Should Florida take over windstorm insurance? Insiders say no

Should Florida take over windstorm insurance? Insiders say no

What if state-owned Citizens Property Insurance Corp. became the go-to provider of windstorm coverage for all personal and commercial property owners in Florida who want it?

State Rep. Spencer Roach, who lost his home in Hurricane Ian in September 2022, says it’s an idea worth exploring.

“My belief is that Florida eventually and inevitably is going to move into the direction of offering universal windstorm insurance,” Roach said in an interview this week.

The Lee County Republican has filed a bill for the upcoming Legislative session that would significantly change Citizens’ mission from the insurer of last resort to the state’s hurricane backstop.

If enacted, Citizens would no longer offer comprehensive coverage to Florida homeowners who cannot find affordable coverage in the private market, but instead would potentially free the private market to sell “bread and butter” comprehensive coverage. Roach says his plan would lead to insurance rates “dropping like a stone.”

The new plan, he says, would be modeled after the National Flood Insurance Program, administered by the federal government, and the California Earthquake Authority.