Christian Cámara

In Florida insurance market, all is not equal

According to a study conducted by the risk assessment group Karen Clark & Co., if Hurricane Andrew hit today, it would cause nearly $50 billion of insured losses, compared …

No, white supremacists at Charlottesville were not ‘good people’

There is much emotion on both sides of the current debate over race relations, even among people of good will. There are contentious questions to address, such as: …

The Hillsborough PTC is dead; long live the Hillsborough PTC

After years of tormenting ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft, as well as their customers, with burdensome regulations designed to prop up area taxi cab companies, the Hillsborough County …

South Miami solar mandate would trample property rights

Expanding solar energy to rely less on oil, gas and other nonrenewable resources is an almost universal goal, regardless of one's political persuasion.  Indeed, with growing concerns about …

Letter to Savannah Mayor: Oppose temporary stay on short-terms rentals

I am writing to oppose the resolution imposing a temporary stay on short-term-rental registrations. Savannah is an attractive vacation destination because of its historic character and great urbanism. According …

Homeowner insurance abuse needs to be addressed

As Gov. Rick Scott acts on legislation that was passed during the final weeks of this year's regular legislative session, there is one bill noticeably absent from his …

Open Letter to the North Carolina Senate: Reject S.B. 81

Dear North Carolina Senator, On behalf of the millions of members of the undersigned organizations, including thousands of North Carolina residents and taxpayers, we write in strong opposition to …

Florida’s insurance market is a template for the country

The National Flood Insurance Program is in deep debt. A handful of big storm years, particularly in 2005 and 2012, along with the artificially low rates charged to …

Cheers to promoting free-market principles in liquor sales

The Florida Legislature last week acted to join the majority of states in modernizing its alcohol sales laws. Senate Bill 106, which currently awaits Gov. Rick Scott's signature, …

Florida House bill would make solar installations a pain

If you think getting home improvements approved and ultimately completed in Florida is a hassle now, if monopoly power companies get their way, just wait until you try …

Tear down the wall and let the free market in

ABC Fine Wine & Liquors, Florida’s largest alcohol retail chain, struck a deal last year with a mobile app service to start offering one-hour alcohol delivery with the …

Coalition supports drug sentencing reforms in the Florida legislature

Dear Speaker Corcoran: We write to express our support for drug sentencing reforms currently being considered by the Florida legislature. We and our organizations represent concerned citizens, taxpayers, and …

Testimony on Florida alcohol separation law

My name is Christian Cámara. I am the Southeast Region director for the R Street Institute, a nonpartisan, public-policy research organization, or "think tank," based in Washington, D.C., …

Border adjustment would sock Florida with hugely higher insurance rates

In recent years, Congress repeatedly has considered legislation that would have adversely and profoundly impacted disaster-prone states like Florida. Luckily, we were spared passage, over and over again. …

Florida’s four walls of insurance reform

The attached policy study originally was published by the James Madison Institute. For many years, Floridians struggled to purchase insurance coverage—whether it be for their properties, vehicles or employees—in …

Reinsurance saved Florida from catastrophic losses

While this year’s storms Hermine and Matthew brought an end to the state’s decade-long hurricane drought, they easily could have been stronger or cut a more destructive path. Indeed, …

Florida has been hurricane free, but still the insurance rates go up

Florida's property insurance market — long among the nation's biggest basket cases — has enjoyed an unprecedented streak of good fortune on two different fronts. The better known …

Despite lack of hurricanes, claims abuse driving up Citizens insurance premiums in Florida

Last year, Florida marked 10 years since it was last hit by a hurricane. This “drought,” coupled with responsible reforms enacted by lawmakers in recent years, has allowed …

Floridians cannot afford to see their flood insurance wash away

Nearly 2 million Floridians depend on the National Flood Insurance Program for their flood insurance coverage, accounting for nearly 40 percent of all policies issued by the federal …

Why Congress mustn’t postpone vital flood insurance reforms

A new measure introduced by U.S. Reps. David Jolly and Gus Bilirakis, both R-Fla., that would postpone vital reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program, while well-intentioned, also would …

Florida and the RESTORE Act: A progress report

INTRODUCTION Almost six years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, states along the Gulf Coast continue to deal with the spill's aftermath. In October 2015, BP and the U.S. …

Statewide ridesharing rules ready to go in Florida House

State legislators descended on Tallahassee last week for their final round of interim committee hearings – also the last time they will meet before the official start of …

Federal government should follow Florida’s lead on flood insurance crisis

Hurricane Wilma’s 10th anniversary on Oct. 24 came and went without much fanfare. But for Floridians, it’s a marker that divides two very different chapters in our state’s …

