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Consumer group grades lawmakers for votes on insurance issues

A consumer advocacy group has released a report grading lawmakers for how they voted on property insurance issues last year.

The annual report card from Policyholders of Florida gives lawmakers ratings based on their votes on several controversial bills that could have pushed insurance rates higher for homeowners.

In the 40-member Senate—seven lawmakers received and ‘A,’ and 11 received an ‘F.’

In the 12-member House, 35 lawmakers received an ‘A’ and 63 received an ‘F.’

“Consumers don’t find out who their friends are during campaigns, they find out during legislative session,” said Sean Shaw, founder of Policyholders of Florida. “We track important insurance votes throughout the year so Floridians can see whether or not their lawmakers went to Tallahassee to fight for them or not – clearly many lawmakers are failing. We need lawmakers to focus on stabilizing the market for consumers and encouraging the responsible expansion of the private market in Florida.”

Outspoken critics of the insurance industry, like Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, received ‘A’ grades, while those pushing for industry-backed proposals and higher rates at Citizens Property Insurance Corp. got ‘F’ grades.

Many of the lawmakers receiving high grades are from South Florida and Tampa Bay, coastal areas where  insurance rates are the highest in the state.

Lawmakers from inland parts of the state and Republicans were more likely to have lower grades.

See the report card here.

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