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Property insurance off the table during Florida legislative special session

Property insurance off the table during Florida legislative special session
Property insurance off the table during Florida legislative special session 02:44

MIAMI - Off the table in this special session is property insurance. Local state lawmakers tell CBS News Miami they'll continue to work on ways to help homeowners in the regular session in 2024.

They look to build on reforms signed into law earlier this year. As CBS News Miami's Joe Gorchow found out, those reforms are still a little ways from providing financial relief.

He met Jacob Kligman, who lives in Surfside. He owns and runs a business in Hallandale Beach. 

Kligman points to kitchen remodel designs. He provides customers with options. He does not have options at home for property insurance.

"In the past three years, I think three different insurance companies dropped us," shared Kligman.

Only one insurance company will write Kligman a homeowners policy. And, it's expensive.

"We pay really high," stressed Kligman.

He says triple what he forked out four years ago.

If you live in the Sunshine State and own, you understand. 

Florida homeowners pay roughly 3.5 times the national average for property insurance coverage. In South Florida, it can be almost five times.

"Can I afford to live in Florida anymore," asked Dave Feather.

A question Feather says his clients contemplate weekly. Out of his office in Coral Springs, his agency helps pair people with insurance policies. 

"Working three times as hard to get a comfortable result for our clients," shared Feather.

He says fewer options remain.

"Limited availability of the carriers, but the rates have doubled and tripled," said Feather.

"Most homeowners cannot afford year after year increases, running 30-40 percent. In some cases, 100 percent or more," said Mark Friedlander with the Insurance Information Institute.

He points to four factors driving up insurance costs. Florida's weather, too much litigation, reinsurance costs for carriers, and rising costs to fix come nationally.

Last year's special session tackled tort reform and reinsurance. 

"It was the bill that was necessary to get Florida on a road to stability, but we still have a ways to go," said Friedlander."

Changes, Friedlander says, attracted five new insurance companies to write homeowners policies beginning in 2024.

"We need competition in this marketplace," said Friedlander. That's" the only way to get pricing under control."

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