New Report Reveals Gov. DeSantis’ Role in Florida Home Insurance Crisis: Workers and Allies Condemn Governor’s Brazen Corruption
Watchdog Groups, National and Local Union Leaders, and Florida Workers Gathered to Slam DeSantis for Selling Out Floridians to Big Insurance, amid Record Natural Disasters Threatening Florida’s Homes
TAMARAC, Fla.—Immediately after the release of a groundbreaking report exposing the pay-to-play scheme at the heart of Florida’s homeowners’ insurance crisis, a coalition of educators, advocates and union leaders—including American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten—gathered at the Broward Teachers Union’s Union Hall to call out Gov. Ron DeSantis and the deeply corrupt practices harming everyday Floridians.
Since taking office, DeSantis has given away $2 billion of taxpayer money in industry bailouts, while taking in $3.9 million in campaign donations from those same insurers. In addition, the governor has stripped Floridians of their ability to sue insurance giants who wrongfully deny claims by removing their ability to recover legal fees. Meanwhile, rate hikes, rubber stamped by the state, have nearly doubled average insurance costs, with homeowners now paying nearly three times the national average.
“Floridians are suffering from the threat of floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters, and homeowners are increasingly at risk of losing it all because they simply cannot afford spiraling insurance premiums,” said Weingarten. “Where is the governor? Well, he has picked sides: When given the choice of helping Florida’s working families or doing the bidding of the insurance lobby, Ron DeSantis puts his donors first. This report joins the dots. We can’t allow DeSantis to dismantle the livelihoods of millions of Floridians in the service of corporate interests.”
“Billionaire insurance executives don’t need $2 billion in bailouts—the homeowning working families of Florida do,” said Anna Fusco, BTU president. “Ron DeSantis has left Floridians unable to afford their homes and home insurance, all while leaving us more vulnerable to predatory industry practices like wrongfully denying claims. His policies are hurting my members, their families and the hundreds of thousands of students in our state.”
“Every year people migrate to Florida seeking warm weather, affordable housing costs and a place to possibly retire—but the irony is that once they get there, they’re taken advantage of and forced to pay three times the national average in homeowners premiums to the insurance executives funding Ron DeSantis’ political ambitions,” said Charles Khan, organizing director of the Strong Economy for All Coalition and a leader of the Hedge Clippers campaign. “It’s dirty, crooked and emblematic of his history of promises made and then broken. Florida’s working families deserve far better.”
Click here to view the report.
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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.