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Challenges Persist Despite Florida Property Insurance Market Reforms

Following significant legislative reforms in 2022 and 2023 aimed at stabilizing Florida's property insurance market, the state's Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) reports mixed outcomes. The reforms, including SB 2-A, which curtailed attorney fee reimbursements for insurers, were expected to reduce litigation costs and lower premiums. However, while some insurers have filed for rate decreases for 2024, others, including Citizens Property Insurance Corp., have not, indicating ongoing challenges in achieving widespread premium reductions.

Despite assertions of market stabilization by the OIR, recent data suggests ongoing issues. Reports of insurers' mishandling of claims, exemplified by Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Co.'s $1 million fine for failures in processing Hurricane Ian claims, raise questions about insurer accountability. Moreover, the removal of fee-shifting mechanisms has made legal recourse more financially burdensome for policyholders, potentially leaving many without effective means to challenge inadequate claim settlements. As a result, despite regulatory efforts, Florida's property insurance landscape remains volatile, prompting concerns about affordability and insurer conduct moving forward.

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