Monday, April 25, 2011

Rick Scott Too Radical For Lobbyists

It says a lot when Gov. Rick Scott is to the right of the insurance industry? Insurance industry lobbyists spoke to the Gainesville Sun about Scott wanting to kill Citizens Property Insurance.

The industry lobbyists protested that Florida carriers could not absorb all of Citizens' business, records show. The gap would force many Florida property owners to turn to the unregulated surplus lines market, where rates are unchecked and policies are not backed by a state guarantee fund.

A lobbyist who attended the meeting advised others by email that Gov. Scott knew about the gap, but was not bothered.

"He doesn't seem to care whether they are insured in the voluntary market or surplus lines," the lobbyist wrote.

The concept of shutting down Florida's largest and, at the moment, best-capitalized insurance company outraged lawmakers whose constituents rely on the public company.

Emphasis on Scott doesn't care.

I have been critical of Citizens in the past. Unfortunately, it is needed because insurance companies won't provide property insurance to homes in high risk hurricane areas. Citizen has had financial problems in the past. Currently it is running in the black. Scott wants to kill a financially solvent government program and the insurance industry isn't sure why? This will open the floodgates for fly-by-night unregulated insurance scammers to take advantage of homeowners. Scott want propose new regulations because he has made it clear he is against regulations.

Documents show Scott brought insurance in the insurance industry to write legislation. (Remember, this is the Governor that campaigned against special interests.) The insurance industry did not want to have to compete with Citizens. The very reason Citizens was created is because insurance companies were denying property, sinkhole and flood coverage. Now insurers wanted to peel some of those customers back from Citizens. Scott went a step further by planning to eliminate Citizens.

Insurers knew that homeowners would demand coverage from these companies. Sentiment would eventually grow so that the Florida legislature would either have to restart Citizens or create regulations forcing insurance companies to provide coverage to high risk homes. This is what happens when lobbyists do business with a radical maniac.

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