The Florida Legislature convened two weeks ago, and FIRM is tracking bills that relate to property insurance coverage and claims and mitigation that affect Monroe County residents.

SB1728 and HB1307 – FIRM is watching these two property insurance bills for a number of concerning proposals:

  • The calculation of replacement value by Citizens is causing some Monroe County policies to exceed the limit of coverage and then being cancelled due to the high cost of building in the Keys.
  • Citizens rate cap application only to primary homes could adversely affect properties owned by locals and rented to locals, including affordable housing units.
  • Allowing surplus lines to operate in the same manner as approved insurers despite not being covered by the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA)
  • Renewed discussion about creating a roof reimbursement schedule rather than paying full replacement costs

 SB1250 and HB863 – These bills would provide a sales tax refund for building materials used to harden homes against natural disasters. SB 1250 is currently in the Community Affairs Committee waiting to be placed on the agenda. HB 863 is currently in the Regulatory Reform Subcommittee waiting to be placed on the agenda.

FIRM has hired lobbyists to get a carve-out to exempt Monroe County from Citizens increasing rate cap. We’ll be asking for the 10% rate cap to remain for Monroe County since Citizens truly is the only insurer for our residents.  We’ll also be seeking an increase in the $1 million coverage limit due to the high cost of building in Monroe County.

FIRM will have representatives at Florida Keys Day on February 10 and will meet with key legislators and policymakers to explain Monroe County’s unique windstorm insurance.

Other legislation of interest to Monroe County residents include:

  • Tax Exemption for Affordable Housing: Senate Bill 1150 was heard in the Community Affairs Committee on Jan. 18, where it passed unanimously. It is now in the Committee on Finance and Tax. This bill authorizes counties and municipalities to adopt ordinances to grant ad valorem tax exemptions to certain property owners whose properties are used for the governmental or public purpose of providing affordable housing to certain persons or families.
  • Homestead Property Tax Exemption: Senate Joint Resolution 1746 will be heard in the Community Affairs Committee on January 25, at 3:30 p.m. This bill proposes an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize the legislature to grant an additional homestead property tax exemption on $50,000 of the assessed value of homestead property owned by specified critical public services workforce such as teachers, law enforcement officers and firefighters.
  • Citizens Property Insurance: Senate Bill 186 will be heard in the Committee on Banking and Insurance on January 25, at 3:30 p.m. This bill allows surplus lines companies to participate in Citizens’ takeout program, among other things.
  • Mandatory Building Inspections: Senate Bill 1702 will be heard in the Community Affairs Committee on January 25, at 3:30 p.m. This bill requires owners of certain multifamily residential buildings to have milestone inspections performed at specified times, and requires the boards of administration for condominium and cooperative associations to arrange for milestone inspections of condominium buildings and cooperative buildings, among other things.

 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This