State-Run Insurance Is Bad For Florida Citizens

Published October 29, 2007

Gov. Charlie Crist betrays his irrational contempt for Florida’s insurers by calling them “tenacious” and “greedy” [“Allstate enters state’s insurer investigation,” October 16]. Apparently Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty and Gov. Crist have forgotten the majority of Florida’s insured property lies in areas prone to natural disasters. It is true private insurers respond to skyrocketing costs associated with these hazards by raising premiums – and raising the hackles of the state’s regulators. But a government-run insurer such as Florida Citizens, while initially offering lower premiums, raises consumer costs in the long run by forcing tax increases to cover the difference. Our research of every state’s insurance market ranks Florida dead-last when it comes to competition and consumer choice, and forcing every insurer in the state to close shop will do nothing to solve this crisis.

Trevor R. Martin ([email protected]) is director of government relations at The Heartland Institute.