Tales of Florida Governance

Fun in the sunshine state.

“Ron DeSantis” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The company is the fourth insurer over the last year say it is backing away from insuring Floridians, a sign extreme weather linked to climate change is destabilizing the insurance market. On Tuesday, Farmers Insurance said it will no longer offer coverage in the state, affecting roughly 100,000 customers. 


Bankers Insurance and Lexington Insurance, a subsidiary of AIG, left Florida last year, saying recent natural disasters have made it too expensive to insure residents. Hurricanes Ian and Nicole devastated Florida in 2022, causing billions of dollars in damage and killing a total about about 150 people.


Already, homeowners in the state pay about three times as much for insurance coverage as the national average, and rates this year are expected to soar about 40%. 

Insurance companies are leaving Florida even as lawmakers in December passed legislation aimed at stabilizing the market. Last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law that, among other things, creates a $1 billion reinsurance fund and puts disincentives in place to prevent frivolous lawsuits. The law takes effect in October. 

So, maybe climate change is just wokeism after all?

When DeSantis announced in 2021 that he wanted to revive the long-dormant State Guard, he vowed it would help Floridians during emergencies. But in the year since its launch, key personnel and a defined mission remain elusive. The state is looking for the program’s third leader in eight months. According to records reviewed by the Times/Herald and interviews with program volunteers, a number of recruits quit after the first training class last month because they feared it was becoming too militaristic.

Weeks into that inaugural June training, one volunteer, a disabled retired Marine Corps captain, called the local sheriff’s office to report he was battered by Florida National Guard instructors when they forcibly shoved him into a van after he questioned the program and its leadership.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Michael Cain says:

    From what I’ve read, the crisis is currently being driven by the expense and difficulty for the insurers to purchase reinsurance. The big guys like Farmers who leave the Florida market get the headlines. When a smaller Florida-only company can’t get reinsurance, they’re insolvent. Several of the small companies have been bankrupted in the last couple of years.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Thank dawg the governor is focused on the real problems facing his state, like Critical Race theory and the word “gay”.

    eta: I think DeSantis was asleep at the wheel with dreams of fighting the woke.

    eta2: Maybe they can just pass a law making hurricanes illegal.

  3. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Michael Cain:
    Water temperatures around Florida are at record highs and water levels are rising. Excellent time to GTFO of there if you’re an insurer.

  4. Michael Cain says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Rumors are that the premiums are so high that Berkshire Hathaway couldn’t resist and wrote another billion dollars of reinsurance coverage for Citizens Property Insurance, the state-operated insurer of last resort. Citizens, of course, can’t GTFO.

  5. gVOR10 says:

    Our FL insurance problems will get solved. At least enough for us to get by. Local firms exist and they’ll be able to get reinsurance at some cost. The good news is DeUseless is catching some flack over this. The bad news is it tends to be phrased as why can’t he bring our rates down. Lower rates aren’t on the program. Glad we own the house outright, insurance is going to get expensive. DeUseless and the GOP lege will have to do something, real estate development has a big lobby. Unlike most conservatives, I have faith capitalism will adapt.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR10: I have faith capitalism will adapt.

    The fossil fuel industry doesn’t.

  7. Jen says:

    @gVOR10: The ability to secure reinsurance is a big part of the problem, and I’m not entirely sure I share your optimism. Homeowners insurance has been under-funded (premiums have not kept pace with increased risk, higher rebuilding costs, and inflation) and a number of carriers are looking at their numbers and raising rates/increasing standards everywhere, not just pulling out of CA & FL.

    Right now, FL is tinkering around the edges of trying to resolve the problems, but it has a long way to go.