Scott Campaign Releases Insurance Platform
Rick Scott’s campaign for Governor has released a paper on insurance and tort reform issues. Candidate Scott vows to restore Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to its initially envisioned role as a market of last resort. He emphasizes the importance of allowing the private market to compete amongst themselves, with competition serving as the primary determinant of rates. This requires eliminating competition from Citizens as a government run insurer.
The paper indicates that Citizens Property Insurance Corporation should charge actuarially sound rates, and the state’s reliance on assessment mechanisms should be reduced.
Regarding hurricane mitigation efforts, the Scott campaigns paper stresses the importance of protecting property against storm damage but contends that the Florida’s program has not been successful as implemented.
The campaign also addresses sinkhole losses, which have received significant attention in recent months from the insurers, the Office of Insurance Regulation and other interested parties. The Scott campaign believes the current sinkhole claims process is ineffective and riddled with fraud and abuse. Candidate Scott states that as Governor, he will work to eliminate the fraud and abuse in the process and to define “structural damage” to reduce litigation relating to sinkholes.
The Scott campaign also devotes attention to bad faith reform, contending that tort reform is needed to stimulate Florida’s economic development. If elected, Scott says that he will work to limit the right of bad faith actions to policyholders and not third parties. In addition, he looks to establish reasonable timeframes during which insurers may respond before found to have acted in bad faith. He likewise believes that insurers should have a reasonable opportunity to investigate claims before making a decision, without being exposed to bad faith claims during the investigation period. Finally, he believes the state needs to better define what constitutes bad faith for purposes of these claims.