Sen Brandes calls for special session on property insurance

Hanah Lopes

With hurricane season approaching, Sen. Jeff Brandes says it’s important to ensure people can obtain insurance coverage at a reasonable price.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — As property insurance woes have drawn recent attention, Florida Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) is flagging the issue to state lawmakers.

In a Friday tweet, he shared an email his office sent to fellow legislators. In it, he told them Florida’s private property insurance market was on the verge of collapse and asked for a special session to combat the problem. And, Brandes wants it to happen before hurricane season arrives. 

With potential tropical threats looming over the summer and fall months, Brandes says now is the time to ensure people can get insurance at a reasonable price.

According to the senator, a number of bills were left untouched during the 2022 legislative session that would’ve addressed the problem with property insurance.

“I believe we can no longer wait on this issue,” he wrote. “Therefore, I am respectfully asking that you join me in signing on to call for a special session under section 11.011(2), FS.”

Brandes’ email included a template letter to the Department of State that he asked fellow lawmakers to use in a joint effort to get a special session on the books.

“I respectfully ask you to put this letter or one of a similar nature on your official letterhead and send it back to our office,” the senator wrote. “Our office will compile these letters and submit them to the Secretary of State who will then conduct an official poll of the legislature.”

“I cannot overstate the urgency of this issue which requires immediate attention prior to the 2022 hurricane season, and I look forward to your prompt response as we seek to represent all Floridians,” Brandes concluded in his email.

The problems that come along with property insurance aren’t new to Floridians who have been vocalizing worries.

Rates are getting too high, and more companies are dropping out of Florida.

“This neighborhood and my house has slowly increased in value over the years,” Pete Olivares, a homeowner in St. Petersburg’s Old South East Neighborhood, said. “I’ve seen increases – $200, you know, $150 – which were reasonable, but never anything like this.”

There are some tips for homeowners looking to lower their insurance rates. Experts recommend:

  • Shop around to see if you can find coverage that provides adequate coverage for your property at a reasonable rate. 
  • Take advantage of all of the discounts that are offered by your insurance company to help reduce your insurance premium.
  • Bundle your homeowners and auto insurance if you can.
  • Consider strengthening your home by installing hurricane mitigation features such as shutters over your windows and doors, brace your garage, and add additional roof deck attachments to strengthen your roof.

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