Friday, June 12, 2009


Whether or not Florida’s insurance system gets on the road to recovery is now a question only Gov. Charlie Crist can answer, according to

HB 1171, legislation that would take positive steps towards addressing the state’s current insurance nightmare by allowing more private companies to compete with the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corporation and giving Florida consumers greater choice in the insurance marketplace, has passed out of the Florida Legislature and now awaits action by the governor.

If Crist signs or does nothing in the next 15 days HB 1171 will become law automatically. Only if he proactively vetoes it will this important reform be scrapped.

Hurricane season is getting into full-swing and Citizens Insurance, the holder of 1 in every 5 homeowner policies in Florida, is badly overexposed and teeters on the brink of disaster. In addition, the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund faces shortfalls of more than $18 billion should a major storm hit.

To address this desperate situation Florida FreedomWorks has been engrossed in a campaign to promote pro-growth insurance reform – including passage of HB 1171 – since March. Activists have called, emailed, and even visited their lawmakers in Tallahassee to show their support for the legislation, and FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey even traveled to Florida to rally the grassroots on behalf of this important reform. Now, as this critical reform nears the finish line, FreedomWorks will focus its more than 52,000 members in the state to contact Governor Crist and urge him to enact HB 1171, which would expand customer choice and encourage more insurers to do business in Florida, providing much needed capital for the state.

FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey commented, “Florida’s insurance system is in dire straits, but Governor Crist has an opportunity to get it back on track and functioning properly. Before him is legislation that will tear down regulatory barriers, inject competition into the system, and empower consumers with choice in providers. By enacting this law, the governor can demonstrate to Floridians that he is a believer in market-based solutions that encourage competition and promote consumer choice.”

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