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Statement by Tom Gallagher regarding House Insurance Proposals

2/13/2006

CONTACT: Tami Torres or Bob Lotane
(850) 413-2842

JACKSONVILLE – Today House Speaker Allan Bense and House Insurance Committee Chairman Dennis Ross announced comprehensive insurance legislation designed to improve Florida's insurance market. Since 2004, Florida Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher has been advocating sweeping changes to Florida's insurance market to improve consumer preparedness and response, stabilize insurance rates, provide immediate rate-relief, and create conditions to ensure long-term stability, affordability and availability of homeowners insurance.

"Our state, our citizens and our insurance market suffered considerable damage in the wake of the eight hurricanes which battered Florida in less than 15 months. Hurricane recovery and insurance reform continue to be the most important issues facing most Floridians, and are my top priority this legislative session.

"Many of the proposals from my comprehensive property insurance reform package continue to gain support from legislative leaders in both the House and Senate. I commend House Speaker Allan Bense and Insurance Committee Chairman Dennis Ross for their leadership in seeking to reform Florida's insurance system, including Citizens' Property Insurance. I am committed to working with the Legislature to provide Floridians with immediate relief and protection while ensuring long-term availability and affordability of property insurance.

"As a staunch and outspoken critic of Citizens' past failures, I am especially pleased with legislative proposals dealing with Florida's insurer of last resort. I am supportive of any measures aimed at Citizens that will increase accountability and transparency, protect homeowners from subsidizing losses, and refocus Citizens' mission to reduce its size and its financial impact on Floridians. Furthermore, I am encouraged that legislative leaders are committed to improving coverage options for homeowners, standardizing our state building codes and providing incentives to help Floridians hurricane-proof their homes.

"Although not addressed today, Floridians deserve to keep their hard-earned tax dollars. I remain committed to providing rate relief for all homeowners and returning sales tax revenue to Floridians to offset the burden of insurance assessments."

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For details on the CFO's legislative proposals, visit http://www.fldfs.com/PressOffice/2006Legislative/.