Insights from Florida Chamber Insurance Summit: New lawmakers give Jeff Brandes hope for reform

With a class of new lawmakers elected this week to the Florida Legislature, Sen. Jeff Brandes is hopeful that the state could see property insurance reform this Session.

The amount of litigation, fraud and a lack of insurance flexibility are driving up rates for policyholders, but inflating costs are unsustainable, the St. Petersburg Republican said Thursday, and could force the issue before lawmakers.

Brandes spoke during the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Insurance Summit alongside Barry Gilway, the president, CEO and and executive director of Citizens Property Insurance.

“I think what you’ve seen is a number of legislators leave that have a different perspective on insurance for bringing in a new group of legislators that have a new vision, I think, for what needs to happen,” Brandes said. “And then you have some more seasoned legislators like myself and a few others who have a vision for where they want to take things and understand the major issues.”

Using Citizens — Florida’s nonprofit insurance agency and the largest property insurer in the state — as a barometer for Florida’s insurance industry, the Senator believes the industry is unhealthy.

Kyle Ulrich, president and CEO of the Florida Association

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