NewsLocal News

Actions

Florida’s insurance marketplace examined by powerful U.S. Senate Committee

Florida residents pay, on average, more than three-times the national average on property insurance.
Posted at 5:34 PM, Jun 12, 2024

You're right: you do pay more for property insurance in Florida.

In fact, Florida residents pay, on average, more than three-times the national average on property insurance.

So it was no surprise Florida’s troubled insurance marketplace took center stage in Washington, D.C., as a powerful Senate committee looked at whether the Sunshine State’s system is sustainable.

The Senate Budget Committee, chaired by Rhode Island Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, held a hearing called “Riskier Business: How Climate Is Already Challenging Insurance Markets.”

Rhode Island Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
Rhode Island Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, speaking during a June hearing on insurance and climate change.

Whitehouse’s view of the Florida marketplace was dim.

“This all looks like an insurance market that is swirling the drain,” Whitehouse said in his opening statements.

Senators also heard from a Florida woman who described the financial burden she’s put under while trying to protect her paradise.

Florida residents pay, on average, more than three-times the national average on property insurance.

Whitehouse, who has been critical of the state’s insurance marketplace, worries a catastrophic storm could leave the rest of the country paying for Florida residents.

“This all sounds eerily reminiscent of the run up to the mortgage meltdown of 2008."

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, (D) Rhode Island

Then again, perhaps Florida is finally turning a corner.

"The market's getting stronger, in good position for the hurricane season."

Mark Friedlander with the Insurance Information Institute says the market is stronger now than it’s been in years.

“The market's getting stronger, in good position for the hurricane season.We have no concerns about companies going insolvent, like we did years ago,” said Friedlander.

Nine Florida insurance companies have announced plans to lower premiums this year.

Another 10 companies plan to keep rates flat.

This comes as the state has welcomed several new insurance companies in recent months.

“That is an incredible development,” said Friedlander. “Because we’re not seeing this happen in any other state.”