Acting quickly after a special legislative session, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed bills Thursday to try to stem problems in the property insurance market and bolster condominium security.
Lawmakers passed the bills in a three-day special session that ended Wednesday.
In all, DeSantis signed 10 bills into law on Thursday, with the rest passing in this year’s regular session, which ended March 14.
DeSantis called the special session amid widespread insurance troubles that have included policyholders losing coverage and seeing premiums soar. The legislation addresses several issues, such as the inclusion of $2 billion in tax dollars to provide additional reinsurance to property insurers who might otherwise not be able to purchase the crucial relief coverage in the market. private.
In addition, the legislation will allow insurance policies to include new deductibles for roof damage, impose restrictions on insurers seeking to refuse to underwrite or renew policies based on the age of roofs and to impose additional restrictions on so-called “bad faith” lawsuits. against insurers.
While many Democrats voted for the changes, they argued the legislation wouldn’t do enough to help homeowners and called the reinsurance money a “bailout” of the company.
Meanwhile, condo security changes were added to one of the insurance bills. These changes were a response to last year’s deadly collapse of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside.
Changes include requiring condominium corporations to have sufficient financial reserves to make necessary repairs to buildings.
In addition, the bill establishes requirements for inspections of condominium buildings with three or more stories. Buildings within 3 miles of a coastline would require inspections 25 years after occupancy. All others should undergo inspections after 30 years. Any “substantial structural deterioration” found by engineers or architects would require more detailed inspections.
Condominium boards will also be required to have “structural integrity reserve” studies to determine how much money should be set aside for repairs.