Senator Debbie Mayfield will be holding a public town hall on the issue of property insurance on Thursday, May 12th, from 6 to 8 PM. The Town Hall will be hosted in the Melbourne City Council Chambers at 900 East Strawbridge Avenue; Melbourne, FL 32901.
Members of the public who sign up to speak will each be given an amount of time, based on the total number wishing to speak, to share their perspective exclusively on this specific issue.
Other local officials will also be present.
The governor’s office announced the special session will start May 23.
The goal is to come up with laws to control the out of control rate hikes and cancellations that tens of thousands of Floridians are dealing with.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has previously pledged to address Florida’s ever-worsening home insurance crisis.
Earlier this month, speaking from a hospital in Jacksonville, the governor said the issue of soaring insurance prices would be addressed by a special session in May.
“Trying to bring some sanity and stabilize and have a functioning market, I’m confident that we’re going to be able to get that done,” he said.
Florida Senate Bill 76 went into effect last July to crack down on some of the factors that were driving up insurance premiums, including contractors who were soliciting roof jobs and limiting attorney fees. Since that time, however, the last resort nonprofit insurance provider Citizens has seen an increase in the number of its policyholders.
In 2021, “we saw an increase in policy count of about 39%, almost 40%. We are now at over 750,000 policies,” Citizens spokesperson Michael Peltier said.
According to Citizens, part of the reason they’re seeing more policyholders is that more private companies are leaving the state and property owners need coverage options.
Peltier said Citizens is in a strong position financially, however, he noted that the current trend is unsustainable.
“We are doing what we can to, to work with private carriers and with other stakeholders to see if we can get policyholders back into the private market to make the private market healthier,” Peltier said.