Trump attacks DeSantis over insurance

Trump attacks DeSantis over insurance

The ongoing conflict between former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has shifted from personal to policy-oriented.

On Truth Social, Trump criticized DeSantis for allegedly supporting what he called "the worst insurance scam in the entire country."

Trump accused DeSantis of providing the largest-ever bailout for “globalist” insurance companies.

Trump also blamed DeSantis for the inadequate compensation received by Florida homeowners whose properties were devastated by hurricanes, accusing the Insurance Commissioner of inaction. It is unclear, however, which Insurance Commissioner Trump was referring to in his statement.

David Altmaier resigned from his position as Insurance Commissioner in December after a six-year tenure and has since joined The Southern Group. He now leads an insurance advisory practice for clients in Florida and beyond within the lobbying powerhouse.

Michael Yaworsky, who served as Interim Insurance Commissioner, was appointed as Altmaier's permanent successor this week. Governor DeSantis and Cabinet members, acting as the Financial Services Commission, unanimously elected Yaworsky to oversee the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR).

The insurance "bailout" criticized by Trump likely refers to two recent Special Session bills. SB 2A, passed in December, which allocated $1 billion from the state's general revenue fund to support the reinsurance market, aiming to halt the decline in available providers from the previous year. This bill followed a $2 billion allocation from another Special Session in May for a similar purpose.

Over the last year, Florida legislators have made several attempts to fix what is seen, by many, as a full-blown insurance crisis.- but so far the fixes haven’t had time to work. Since the first of last year’s special sessions on insurance, Florida has been hit by two hurricanes and six insurance companies were declared insolvent. The state’s insurer of last resort, Citizen’s insurance now has over a million policies.

In mid-December, Florida legislators convened for a second special session on insurance during which they allocated an additional $1 billion for hurricane reinsurance, adding to the $2 billion approved earlier in the year.

Other measures introduced during the session include:

  1. A reduced time period for insurance carriers to either pay or deny a claim, although Boggs pointed out that there are extensive allowances for payment delays.
  2. Prohibition of transferring insurance benefits to third parties such as contractors.
  3. Ineligibility for policyholders with Citizens to remain with the state-operated insurer if they receive a premium offer within 20% of their current rate.
  4. Mandatory flood insurance for all Citizens policyholders in the long run.
  5. A requirement for courts to establish a contract breach before a policyholder can sue an insurance provider for bad faith.
  6. New or reopened claims must be reported by policyholders within one year, while supplemental claims should be reported within 18 months, a reduction from the previous timeframes of two and three years, respectively.

In his recent post, Trump also referred to DeSantis' earlier strict stances on Social Security and Medicare adjustments, which the Governor has since renounced. Trump has previously attacked DeSantis on these issues, including during a speech in Iowa on Monday.

Florida’s biggest hits

The 15 strongest hurricanes to hit Florida, ordered by their maximum sustained wind speed at landfall:

  1. "Labor Day" (1935) - 185 mph, 295 km/h
  2. Andrew (1992) - 165 mph, 270 km/h
  3. Michael (2018) - 160 mph, 260 km/h
  4. "Florida Keys" (1919) - 150 mph, 240 km/h
  5. Charley (2004)
  6. Ian (2022)
  7. "Miami" (1926) - 145 mph, 230 km/h
  8. "Okeechobee" (1928)
  9. Donna (1960)
  10. "Homestead" (1945) - 130 mph, 215 km/h
  11. "Fort Lauderdale" (1947)
  12. "Florida" (1948)
  13. "Florida" (1949)
  14. King (1950)
  15. Irma (2017)
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