Each month, Rep. Sam Garrison, whose District 18 includes Clay County, will provide updates on proposed and passed bills that affect the county.
TALLAHASSEE – Last week, the legislature returned to Tallahassee for a special session to address property insurance. Floridians have seen steep premium increases this year and many property insurers are leaving the state altogether.
Here are five things to know about Senate Bill 2D which was passed and signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis last week:
● Creates a Reinsurance to Assist Policyholders program and requires insurers to pass along any associated savings to policyholders.
● Insurance companies can no longer refuse to write or renew policies solely because of a roof’s age on homes with roofs that are less than 15 years old or have at least five more years of useful life.
● Policyholders must be provided a reasonable explanation in writing for why claims are paid, denied, or partially denied.
● Insurers may provide an optional cheaper roof deductible to help combat fraudulent roof claims that drive up rates for everyone.
● Costs from frivolous lawsuits are significantly reduced by limiting the situations where lawyers can receive excessive attorney fees.
The legislature also unanimously passed a major condominium safety reform bill last week. Senate Bill 4D was a direct response to the tragic building collapse in Surfside and has already been signed by Gov. DeSantis. It creates a new mandatory statewide structural inspection program for large condo buildings located within three miles of the coast and prevents condo associations from waiving reserves for essential repairs.
Lastly, remember that Florida’s hurricane season began on June 1. Now is the time to take advantage of the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday which runs through Friday, June 10th. The program provides $25.6 million in annual tax relief for Floridians and for the first time, this year includes items needed to safely evacuate household pets.
As always, thank you for the honor of representing Clay County in the Florida House.
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