premiums. It hasn’t and won’t, but the bill did rewrite our property insurance laws making it harder to sue insurance companies.
No longer are insurance companies required to pay your legal fees when they lose in court (overturning a law on the books since 1893.) Now if you prove an insurance company fleeced you, you’ll pay for proving it thanks to Republican politicians.
The rewrite also makes it harder to get extra penalties levied against companies that intentionally stonewall your claims.
We may be forced to accept that more severe storms produce more damage with higher costs of repairs, and, consequently, higher premiums, but at the very least, if we’re lucky enough to afford insurance, we ought to get the coverage we paid for and not have to pay more to collect it!
Must we suffer from acts of Republican politicians and insurance companies after suffering acts of God? No. Vote for change in 2024!
Penelope Mayer, Punta Gorda