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The Villages
Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Floridians must demand an end to lawsuit abuse

To the Editor:

This week marks Citizen’s Against Lawsuit Abuse’s ‘Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week’ and it could not come at a more unfortunate time. As our prayers and donations go out to victims of Hurricane Ian, we had hoped that Florida was again fortunate enough to avoid another major storm for the 4th consecutive year. Unfortunately, like Michael, in 2018 a late season storm tracked through the state with devastating impact.
We had hoped to illustrate the dire state of the Property Insurance marketplace in Florida and the precarious situation we face as more insurers, 27, are on the infamous ‘Watch List’ at the Department of Insurance Regulation, in financial stress. Since 2020, 5 insurers have went bankrupt and many others have either stopped writing new policies or left the state altogether due to the abuses caused by unscrupulous attorneys and roofing contractors. As a result of the abusive lawsuits property insurance in Florida has ballooned to an average of over $4200, if you are lucky enough to find it, or you may move into the State created Citizens Insurance. Citizens now has more than 1 million policies and growing placing all Floridians, irrespective of where they live, on the hook for future solvency.
This summer’s Special Session on Property Insurance failed to have immediate impact and was unable to go deep enough into the issues which have led to crisis in the Florida marketplace. CALA had hoped that our annual first week of October “Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week’ would help to drive meaningful change and focus in the upcoming Florida Legislature, but now Ian is highlighting the crisis through devastation in excess of 60 billion dollars and untold loss of lives.
Florida cannot wait any longer to address the ‘abuses’ by those seeking to exploit our legal and insurance systems. We encourage people to unite in calling for immediate attention to close the loopholes which allow ‘bad actors’ to prey upon our homeowners for their personal gain. We are already seeing unscrupulous elements descending into the ravaged areas and encourage people to use extreme caution before they sign anything.
We continue to pray for the victims and their families while pressing agents of change in the state legislature to prioritize ‘Lawsuit Abuse’ reforms before it is too late.

Tom Gaitens
Executive Director
Florida Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse

 

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