March 19, 2013
Statement By: Bill Newton, Florida Consumer Action Network Executive DirectorIn Support of SB 1262
“This week the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee has the opportunity to better protect Florida consumers by voting in favor of SB 1262. At last week’s committee meeting, during which SB 1262 was workshopped, Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate Robin Smith Westcott spoke on behalf of Florida consumers and in support of the bill. Based on her testimony, we have ‘a tremendous opportunity right now where you do see that ability to reduce the Cat Fund’s liabilities and really have no impact to consumers.’ Furthermore, according to Insurance Consumer Advocate Westcott, SB 1262 will not cause a rate increase because private reinsurance rates will more than likely decrease due to the amount of capacity in the marketplace.
FCAN urges the full legislature to take into consideration Florida’s risk and how we spread that risk. It is bad public policy to continue concentrating risk in the state, when we can spread it globally through private reinsurance which can handle Florida’s storm risk.
We support legislative leaders, including Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla), who realize that making this change to the Cat Fund will help Florida consumers by spreading the risk beyond our borders. As Insurance Consumer Advocate Westcott testified, ‘The right thing to do is to shrink the liabilities so that you have a situation where we’re not exposed as policyholders and consumers of this state to make up a shortfall and have claims that don’t get paid.’ This can be achieved through SB 1262 and we urge the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee to pass this good bill.”
Florida Consumer Action Network, 3006 W. Kennedy Blvd. Suite B, Tampa, FL 33609 866-877-6712