Camara letter to GCERC on Florida Funded Priorities List

The R Street Institute is encouraged by the proposed projects contained within Florida's initial Funded Priorities List (FPL) released by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (council). Florida's coast …

Florida insurance chief calls on NFIP to hand over its data

In his ongoing efforts to foster a competitive private flood insurance market in Florida, state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, recently requested help from the state's Office of …

Tallahassee City Commission right on Uber vote

Last week, the Tallahassee City Commission showed that even a broken clock is right twice a day. I have oftentimes taken issue with its decisions over the years …

Federal storm policies put Florida in danger

The following piece was co-authored by Jay Liles, a policy consultant with the Florida Wildlife Federation, and Gary Appelson, policy coordinator of the Sea Turtle Conservancy. Andrew. Charley. Wilma. …

Transferring risk is good for Citizens

Claiming that the purchase of private reinsurance is a “gift” to offshore reinsurers that somehow harms Florida consumers is wrong (“Foes see ‘gift’ to reinsurers in plan for …

Letter to SBA on Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund

Ash Williams Executive Director Florida State Board of Administration Jack Nicholson Chief Operating Officer Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Dear Mr. Williams and Dr. Nicholson: We the undersigned represent a diverse coalition that is concerned about …

Repeal law that forces expensive burdens on retailers selling adult beverages

In Florida, you can buy beer and wine at your local supermarket. Some even sell it straight out of the tap and allow you to taste it before …

Florida may move forward on TNC regs

Florida lawmakers this month filed legislation in both houses of the Legislature to regulate transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.  The two companion bills seek to establish …

Testimony to the Florida House Business and Professions Subcommittee

As Florida director of the R Street Institute, one of my responsibilities is to identify emerging free-market issues in my state and suggest to our national office in …

McCarty deserves some credit for stabilizing Florida market

Testifying this week before the Florida House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee, Office of Insurance Regulation Deputy Chief of Staff Monte Stevens echoed much of what has been reported …

Transparency crucial with RESTORE money

Florida's 23 Gulf Coast counties are about to enjoy a windfall, as the U.S. Treasury Department recently finalized rules allowing states impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil …

Steer clear of pricing for private business

The Orlando City Council's proposal to force Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies to charge more than their competitors as a condition to conduct business in Orlando is …

Florida’s insurance industry a big contributor to state economy

Its status as a low-lying peninsula jutting 500 miles into the warmest, most hurricane-active waters in the world makes Florida one of the riskiest places to live. So …

Jacksonville should find a commonsense solution for ride-sharing

Jacksonville, Fla., is making headlines over plans to enact stiff penalties against ride-sharing drivers. Some transportation network company drivers in Jacksonville have recently gotten into trouble for not carrying …

RESTORE Act committee should get back to work

The committee established by Monroe County to recommend how to spend nearly $1.2 million in BP Oil Spill money has an unprecedented and unique opportunity. (RE: "Back to …

Think back to 2004

A record four major hurricanes struck Florida in late 2004, meaning we are in the midst of commemorating the 10-year anniversaries of their landfalls. Former Gov. Jeb Bush …

Fla Citizens’ business travel saves Florida money

A recent article by the Palm Beach Post blasting Citizens Property Insurance Corp. executives for traveling overseas casts a negative image onto the state-owned and operated insurer. However, …

Political hacks stand to gain from Florida gerrymander fix

Looks like Florida lawmakers will have to put their summer campaign activities and fundraising on hold. Last week, Leon County Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis ordered the Legislature …

Florida’s RESTORE Act funding decisions requires transparency

The following op-ed was co-authored by Jay Liles, policy consultant for the Florida Wildlife Federation. Later this month, Florida and the rest of the Gulf Coast will mark the …

Testimony to U.S. House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs

Chairman Fleming, Ranking Member Sablan, and distinguished subcommittee members, My name is Christian Camara and I am the Florida director and a co-founder of the R Street Institute.  We …

Don’t encourage risky development

The Jan. 30 editorial, Mapping our future, is right to commend South Florida’s governments for doing more to “tackle the threat of climate change” and rising sea levels. …

Hurricane mitigation sales tax holiday would be nice

Gov. Rick Scott's announcement that he will pursue legislative action to grant a 15-day sales-tax holiday for hurricane preparedness is a big win for Florida. The tax incentive …

A state approach to flood insurance reform in Florida

With various provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 taking effect this year, there is growing concern that scheduled rate increases by the National Flood …

Changes to property insurance are welcome

While politicians have repeatedly tinkered around the edges of true Citizens Property Insurance Corp. reform, this session, legislators are looking to place substantial focus on the property insurance …

