Florida Senate Panel Backs Controversial Proposal For Property Insurance Changes

Amid problems in Florida’s property-insurance market, a Senate committee Tuesday backed a controversial proposal that could lead to many policyholders picking up more of the tab for roof damage, and limit attorney fees in insurance disputes.

The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved a bill (SB 76) filed after regulators last year signed off on dozens of double-digit rate increases for private insurers and as the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has seen a flood of new customers.

Supporters of the bill, sponsored by committee Chairman Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, say it is aimed at holding down insurance premiums and addressing fraud and costly litigation.

‘What we are facing right now in the state of Florida is a death spiral in the world of property insurance,’ said Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican who said he recently saw his insurance rates go up by more than 20 percent.

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