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Insurance experts say Florida governor’s plan to reduce insurance premiums will have minimal impact

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposed budget includes $430 million in tax cuts that aim to lower insurance premiums for homeowners, but the actual savings homeowners might see from the proposal are likely to be minimal, as reported by our sister station Action News JAX.

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The governor’s plan would waive fees and taxes on property insurance premiums for one year and permanently waive those costs for flood insurance policies.

“So, that’ll go up to housing values of $750,000,” said DeSantis.

Mark Friedlander with the Insurance Information Institute argued any effort by lawmakers to ease the burden on Floridian’s wallets in the insurance realm is a positive.

Read: Senators sound alarms about a Citizens bailout in federal probe

“So, the fact that these are featured in the proposed budget, we like seeing that,” said Friedlander.

But Friedlander cautioned, the expected savings for homeowners would be minimal.

On a property insurance policy equal to the state average of $6,000 a year combined with the average $950 flood insurance policy, homeowners could expect to save about $417 a year or about $35 a month.

Read: Florida’s ongoing property insurance crisis leading to spikes in HOA fees

For those with property insurance alone, the savings are closer to $240 a year on average, equating to $20 a month.

“So, not a big amount, especially if you’re looking at a $6,000 average,” said Friedlander.

Friedlander noted reforms passed in recent years have generated positive momentum in the Florida insurance market.

Six new companies have been approved to write policies in the state and roughly 200,000 policyholders have left Citizens, the state-back insurer of last resort, and returned to the private market.

Read: New report: Florida Property Insurance Premiums won’t drop

But he added consumers should still expect double-digit rate hikes again next year.

That means even with the proposed savings, bills are likely to go up.

“So, we just want to paint a realistic picture for consumers that, yeah they’re gonna cut some money that you’re paying now, but most likely you’re still gonna see an increase overall because the premium averages are gonna go up again,” said Friedlander.

The Governor is also proposing an additional $107 million for the My Safe Florida Home program, which helps homeowners cover the cost of hardening their homes.

Friedlander said that program is saving participating homeowners an average of $1,000 a year on their policies.

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