TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Tallahassee later this month for a special session on property insurance. But there’s also a new effort at the federal level to address the crisis.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a Democrat from St. Petersburg who is running for Florida governor, is set to file a bill in Washington on Tuesday that he says could lower rates by at least 10 percent.
“It’s set up to reduce homeowners insurance premiums,” said Rep. Crist.
Right now, Crist says, high-rated insurance companies are required to be insured against rare catastrophic events: storms that hit once every 130 years. Rates have spiked, in part, by the cost of reinsurance: Insurance for insurance companies.
The Fueling Affordable Insurance for The Homeowners, or FAITH Act, is set to be filed in Washington D.C. Tuesday. Essentially, the bill would allow insurers to buy less insurance. The idea is if they pay less, so will you.
8 On Your Side Investigator Mahsa Saeidi asked Crist how it will be guaranteed that the savings are passed down to homeowners.
“You put it in the law. You put it in the law,” said Crist.
But what if the unexpected happens, and Florida gets hit with the storm of the century in 2022? Rep. Crist says the feds, through the U.S. Department of the Treasury, would then give Florida a loan.
“It would be the lowest interest rate of money that the state would be advantaged by,” said Crist.
Over the following 10 years, the state, through you, would have to pay it back.
So how much could be saved if this bill becomes law?
“It’s a great question,” said Crist. “When I was governor before, we got it to lower those rates by at least 10%. It is hoped this will do the same thing if not a little bit more.”
Crist says it’s good to be insured against extremely rare events. But, for now, he believes it’s better to stabilize the market and have a “Plan B.”
Are you a homeowner impacted by this crisis? Email Investigator Mahsa Saeidi at MSaeidi@WFLA.com