Window Closing on 2021 Session
The 2021 legislative session is entering its final week, barring an extension. As usual, key insurance legislation remains unresolved in the session’s final days. The session began two short months ago with Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and Citizens Property Insurance Corporation CEO Barry Gilway discussing problems plaguing Florida’s residential property insurance market. Commissioner Altmaier later followed with an analysis showing Florida has vastly more property insurance litigation than any other state in the country with no market conduct-based explanation. Despite increasing rates and decreasing availability, the Senate and House have not agreed on potential reforms. At this point, the chances for statutory revisions that will actually address the current problems look dim.
This session also has seen considerable attention devoted to repealing Florida’s no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) auto insurance system and replacing it with a mandatory bodily injury coverage requirement. PIP repeal has progress further in this session than in recent years. However, it faces significant opposition from the industry, which points out that premiums associated with the bodily injury coverage requirement will be greater than the savings from PIP reform. This will disproportionately affect consumers whose financial position prompts them to buy relatively low limits.
The 2021 session is down to its final days, but they will be important days in determining the impact of this session on the insurance industry.