In a recent op-ed in the Tallahassee Democrat, Associated Industries of Florida President and CEO Brewster Bevis urged Floridians to remain vigilant about hurricane preparedness as we enter into the most active time of the Atlantic hurricane season – late August through mid-October.
By being prepared Floridians can help reduce damage any potential hurricanes can cause which is especially important given Florida’s struggling property insurance market. Damage increases claims which can lead to higher insurance premiums. Florida’s property insurance rates have already been soaring and hurricane-related damage would compound that problem.
As Bevis notes in his op-ed, the governor and legislative leaders deserve credit for taking recent steps to address the concerning property insurance market when they passed property insurance reforms during a special session in May. Although, more reforms are needed in order to further stabilize the insurance market and start bringing rates down.
Additional common-sense reforms by our state’s policymakers and a well-prepared citizenry will go a long way toward mitigating damage and lowering property insurance premiums.
A link to the op-ed and its full text are below.
We must remain vigilant during this hurricane season | Brewster Bevis
As we turn our television on and check the Internet every day, we are bombarded with endless breaking news stories and major developments across the country and the world. It seems a day does not go by without significant developments that we watch play out online and live on media platforms. Much of this information is important of course, and a lot of it can also serve as an unwanted distraction from other daily activities.
One part of daily life in Florida that we can’t afford to be distracted from is hurricane preparedness. We know all too well in our state the damage one storm alone can cause. We also have learned as we enter the peak summer months that the busiest part of hurricane season is just around the corner.
As has become the new normal, a very active hurricane season is expected. Now is a critical time for every Floridian and every business owner in our state to make sure you are prepared in every way possible for the busy part of hurricane season that is on the horizon.
A great preparedness resource for business owners and families alike is the Florida Division of Emergency Management website, which has all the resources you need to make sure you are prepared as possible during storm season.
A positive development that occurred on the eve of this current hurricane season was the Florida Legislature’s property insurance reforms that were passed during a special legislative session in May. The highlight was reforms that crack down on excessive litigation that were out of control and leading to higher insurance premiums for Florida residents. This new legislation is a good start, and hopefully will be a step in the right direction as we aim for a recovery of Florida’s property insurance market.
As the Florida Legislature looks to continue to keep insurance premiums under control and reform the property insurance industry, we encourage them to keep the impact to consumers and Florida small businesses at top of mind. Protecting and ensuring a financially secure Florida CAT Fund will continue to go a long way toward helping to stabilize the insurance market and will assist in keeping premiums lower for Floridians.
The governor and legislative leaders deserve credit for taking recent steps forward to address the concerning property insurance market, and we encourage them to continue to consider additional common-sense reforms moving forward – reforms that will keep insurance premium prices down.
And now Floridians and Florida business leaders need to do their part by making sure their homes, families, and businesses are storm-readied for the busy late summer and fall portion of hurricane season. We always hope Florida will be spared from major storms during hurricane season, but as many say “hope” is not a strategy. Being prepared is the only approach while still hoping for the best.
Brewster Bevis is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Associated Industries of Florida, which represents the principles of prosperity and free enterprise before the three branches of state government.
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.