Dr. Jim Clark explains what people should know ahead of special session on property insurance

Session starts December 12 and is set to end on Dec. 16

ORLANDO, Fla. – As the special legislative session is about to kick off to tackle the state’s property insurance crisis, News 6′s political analyst is breaking down what consumers can expect lawmakers to discuss and vote on.

The special session starts Dec. 12 and is set to end on Dec. 16.

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Dr. Jim Clark with the University of Central Florida sat down with News 6 and said the state legislature has a lot to accomplish if it wants to address problems with the state’s property insurance.

“This is a serious attempt, this is a 100-page piece of legislation, it covers just about everything you can imagine,” Clark said.

Dr. Clark is highlighting these two bills, House Bill 1A and Senate Bill 2A.

These are two of several bills filed Friday and Clark says both are set to address the state’s property insurance in an attempt to stabilize the market.

All this comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a second special legislative session back in October.

Clark says both bills from the state house and senate are similar, which would mean both sides of the aisle are in agreement on major points.

“The biggest thing I think is that they are going to change the legal system,” Clark said.

Dr. Clark explains the bills are set to put an end to one-way attorney fees. They may also cease other legal fees whenever an insurance company loses a dispute in court.

Lawmakers have noted this past week the struggle of keeping insurance companies in Florida.

Clark explains some companies simply cannot handle the legal bills, but says with the legislation introduced, it may help with relief efforts.

“It will set up reinsurance, which is desperately needed, that is major insurance backing companies especially smaller companies that cannot afford a major hurricane,” Clark said.

Each of these measures is set to trickle down to consumers, but Clark says people won’t see changes to their premiums quite yet, no matter how lawmakers vote.

Clark said, “The situation is still going to be critical, insurance companies are still checking out of Florida, and so I don’t think this is going to make a nickel’s worth of difference in your insurance bill.”

There is however some relief consumers can expect, Clark said, “It’s going to stop these horrendous increases. Some people have seen their insurance costs double, and so it will mitigate that, so you won’t get these surprises when you get your next insurance bill.”

Lawmakers are set to hear other proposals, with one providing property tax relief to those affected by Hurricane Ian and Nicole.

Clark encourages everyone to pay attention as the special session kicks off.

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About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.