Florida Residential Property Insurance Bill vetoed by Governor Crist
I often reminded of the constant struggle that Florida insurance claims attorneys are confronted with in an effort to protect Florida's hard-working families from the potential passage of laws that only serve the purpose of helping big insurance companies. On June 24, 2009, Florida Governor Charlie Crist vetoed HB1171 that was inappropriately coined the "consumer choice" bill. Had this measure passed it would have contained no provisions affording any choices or consumer protections, but instead would have allowed large property insurers such as State Farm, to raise residential property insurance rates as high as they liked and without any oversight by the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR).
This bill would have exempted certain insurers from the determination that there rates are excessive by OIR and thus giving them the opportunity to collect unregulated insurance premiums at the expense of Florida's property owners. According to an official letter dated 6/24/09 from Governor Crist "this will likely result in significant and unpredictable rate increases that, during these difficult economic times, people can simply not afford."
The governor should be commended for standing up to Big Insurance and working side-by-side with Floridians. Nevertheless, I can't help but wonder how and why this proposed bill found its way to the Governor's desk necessitating a veto.