Citizens Property Insurance Bill Killed By Lawmakers

Florida lawmakers killed a bill designed to allow unregulated insurance companies to take over policies from Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

The Senate insisted that Citizens policyholders be able to choose to enroll with surplus lines insurance carriers rather than being taken out of Citizens without their consent. These amendments to the House original bill caused the bill to fail to pass. Supporters say the measure would have helped shrink Citizens, the state-backed insurer of last resort, while also bringing competition and lower rates. But opponents say the surplus lines carriers often are more expensive and that policyholders claims may not be paid if the surplus lines companies go out of business.

Many believe Citizens is a ticking time bomb which will bankrupt the State if a major hurricane hits one of the major metropolitan cities in Florida. Lawmakers will go back to the table to try to find a solution that will protect homeowners as well as the State of Florida.