Don’t subsidize Citizens’ out-of-state policyholders

While politicians repeatedly have tinkered around the edges of true Citizens Property Insurance Corp. reform, this session, state legislators are looking to place substantial focus on the property …

Charge out-of-state residents more

While politicians have repeatedly tinkered around the edges of true Citizens Property Insurance Corp. reform, this session legislators are looking to place substantial focus on the property insurance …

Keep act on course

Tribune columnist Joe Henderson is wrong to call for delays in changes to the National Flood Insurance Program ("Fair play needed in flood insurance debate," Oct. 1). Although …

Bill would take the Florida Cat Fund in the wrong direction

Florida state Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, has filed Senate Bill 228 to maintain the current statutory requirement that the state-run Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, better known as the …

What Jeff Atwater gets wrong, and right, about Florida reinsurance

Yesterday, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater penned a letter to Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty inquiring why property insurance rates continue to rise even as the cost of …

Florida taxpayers owe Binnun a debt of gratitude

Florida's state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. announced earlier this week that Chief Financial Officer Sharron Binnun has resigned to take a job in the private sector. Her departure from …

Gov. Scott signs bill to shrink Citizens, end subsidies to coastal construction

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 29, 2013) – The R Street Institute today commended Florida Gov. Rick Scott for signing S.B. 1770, legislation that will implement key reforms to the …

Gov. Scott receives bill to end subsidies to mansions, new coastal development

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 2, 2013) – The R Street Institute today commended the Florida Legislature for approving significant reforms to the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp., including provisions …

Florida Cat Fund reform passes second state House committee

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 10, 2013) – The R Street Institute commended today’s bipartisan passage by the state House Government Appropriations Subcommittee of H.B. 1107, calling for reforms to …

R Street welcomes bill to scale back Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (March 28, 2013) –- The R Street Institute today welcomed approval by the Florida House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee of H.B. 1107, legislation that will reduce …

FIGA reforms should increase flexibility, not eliminate it

When it comes to property insurance reform in Florida, everyone is basically focused on proposals that deal with the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and …

With rates expected to drop, Cat Fund reform a no-brainer

For four out of the last seven years, the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund has been projected to have a shortfall should a major hurricane impact the state and …

Fla. Consumer Advocate confirms Cat Fund reform won’t cost homeowners

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (March 13, 2013) -- Analysis by actuaries from the Florida Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate confirms that proposed reforms to right-size the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe …

AIF map confirms Citizens not the leading writer in most Florida districts

The debate over how to reform Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has been a years-long and arduous political battle. Despite its original mission to act as Florida's insurer-of-last-resort, …

Statement by StrongerSafer Florida regarding Senate Banking & Insurance Committee voting in favor of S.B. 7018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (March 7, 2013)  – Today representatives from StrongerSafer Florida expressed their enthusiasm after the state Senate Banking & Insurance Committee voted in favor of S.B. 7018. Christian …

House panel includes coastal preservation in Fla. Citizens reform

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (March 6, 2013) – The R Street Institute today commended the Florida House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee for approving legislation that would significantly scale back the …

Ghost of Charlie Crist haunts insurance reform

It has been more than two years since the adults regained control of Florida, yet the specter of the Charlie Crist days of demagoguery, populism-at-any-cost and overall political …

R Street welcomes major deal to shrink Florida Citizens

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2013) --  The R Street Institute today welcomed the vote by the board of governors of Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Corp. transferring $30 billion …

Crist has change of heart

Former Gov. Charlie Crist offers sound advice to lawmakers in his Jan. 28 op-ed, "In Florida and Washington, put people over politics." However, Crist's words today seem to be …

Fla. Gov. Scott unveils $74.2B budget

Gov. Rick Scott this week unveiled his long-awaited Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget. Thanks to expected revenue increases, Scott and state legislators will not have to grapple with a …

Florida Senate committee hears property insurance reform proposals

The Florida Legislature ended two weeks of interim committee hearings this today with various hot-button issues addressed.  One that we at R Street follow very closely is the …

Public adjuster threatens lawsuit against Florida blogger

As our regular readers may recall, last month we reported a revealing set of findings by a Florida blog that connected a handful of plaintiffs' law firms to the vast majority …

R Street report proposes ending insurance subsidies in Florida’s coastal wetlands

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Jan. 16, 2013) -- As Florida lawmakers once again prepare to take up property insurance reform in the upcoming legislative session,  a new report from the …

Coastal preservation through Citizens reform

PDF Download Text The 30-year-old federal Coastal Barrier Resources Act has been successful in promoting conservation of natural resources, fiscal responsibility, and the reduction of inappropriate high-risk coastal …

