TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet approved two insurance rules on Tuesday, one that could double the discounts homeowners get on their insurance premiums for making their residences more hurricane-safe and another that finalizes state-funded property insurance for businesses.
Under the new rule, insurers will now be required to give homeowners a break on their insurance premiums that will double what most now provide.
In the past, the Office of Insurance Regulation offered a range of premium discounts when owners upgrade their homes by securing roofs to walls or buying hurricane shutters, for example. A separate rule now forces insurers to specify the discount for each type of home improvement.
“The whole focus of this is to make this more consumer-friendly,” Bush said.
The board also finalized a rule that will allow business owners to purchase property insurance from the state rather than private insurers, mirroring homeowner policies written by Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
The Florida Property & Casualty Joint Underwriting Association’s first client is an aviation firm in Naples, said Dan Sumner, the JUA’s interim executive director.
The Cabinet formed the JUA to help businesses that have been unable to buy coverage.
In all, 343 insurance agents are participating in the commercial program and the carrier has issued 521 price quotes, mostly to coastal businesses.
Those companies must seek coverage from private insurers before the state-run company will cover them.
The average value of the coverage being sought is $344,000, Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty told Bush and the Cabinet, and 44 percent of those seeking insurance are less than a mile from the coast.
SOURCE: Palm Beach Post