Rick Scott again does not offer Ron DeSantis plenty of rhetorical cover when it comes to Florida’s property insurance woes.
During an interview that aired Sunday, Scott said interest rates have “skyrocketed” over the past four years, a period roughly corresponding to the DeSantis era in Tallahassee.
“And now you’ve seen that property insurance costs have just skyrocketed in the last four years,” Scott said on WJXT’s This Week in Jacksonville.
“Some people drop it. And that’s because they can’t afford it,” Scott added. “It’s really a problem.”
Scott said it was important to “lower prices in the property insurance market” by “eliminating fraud” before offering another push towards the current policy and expanding the customer base of Citizens Property Insurance, the “insurer of the last instance,” emphasized. that’s over now a million customers as private insurers have failed or bailed out the state.
“When I was governor, we worked to drastically downsize Citizens Insurance, which we did. It was fully funded when I left,” Scott said. “The Disaster Fund was fully funded. What happened was fraud. It will take the Legislature and the Governor to act to lower those rates.”
“As far as I know, I think Florida property insurance rates are three times the national average,” Scott added. “If you have a lot of money, that’s fine.”
“People are getting nothing now because they can’t afford it,” Scott added. “They paid off their house and are getting nothing.”
“We need good access to insurance,” Scott added. “And it has to be a price you can afford.”
For his part, DeSantis told reporters this week that it was well known that Citizens had capital problems and that a relatively low profile in Southwest Florida was really a godsend.
He said on Friday his administration “had questions early on about Citizens Property Insurance, which I think most of you know is unfortunately underfunded and if you’ve had a big storm there could be problems, even when it did.” storm struck.”
Fortunately for policyholders, who are vulnerable to Citizens’ precarious position, “they don’t have quite as many policies in this part of the state as they do in some other parts of the state. So they have a feeling that they will be able to pay the outstanding debts.”
Scott’s comments, recorded days earlier as he surveyed the damage from Hurricane Ian in St. Augustine, are his latest expressions of concern about what he calls “Fail” Property insurance market during the DeSantis era.
“Citizens has grown quite a bit lately. We need to find out why these companies fail. There are many property insurance companies that have failed recently. We need to find out why Citizens is as big as it is. And how do we make sure that if you have insurance, you really are covered?”
Before the storm, FedNat became the sixth Florida company to fail customers because of unresolved issues solvency issues. The Florida Department of Treasury filed a motion to place the company into receivership.
This came according to rating agency demotech Earlier this year, it angered state officials by announcing intentions to downgrade 17 companies.
It is unclear whether Scott and DeSantis talked a lot since the storm. Scott wanted dialogue but was apparently rebuffed, the final indication that the two men don’t get along.