February 26, 2013
TALLAHASSEE – A new online, educational tool, launched today by Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), demonstrates that a majority of Florida Senate and House districts are comprised of homeowners not insured through Citizens Property Insurance Corp. A total of 29 Senate and 90 House districts represent areas in which two-thirds – 67 percent or more – of its homeowners have private property insurance.
The data reinforces the statewide average of 77 percent of Florida homeowners who are subsidizing Citizens policyholders and, in the event of a major storm or series of storms, will be subject to “hurricane taxes” to cover claims made to Citizens. In addition to homeowners, all auto policyholders, business insurance policyholders, boat policyholders, churches, charities, non-profits and local governments that purchase commercial insurance will have to pay “hurricane taxes” on top of their premiums.
“This is the first time we’ve looked at the data this way and it’s very telling. More than two-thirds of residents in a majority of Senate and House districts don’t have Citizens as their property insurer. Yet, these same homeowners who are dutifully paying their annual insurance premiums are expected to shoulder the financial burden for the other third not paying their fair share. Many of these Citizens policyholders do not even live in Florida,” said Tom Feeney, AIF President and CEO. “AIF hopes this new information will help change the direction the Legislature has taken in the past. Until we reform Citizens and right-size the Cat Fund, the vast majority of most legislators’ constituents will be the ones who have to bail Citizens policyholders out after a storm.”
Senate and House versions of the tool provide a map of Florida with a color-coded breakdown of the distribution of Citizens and non-Citizens policyholders by district. As users scroll over each district, additional detail appears in a pop-up window, including the district number, legislator’s name and photo, total district population, number of occupied housing units (OHU) in the district, number of OHUs covered by Citizens within that district and a total percentage of Citizens policyholders in the district.