Florida Promises to Protect Policy Holders in the Wake of Hurricane Idalia

Florida’s property insurance market is among the worst in the country, but the state is taking steps to ensure the protection of policy holders following the occurrence of the first hurricane this year. Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky expressed the commitment of the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) to support and promote a robust insurance market for consumers. Reassurance is provided through Executive Order EO 315284-23, which extends “grace periods” and prohibits the cancellation of policies in several counties affected by the hurricane until the end of October. The counties include Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Franklin, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, and Wakulla.

Florida is also making progress in bringing new insurers into the market. Orange Insurance Exchange, Orion180 Select Insurance Company, Orion180 Insurance Company, Mainsail Insurance Company, and Tailrow Insurance Companies are now operating in the market. These insurers relieve the burden on Citizens Property Insurance, the state’s insurer of last resort, which is currently dealing with over 482,000 policies being transferred to other companies.

Governor Ron DeSantis has previously expressed concerns about the financial stability of Citizens. He warned that the company was undercapitalized and could face significant challenges in the event of a major storm. DeSantis has also been vocal about the need for insurance reforms. However, he has not specified the exact reforms he is advocating for when pressed for details.

Earlier this year, the Governor made headlines when he suggested that homeowners should hope for the best and avoid the possibility of a storm impacting the state. Florida continues to work towards improving its property insurance market and providing the necessary support and protection for policy holders, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia.