Florida aims to fix troubled insurance industry; Gov. DeSantis calls for COVID vaccine investigation
On this week's Florida Roundup, lawmakers wrap up another whirlwind special session aimed at fixing the state's crumbling property insurance market, and Gov. Ron DeSantis asks a grand jury to investigate wrongdoing connected to the COVID-19 vaccines.
Homeowners in Florida have seen their premiums go up and up. Some have even been dumped by their insurer or had to wait for claims to be paid out.
Meanwhile, insurance companies have been leaving the Sunshine State or going insolvent, leaving Florida’s insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corp., as the only option for some homeowners.
This week, the state Legislature met in special session for the second time to try to fix these problems. Lawmakers have rushed through changes to the troubled insurance market, including a $1 billion program to help struggling insurance companies.
The new law also discourages lawsuits against insurance companies that deny claims, including the removal of so-called “one way attorney fees.” That’s where policyholders can make the company pay their attorneys’ fees if they win the lawsuit.
One thing the new laws don’t appear to do: give Florida homeowners relief from skyrocketing insurance premiums.
DeSantis calls for grand jury investigation of COVID vaccines
Gov. Ron DeSantis waged a successful reelection campaign based on the notion of what he calls the “free state of Florida.” At the center of that is the governor’s approach to COVID-19, touting Florida as anti-lockdown and open for business.
DeSantis also took on vaccine mandates last year, signing bills to limit vaccine mandates and suing the federal government over requirements for federal contractors to be vaccinated. Meanwhile, DeSantis’ surgeon general, Joseph Ladapo, has questioned the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and the mRNA technology used in them.
Now DeSantis is taking that a step further, calling for a grand jury to investigate “crimes and wrongs” in connection with the vaccines.
- Dr. Jen Cowart of the Florida physicians group Doctors Fighting COVID.
- Arek Sarkissian, health reporter at POLITICO.
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