Fla. House passes bill on state’s property insurer

Florida coast
Florida coast

Florida members of the House of Representatives passed a bill to reform Citizens Property Insurance Corp. that differs substantially from a Senate bill approved last week, the South Florida Business Journal reported.

Both bills would make it more difficult to get coverage from state-owned Citizens on high-end homes and new coastal construction, the Journal said.

The House bill, which passed 111-6 on Tuesday, would reduce Citizens coverage from $2 million to $1 million, and then phase it down to $700,000 over three years. The Senate version would drop maximum coverage to $500,000 after five years.

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Coastal property owners have seen their property insurance costs soar in recent years at a cost to consumers of hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the Miami Herald.

Both bills hedge against the risk of a once in a century storm that would empty the state-run insurer’s reserves.

The House legislation would make new construction east of Interstate 95 ineligible for Citizens insurance. The Senate bill has a loophole that would provide coverage for properties built to code-plus, a Florida building commission designation. [South Florida Business News]Emily Schmall