Tallahassee, Florida – As the year 2023 draws to a close, residents of Florida are expressing ongoing concerns regarding soaring living expenses and insurance premiums. In response, Governor Ron DeSantis recently presented his budget proposal for fiscal years 2024–2025, which features an initiative providing homeowners with one-time tax relief on their insurance policies. The governor’s office issued a statement asserting that this proposed “tax holiday” would yield $409 million in savings for taxpayers and potentially reduce average home insurance rates by as much as 6%.
State Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky expressed his support for Governor DeSantis’ proposed tax breaks during an interview on “The Florida Roundup.”
Yaworsky expressed optimism about the plan: “I think it’s something that we can do when we’re looking out there at the measures and tools that are available to the state to reduce the impact of the situation on the current homeowner’s market to consumers directly,” he remarked during Friday’s discussion. He emphasized how such direct measures can deliver immediate financial respite to property owners.
Florida levies eight distinct taxes related specifically to insurance premiums; these typically fall upon insurers themselves rather than policyholders directly. When discussing what it will take so that benefits from any insurer-specific tax reprieve ultimately reach homeowners’ wallets, Yaworksy was clear:
“In the cases of the ones that are being placed on hold or are going to be permanently held back, those particular ones are statutorily required currently to go to the end consumer or the end user,” Yaworski said. “And so by by pulling back on those taxes and passing them directly, it’ll ensure absolutely that that there is no collection technique taking place..”
Accordingly, just how significant each individual household is depends largely on the type of coverage selected per the insights shared by Mr.Yawsorky .
Looking ahead to the next calendar year, he also shed light on anticipated trends in the commercial sector’s rate filings:
“We’re seeing for the first time in a long time, we’re seeing 0% rate increase requests that we think will be, are indicative based on our early analysis of the impacts of the legislation that passed last year,” Yaworksy said, clarifying the changes are for standard HO-3 homeowners’ policies. Anecdotally, his office has also received a very slight decrease request from one insurance company.
“But there’s some good trending in that sort of direction that indicates we’re entering a stability phase of the market after all the upheaval we’ve had over the past six years.”
For Floridians who’ve managed to pay mortgages yet find securing insurance challenging due to high costs and stringent requirements, he offered advice based on personal experience in the field:
“I think the bottom line is there are a couple of things that I would recommend right off the bat if they haven’t pursued this, one of which is not every agent has access to the same companies. People should feel free to talk to multiple agents and make sure that they are getting the best deal that suits their current problems or their needs,” said Yaworski. “A different agent may have a company that would be willing to work around that or may not require a four-point inspection up front and kind of get through those initial hoops.”