Dates set for December Special Session on
property insurance, Hurricane Ian property tax relief
Article Courtesy of Florida Politics
By Gray Rohrer
December 2, 2022
The session will be held Dec. 12-16, 2022.
After being formally sworn in Tuesday, legislative leaders announced
their first substantive Session will come Dec. 12-16.
The formal call of the Special Session laying out what issues will be
discussed and addressed hasn’t been issued, but Gov. Ron DeSantis said
he wants to provide property tax cuts to victims of Hurricane Ian and
pass legislation to bolster the beleaguered property insurance industry.
Memos from newly established leaders House Speaker Paul Renner and
Senate President Kathleen Passidomo to their members confirmed those
dates for the Special Session and said the formal proclamation of the
Session will come after Thanksgiving weekend.
Earlier in the day, Renner laid out his goals for the property insurance
portion of the Special Session: entice the private market to do business
in the state and pass “systemic reforms” that will shore up the market
and put downward pressure on premiums over time.
The Palm Coast Republican was careful to say insurance premiums, which
have skyrocketed for many homeowners in recent years, are unlikely to
drop quickly after the Legislature passes reforms but wants to see
legislation that will accomplish that goal over time.
“We’re going to look at the kitchen sink, frankly, of options … and once
we do that it’s important for people listening to know that will not
result in an overnight drop in insurance rates,” Renner told reporters
after he was named as Speaker. “We have to see probably two, three years
as those policies turn over and we see a drop in the table of
He said his larger aim is to get more private companies to write more
business in Florida and reduce the policies in the state-run Citizens
Property Insurance Corporation, which has seen a ballooning policy count
— it has doubled to more than 1.1 million policies in little over two
years — as the private market has flagged. Six companies have failed
since the start of the year, and that was before Hurricane Ian hit on
Renner didn’t rule out using more taxpayer funds as reinsurance to prop
up the system. Many companies have been unable to buy reinsurance or
have been priced out of the reinsurance market as more global
reinsurance giants have shied away from the Florida market, which saw
$1.5 billion in losses over the last two years. During a Special Session
in May, lawmakers passed a $2 billion program using taxpayer money as a
reinsurance fund. It’s unclear if the claims from Hurricane Ian will
require those funds to be used.