The Property Insurance Tale of Two Governors:  Ron DeSantis and Charlie Crist

The Property Insurance Tale of Two Governors: Ron DeSantis and Charlie Crist

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
May 27, 2022

With the passing of legislation filed to help fix or stabilize the soaring homeowner’s property insurance market in Florida, the package of bills made it to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s desk for signing.

Gov. DeSantis, who called for the recently-concluded special legislative session, where the overwhelming majority of both Republican and Democratic state legislators voted in favor of the bill (s), signed the bills into law, but conceded that it was only a quick fix by saying that they would “help stabilize a problematic market”

“This package represents the most significant reforms to Florida’s homeowners insurance market in a generation,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement. “These bills will help stabilize a problematic market, help Floridians harden their homes through the My Safe Florida Home Program, and pave the way for more choices for homeowners.”

The legislation set aside $150 million  to create the “My Safe Florida Home Program,” which would make homes safer and a lot more resistant to hurricanes by providing money to  homeowners for hurricane retrofitting.

Not every lawmaker voting for the bill, including Rep. Angie Nixon (D), who called it a “dog and pony show.” The House passed the measure 95-14, while on the Senate side, lawmakers voted 30-9 in favor of it.

South Florida Rep. Michael Grieco, who is running for the state Senate in 2022, called the results of the special session a “Nothingburger.”

In the weeks leading up to DeSantis calling for the special session to tackle property insurance, Democratic legislators like Reps. Anna Eskamani and Carlos Guillermo Smith, chastised the Republican-led legislature for not addressing the issue during the annual legislative session. Democrats also firmly placed the blame on Gov. DeSantis, arguing that he was to blame for the insurance rate increases.

Joining the fray of dissent was Rep. Charlie Crist.

The former Republican Governor of Florida, turned Independent, and now Democratic gubernatorial candidate, could be seen as the godfather of the current insurance crisis that has gripped the state.

Back in 2007 when then-Governor Crist ( Chain-gang Charlie) was arguably the most respected and influential Republican in the state,  insurance rates dropped by 10% following the disastrous 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons.

Two years later, Crist conceded the 10% rate drop by signing a legislative measure in 2009 that raised Citizens insurance premiums by that same 10%, ending a three-year freeze on insurance rates.

Republicans speculate that Crist caved to pressure from the trial lawyer lobby and the property insurance industry, who they allege, donated heavily to Crist’s successful 2006 gubernatorial run in Florida.

Industry experts have said that Citizens was “overexposed” and not equipped (underfunded) to face a challenge from a major hurricane.

“Under Crist, who was then a Republican, industry experts warned that Citizens was overexposed and the state was gambling that no hurricanes would hit Florida. If a major hurricane had hit, Citizens, with more than a million policies, may not have been able to cover all claims and assessments would have been added to all Florida policies to cover the shortfall,” stated AP Reporter Brendan Farrington.

When Crist ran for governor in 2014 as a Democrat against Governor Rick Scott, the homeowner’s insurance issue was once again up for debate.

While then-Gov. Scott narrowly defeated Crist, Republicans point to several issues that downed Crist’s re-election chances, citing that his raising of insurance rates in 2009 helped in his gubernatorial demise.

Currently, Crist is seen as the favorite to win the 2022 gubernatorial primary race.

If Crist defeats Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and State Senator Annette Taddeo, he will then face off with DeSantis, who currently sits on a million dollar mountain of campaign cash.

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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

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