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Legislature Seals the Deal

January 22nd, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

Consumers will soon have more options to choose coverages to save money, companies will be forced to offer discounts for hurricane proofing your house, with the legislative action near complete, it is now Governor Charlie Crists turn to decide if lawmakers have done enough.

Hear it here: Sealing the Deal

With a handshake, the legislative deal was sealed. The insurance legislation requires insurance companies to offer more choices like higher deductibles or eliminating content coverage. Policy holders will also be able to spread the pain by paying quarterly or semi-annually.

Companies that write auto policies here but offer both home and auto in other states will have to do the same in Florida.

The biggest saving will come from the state doubling the amount of risk it is taking in underwriting insurance. Some have called it unsound, but chief Senate negotiator Bill Posey says it will produce results. If theres a big one, people are gonna have to pay for it. But we wont presumably pay for it five times while were waiting for it to happen.
Says Posey.

Action was delayed over an hour by last minute problems with the deal.
For the first time, the state will set standards for hardening your home against hurricanes and then force insurers to give you credit for the work youve done.

Overall savings are expected to vary from 15 to 30 percent depending on where you live and what coverages you choose. Senate President Ken Pruitt says the changes will make a difference. Weve stabilized the patient. And we now have a patient that is not bleeding anymore and from now on out the healing process begins.

It will likely take policy holders six weeks to learn what their savings will be. While Charlie Crist is generally upbeat about the results of the special session, the governor did not get the ban on policy cancellations that he wanted or a ban on new Florida-only insurance subsidiaries.

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