Property insurance in Florida is a topic during the 2022 election season

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Days after Florida discovered that more than a dozen of its property insurance providers were at risk of downgrading, Democrats, who were aiming for the state’s top spot, began increasing the rhetoric, hitting the governor and offering their plans to fix the market.

“Our state is on the brink of a property insurance disaster,” said Charlie Crist, Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Congressman.

Even other Republicans have warned that a crisis is looming if bigger reforms are not made.

“End the litigation. Really right now it’s just killing the insurance industry in Florida. That’s the overwhelming amount of litigation,” said State Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-Saint -Petersburg).

Could this become a climax of political potential ahead of the election – impacting the governor’s shot at a second term?

“Insurance is terribly confusing for people,” said Dr. Susan MacManus, professor emeritus at the University of South Florida.

MacManus thinks politicians will struggle to move the needle with voters.

Insurance is a complicated topic, usually not on a person’s campaign agenda – often simpler and more tangible.

In fact, an early July USF/FIU poll of 600 Floridians found that 74% of respondents felt “pocket issues” such as “jobs, inflation, and the economy” had the most impact. impact on their vote.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis addressed the issue, saying recently passed reforms are already helping.

State-backed citizens’ property insurance should also be a safety net for any downgraded and insolvent providers.

Also, he and the new Speaker of the House are working ahead.

“Paul and I are going to do even more in the next legislative session,” DeSantis said.

But MacManus thinks there’s a chance that property insurance could play a huge role in November.

A major storm could turn the already shaky market upside down and frustrate many potential voters.

“The focal point will be for a lot of owners – who are obviously more voters than non-owners – that will make this a very relevant question,” MacManus said.

Florida has been hurricane-free this year, but the peak months of the season are about to begin; the November 8 election.

Jessica C. Bell