An Opinion By Jan Bergemann 
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc. 

Published April 5, 2007


Finally the consumer-friendly insurance bill S 2498 will be heard in the Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance. See announcement:

04/04/07 SENATE On Committee agenda-- Banking and Insurance, 04/09/07, 1:15 pm, 412-K

This bill, sponsored by Senator Rudy Garcia (R-Miami) has the backing of Governor Charlie Crist (See: Crist pushes for Citizens Property to compete against private insurance firms )


SB 2498 (Senator Rudy Garcia) --  Makes Citizens Property Insurance Corporation competitive with rate filings and standard business practices. Makes it mandatory for the State to take into consideration insurance companiesí national profit levels before allowing any other rate increases.


This bill -- together with House companion bill H 1267 (Sponsor Representative Julio Robaina (R-Miami) + H 1307 (Sponsor Representative Ron Saunders) -- is heavily supported by the Florida CONSUMER INSURANCE COALITION.


We owners have quickly realized that the insurance bill enacted during the special session was just a foundation to be built upon. More reforms are desperately needed in order to lower property insurance premiums -- unaffordable for most owners! Even our legislators must realize that a 10% deduction really doesn't amount to anything if we saw our premiums raised by 500% in the first place.


But it's now up to Florida's owners to get involved and get the ball rolling. Instead of filling up the bulletin boards of local newspapers and websites it's now time to participate in the legislative process and ask our Senators for help by voting in favor of this important bill.


It's nice to vent your frustration, but now it's time to do something positive: Contact the Senators -- members of the Committee on Banking and Insurance -- and let them know that we owners need more relief -- relief in form of consumer friendly bills. Anybody who still believes that the private insurance companies will come back to Florida offering affordable rates believes as well in the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm.

Florida need to take care of itself! We need to build a tool that makes insurance affordable and keeps our money in our state: FLORIDA! We don't need insurance companies crying all the way to the bank -- leaving us flat broke!


Please be nice to our Senators -- they -- together with our new Governor Charlie Crist -- have been our allies in our fight for insurance reforms. But make sure they understand that more insurance reform is needed and we need this bill enacted!


You want to vent your frustration and raise your complaints? Call on the leadership of the Florida House, like Speaker Marco Rubio and Representative Ron Reagan, chairman of the Jobs & Entrepreneurship Council (another insurance agent), who have so far blocked anything consumer-friendly in the House of Representatives, and I mean not only insurance reforms! Instead they were busy trying to give the insurance industry back some of the achievements we consumers gained during the special session! 


Please contact the Senate members of the Committee on Banking and Insurance and let them know that we -- the constituents -- want S 2498 enacted in order to create more insurance reforms -- desperately needed to save our financial welfare and the economy of FLORIDA.

Chair: Senator Bill Posey

E-Mail:  [email protected]

District Phone:  (321) 690-3484

Tallahassee Phone:  (850) 487-5053

Legislative Assistant: Patrick Gavin

[email protected]

Vice Chair:  Senator Ted Deutch

E-Mail:  [email protected]

District Phone: (561) 496-5939

Tallahassee Phone:  (850) 487-5091

Legislative Assistant:  Deidra Bennett

[email protected]

Senator JD Alexander

E-Mail:  [email protected]

District Phone:  (863)679-4411

Statewide:  1-800-444-9747

Tallahassee Phone:  (850) 487-5044

Legislative Assistant:  Becky Simmons

[email protected] 

Senator Senator Jeffrey H. "Jeff" Atwater

E-Mail:  [email protected]    

North Palm Beach District Phone:  (561) 625-5101

Oakland Park District Phone:  (954) 847-3518

Tallahassee Phone:  (850) 487-5100

Legislative Assistant:  Kimberly Jaeger

[email protected]

Senator Michael S. "Mike" Bennett

E-Mail:  [email protected]

District Phone:  (941) 727-6349

Statewide:  1-800-500-1239

Tallahassee Phone:  (850) 487-5078

Legislative Assistant: Jacquie Connell

[email protected]  

Senator M. Mandy Dawson

E-Mail:  [email protected]

District Phone  (954) 467-4317

Statewide: 1-877-632-9766

Tallahassee Phone:  (850) 487-5112

Legislative Assistant: Elizabeth Honorat

[email protected]

Senator Don Gaetz

E-Mail:  [email protected]

District Phone:  (850) 897-5747

Toll Free:  1-866-450-4366

Tallahassee Phone:  (850) 487-5009

Legislative Assistant:  Christopher Clark

[email protected] 

Senator Alfred "Al" Lawson, Jr.

E-Mail:  [email protected]

Tallahassee Phone:  (850) 487-5004

Legislative Assistant:  Melissa Durham

[email protected]


Senator Durell Peaden, Jr.

E-Mail:  [email protected]

Crestview District Phone:  (850) 689-0556

Pensacola District Phone:  (850) 484-9898

Tallahassee Phone:  (850) 487-5000

Legislative Assistant:  Ann McGraw

[email protected] 

Senator Ronda Storms

E-Mail:  [email protected] 

District Phone:  (813) 651-2189

Tallahassee Phone:  (850) 487-5072

Legislative Assistant:  Sandra Barkey

[email protected]   

Senator Frederica S. Wilson

E-Mail:  [email protected]   

District Phone:  (305) 654-7150

Tallahassee Phone:  (850) 487-5116

Legislative Assistant:  Joan Glickman

[email protected]