One month after state lawmakers were summoned back to Tallahassee to fix Florida’s broken homeowner’s insurance industry, the crisis continues.
“As we sit here today, we are just under 19,000, but quickly approaching 19,000 lawsuits,” said Elaina Paskalakis of Citizen’s Property Insurance, during a claims committee meeting earlier this month.
Citizens, the sate-backed insurer of last resort isn’t just facing mounting litigation, it is also absorbing some 12,000 policies a month.
“Last year at this time they (Citizens) were growing at about 5,000 policies a week, so they are growing exponentially more,” says State Senator Jeff Brandes (R-Pinellas). “They have about $6 billion in cash and about $300 billion in potential liability if they have a big storm.”
With police and lawsuits piling up, Citizens recently approved $50 million for litigation costs, with the state-backed insurer set to approve another $50 million when it meets again in July.
“It is all hands on deck at Citizens, and frankly I don’t know how they are going to manage all this, we would never let a private insurance company grow as fast as citizens is growing right now,” says Brandes.