OIR Highlights Market Improvements
As the new year begins, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) recently took the opportunity to recap notable changes in 2023. The new year marks almost one full year in office for Commissioner Mike Yaworsky, who was nominated for the position in February 2023 and formally appointed in March.
Commissioner Yaworsky recapped the year by saying, “This year, Governor DeSantis signed historic legislation to strengthen Florida’s property insurance market, safeguard consumers following disasters, and promote accountability in how prescription drugs are delivered to patients. As a result, OIR remained steadfast in our mission to promote stability and competition for consumers in the most complex insurance market in the world.”
Attracting New Business to the Market
In recent years, the Florida market has been characterized by reduced admitted market capacity and rising premiums. However, following significant statutory reforms in late 2022 and early 2023, there are signs of improvement on the horizon. OIR has approved six new property and casualty insurers to enter Florida’s market after several years of seeing little new capital enter the state.
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Depopulation
After years of unchecked growth, the state experienced increased participation and interest among the admitted market in removing policies from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens). In 2023, OIR approved insurers to assume 650,399 policies from Citizens, which was more than an 800 percent increase from 2022. Although only a portion of the policies identified for assumption ultimately left Citizens, renewed interest in depopulation is a positive sign for the market entering 2024.
Implementing Florida’s Prescription Drug Reform Act
In May 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1550 into law. This bill, the Prescription Drug Reform Act, had a intended purpose of increasing transparency and accountability in the prescription drug market. Most notably, the bill adopted regulatory requirements and best practices for pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).
Property Insurance Protections
Reforms in the Florida market related to attorneys’ fees and similar issues have attracted substantial attention. At the same time, Florida adopted many other changes to increase consumer protections and expand home protection. Among the notable changes, new laws:
- Clarify that once a roof deductible is applied, no other deductible under the policy may be applied to any loss caused by the same covered peril
- Tolling the time period for an individual deployed to a combat zone or combat support posting to file a property insurance claim for the duration of the deployment
- Require property insurance mitigation discounts be updated at least every five years
- Updating liability insurance claims handling practices
- Revising requirements related to amending adjusters’ reports
- Expanding eligibility for the My Safe Florida Home program
Decreasing Workers’ Compensation Rates
In 2023, OIR approved a reduction in workers’ compensation insurance rates for the seventh consecutive year. OIR’s final order on the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) rate filing resulted in a statewide overall workers’ compensation insurance rate decrease of 15.1 percent effective January 1, 2024.