A new bill in Florida that could result in higher home insurance rates for state residents cleared a Senate committee last week.
Senate Bill 1330 (SB 1330) would allow insurers to increase home insurance rates in Florida by up to 30 percent a year – without authorization from regulators.
SB 1330 aims to deregulate Florida home insurance rates by authorizing insurers to use rates that differ from rates approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). Under current law, rate hikes that are deemed excessive can be rejected by regulators. But under the proposed legislation, insurers would be allowed to raise home insurance rates without approval.
On March 16, 2011, SB 1330 was approved by a Senate insurance committee by a vote of six to three.
Other bills dealing with home insurance have been working their way through the Senate, as well. Senate Bill 408 (SB 408), which would permit insurers to drop full sinkhole coverage, is another bill that has been getting a lot attention – and prompting a lot of debate – lately.
Proponents argue that SB 1330 would allow consumers to purchase a more expensive policy – opting to pay more for coverage from an established insurer. Proponents of SB 408 argue that the bill would help to stabilize the insurance market in the state.
Opponents argue that these bills will not help homeowners in Florida and some are taking a strong stance against the bills. Some opponents are labeling the proposed legislation as anti-consumer bills, while others are voicing their >outrage over the proposed deregulation.