Saturday, June 22

Could federal government help solve Florida’s insurance woes?

Ideas to try and solve Florida’s insurance crisis are now starting to surface at the federal level.

A U.S. congressman from South Florida has a proposal he said could “lower rates for homeowners.”

His legislation would have the federal government issue post-event bonds to insurance companies so they wouldn’t be forced to purchase higher amounts of reinsurance.

“Insurance companies are seeking higher and higher reinsurance amounts, and those cuts unfortunately get passed down to consumers,” Moskowitz said in a statement.

“He wants to allow the insurance companies to purchase less reinsurance, and he hopes that the savings will be passed on to homeowners,” Michael DeLong with the Consumer Federation of America said. “We’re kind of skeptical this will happen.”

During WPTV’s recent Coverage Collapse special, the focus was on finding state solutions to insurance, and there was some discussion on what the federal government can do.

“We’ve talked in the past about how we really should have a national catastrophic insurance program, and that would level the playing field, so we could have the same rates as north Georgia,” state Sen. Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, said during the Coverage Collapse special. “That’s gotta be done on a national level, and we’re here on the state level.”

Another proposal, known as the INSURE Act, from U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., would create a public reinsurance program.

Schiff said the program would offer insurers a fairly priced reinsurance alternative for the worst natural disasters.

“Consumers will benefit from greater access to affordable catastrophic coverage,” Schiff said in a statement.

Dr. Charles Nyce of Florida State Universitys Department of Risk Management/Insurance said the devil is in the details when it comes to federal involvement with insurance.

“I agree that the federal government offering reinsurance for natural disasters covered by homeowners policies would lower the cost to Floridians,” he said. “It would do so by subsidizing those living on the coast by those living inland and bearing part of that cost.”

If you have any questions or issues with homeowners insurance, email WPTV reporter Matt Sczesny at matt.sczesny@wptv.com

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