TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida is just days away from a special legislative session to formally show support for Israel, and Democrats are promising to bring up the state’s property insurance crisis too.
8 On Your Side Investigator Mahsa Saeidi is looking into a state senator’s new business venture.
Republican State Sen. Joe Gruters is trying to create a new property insurance company. He says this will increase competition, and bring down everyone’s rates, including his constituents.
But some Democrats say he’s trying to profit off of a crisis.
Sen. Gruters has helped transform Florida’s property insurance market. He’s supported reforms, that critics say favor insurance companies at the expense of homeowners.
In December, he voted for a law that made it more difficult to sue insurers. Now, he wants to start his own insurance company: Village Protection Insurance.
We obtained the presentation to investors and it promises big returns.
The listed strategy is to pull policies out of Citizens’ the state-backed insurer.
“Take outs represent a planned 70% of enforce count,” the first year, the document reads.
The future plan is an “orderly premium growth.”
State Rep. Anna V. Eskamani, a Democrat from Orlando, has concerns about the senator’s business venture.
“What Sen. Gruters and others are proposing is to basically, create a private option that would charge people more and would scoop them up as they get kicked of Citizens. If it sounds predatory, that’s because it really is,” she said.
Lawmakers will be in Tallahassee on Monday, the start of a special session, to show support for Israel and sanction Iran.
Eskamani plans to bring up property insurance.
“One of the amendments that we want to propose would prohibit current state legislators from investing in or being employed by any insurance company that seeks to take policies out of Citizens,” said Eskamani.
Sen. Gruters needs to raise millions to start this venture. He says right now it’s just a concept.
If you have a question or a comment, email Mahsa at MSaeidi@WFLA.com