Manatee lawmakers should address insurance in detail

January 29, 2014 

The following question was raised pretty much as written below during the Jan. 23 Herald/State College of Florida forum involving three state legislators who represent Manatee County in Tallahassee.

"As is true in other states, the Florida state government regulates private insurance companies and approves the rates they may charge for homeowner and other types of policies.

A December 2012 report, issued by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, found that Floridians are paying the highest homeowner insurance premiums in the USA. The association estimated that the average premium for most Florida homeowners was $1,933 a year, or nearly twice the national average of $978.

"Aren't these findings an indictment of the way the Florida Legislature combines with agencies reporting to the Florida chief financial officer and to the governor of Florida combine to regulate the issuance of property insurance policies here in the Sunshine State? And, specifically what needs to be done to remedy this problem?"

Understandably, it was difficult for Sen. Bill Galvano, Rep. Jim Boyd, and Rep. Greg Steube to deal comprehensibly with this particular matter during the forum, since there were so many topics under discussion and since they presumably were not informed ahead of time what was going to be asked that night.

I would urge, therefore, that the Herald invite them (a) to study the matter and (b) to use the newspaper as a venue for responding to Manatee County residents by this coming May 1.

Chuck Palmer


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