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Florida ‘truth-tellers’ say insurance system needs change

Members of the Florida House of Representatives invited the Bermuda reinsurance industry to increase their involvement in the $3 trillion Florida insurance market yesterday.

In introducing the two State Representatives moderator Stephen Weinstein, RenaissanceRe senior council and secretary, said that while Representatives Bill Hager and Kevin Rader are on opposing sides politically, he called them: “truth tellers”.

Both representatives told attendees at the Insurance Day Summit Bermuda conference at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess that the Florida State insurance system needs to change.

Rep Hager called that system 'dangerous', and said it has just $12 billion in capital against $17 billion in obligations. "That gets them through the first storm so the question is, what happens after that?" He said: "We want to move it away from the State of Florida and to the people in this room, who know how to manage risk much better than the State of Florida."

Rep Rader said: "We want you to deploy capital into Florida, but it needs your help by being active, having a voice and showing up."

He pointed to some difficulties that politicians face when dealing with the insurance issue. He said that while insurance tends to be non-partisan, it is heavily debated in Florida. “My whole race is about insurance,” he said.

“While you are not going to lose an election, you are going to take some hits in the press for it.”

He added: "These are complex issues most (House of Representatives) committee members don't understand we are dealing with members who don't understand. So it's important for the people in this room to get involved in Florida politics it will help your clients," he said, adding: "And, because the politics can destroy a good bill in a couple of hours."

Florida House of Representatives member Bill Hager, center, speaks at the Insurance Day Summit Bermuda. Rep Kevin Rader is right, and moderator Stephen Weinstein is left. (photo by Glenn Tucker)

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Published June 26, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 25, 2013 at 9:27 pm)

Florida ‘truth-tellers’ say insurance system needs change

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