Business leaders, consumer advocates and research institutes from across Florida and the nation are raising concerns over a hidden “hurricane tax” in the “Made in America” tax plan that will exacerbate an already struggling property insurance market in Florida. Recently released data projects the “Made in America” tax plan will drive up annual property insurance costs by $10 billion nationwide and $1.6 billion in Florida. Florida homeowners can expect to see their property insurance rates increase by as much as 13 percent.
Florida’s property insurance market relies on stable international reinsurance to shift financial risk outside of Florida should a hurricane or multiple hurricanes make landfall within the state. International reinsurers support 59 percent of Florida insurance companies and more than 75 percent of traditional reinsurance to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.
The “hurricane tax” would mean insurance companies would purchase less protection from reinsurance companies and the burden of paying for billions of dollars of insurance claims would be placed on Florida insurance consumers and homeowners.
Here’s what they’re saying:
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis
“I was proud to join the EFI [Enterprise Florida, Inc.] Board of Directors meeting in Sarasota today. I want to take this opportunity to warn all Floridians about a provision buried within Joe Biden’s ‘Human Infrastructure’ bill that creates a hurricane tax that will increase insurance premiums on all Florida homeowners. These tax hikes are sure to drive up insurance rates, run domestic carriers out of Florida, and what’s worse – make Floridians more vulnerable to hurricanes. We must let Washington know that anything that increases premiums on Floridians is a non-starter.”
Steve Pociask, President & CEO, American Consumer Institute
“As storms [brew in] the Gulf and the number and severity of storms increase, the need to keep insurance premiums low has become crucial. Public policy should not tax what needs to be encouraged.”
Former U.S. Representative Dennis Ross
“Our leaders should ensure our state’s homes and businesses are protected during and after catastrophe. The Made in America tax plan will only cause further harm. Florida homeowners cannot afford this unnecessary increase.”
Julio Fuentes, President, Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
“It’s estimated that the tax plan could add hundreds of dollars a year to mortgage payments. That increase could be just enough to deny Hispanics and other minority families the chance to buy that first home. That’s just not right.”
Carolyn Johnson, Senior Policy Director, Florida Chamber of Commerce
“The reality is Florida’s property insurance market relies on international reinsurers to shift financial risk outside of Florida. If approved, [the] proposal could impose a ‘hurricane tax’ onto Florida property owners by driving insurance rates even higher.”
Lee Hinkle, Director, Florida Alliance for Consumers and Taxpayers
“I urge Florida’s Congressional Delegation to take the lead and work to ensure that this ‘Hurricane Tax’ gets sheared from the president’s tax plan. Floridians have enough to worry about from the winds of real hurricanes – they don’t need a massive financial storm created by the government.”
Jerry Theodorou, Director of Finance, Insurance and Trade Policy, R-Street Institute
“Florida policyholders already pay the highest rates in the country for homeowners’ insurance. So, make no mistake about it—the Biden tax plan will hit middle and lower-class Americans in the pocketbook.”
Dominic Calabro, President and CEO, Florida TaxWatch
“Oftentimes, well-intentioned but ill-conceived public policy can exacerbate an already strained system. This hurricane tax is the wrong idea at the wrong time for Floridians. Any unwarranted increases in insurance premiums will only result in putting homeownership farther out of reach for many families.”
Stronger Safer Florida is a nonpartisan coalition comprised of businesses, consumer and environmental groups from throughout Florida. This diverse membership seeks to protect consumers before, during, and after catastrophic events impact Florida.