Federal judge dismisses lawsuit to block Florida PIP reform

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Jan. 15, 2012) — The R Street Institute today welcomed the recent order by U.S. District Judge Richard Lazzara dismissing a lawsuit by chiropractors, acupuncturists and …

Government-owned broadband networks a headache for their owners

Last year the R Street Institute expressed serious concerns with a proposed government-owned broadband network (GON) project in southwest Florida. After attending a public input workshop organized by …

Cat fund disaster

Advocates of expanding or retaining the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund at its current level are either misguided or knowingly peddling false coverage. Allstate's Florida unit, Castle Key Insurance, serves …

Charlie and the politics factory

Just when Floridians thought crazy state politics were about over for the year, in comes Charlie Crist.  I’m sure all the coverage surrounding him during the past two …

Follow the money on opponents of Citizens reform

We at R Street recently came across a blog post by Johnson Strategies, LLC that sheds light on the apparent motivations of many opponents to property insurance reform …

R Street offers suggestions to fix Florida’s broken insurance system

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Dec. 19, 2012) -- Efforts to shrink Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will be futile unless the state takes steps to close the door to new …

In its unreformed state, Cat Fund bad for stability of Florida economy

Advocates of expanding or retaining the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund at its current level are either misguided or knowingly peddling false coverage. Allstate’s Florida unit, Castle Key Insurance, serves …

Federal judge denies injunction to block Florida PIP reform

TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 12, 2012) -– In the first big win for Florida auto insurance consumers since passage of reforms to the state’s personal injury protection system earlier …

Free-market, taxpayer, environmental groups host Fla. event on insurance reform

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2012) – Representatives from a broad coalition of taxpayer watchdog groups and free-market and environmental organizations will address how government-subsidized property insurance programs …

Florida election results rattle Republicans

The elections have come and gone and, needless to say, there were a few surprises.  Florida, for example, was widely expected to award its 29 electoral votes to …

Free-market, taxpayer, environmental groups hold press event on insurance reform

  TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Nov. 8, 2012) – A broad coalition of free-market organizations, taxpayer watchdog groups, and environmentalists will be hosting a press conference and media availability event on Amelia …

Catastrophe fund risky

Your suggestion that Hurricane Sandy should force lawmakers to reconsider enacting a national catastrophe fund actually helps make the point against one ("Time for national catastrophe fund," Nov. …

After Superstorm Sandy, a national catastrophe fund is still a bad idea

The flood waters from Superstorm Sandy had not yet receded and her winds had not yet calmed before politicians and media types took the opportunity to resume their …

Hurricane Sandy advice from a Floridian

Some tips from a Florida veteran of several storms: Charge all your electronic devices fully (mobile telephones, laptops, etc.). If you're lucky, you may have a cell signal even …

Fla. Citizens picks odd moment to sack ‘integrity’ office

Despite headlines being dominated by the ever-tightening presidential election, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. continues to make news in Florida.  Last week, Citizens announced that it was eliminating its …

Risk-based rates key to shrinking Florida taxpayers’ exposure to hurricane risks

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2012) -- As the leaderships of both the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and Citizens Property Insurance Corp. consider the state-run funds’ exposure to catastrophes, …

Citizens CEO responds to critics of surplus notes plan

Floridians are getting more and more used to seeing Citizens Property Insurance Corp. pop up in the news lately.  This week, Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation granted Citizens …

R Street urges Florida auto insurance consumers to shop around

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Oct. 1, 2012) -- Given today’s deadline for Florida auto insurers to submit personal injury protection rates that reflect PIP market reforms passed by the Legislature …

Florida doesn’t need government broadband to stay connected

Government overreach into the broadband market has recently become increasingly popular in the Sunshine State. According to a recent report from the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), cities, counties …

Remarks on Florida perspective regarding state insurance pools

This testimony was provided Sept. 12 by R Street Florida Director Christian Cámara to the Texas Legislature's Joint Interim Committee to Study Seacoast Territory Insurance on the State …

Fla. Citizens posts depopulation plan

The depopulation committee of Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp. unveiled a plan yesterday designed to transfer about a third of the state-run insurer’s 1.4 million policies to …

Welfare scheme (Letter to the Tampa Tribune)

Proposals to decrease the size of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. by transferring some of its surplus funds to private insurers in exchange for assuming policies may seem like …

Charlie Crist: The comeback governor?

Those of us who know what drives opportunist politicians have said for a long time that former Florida Republican-turned-independent governor -- and all-around backstabber -- Charlie Crist would …

Actuaries report shows PIP reform will benefit Florida consumers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Aug. 3, 2012) – The R Street Institute welcomed today’s release of a draft report from Pinnacle Actuarial Resources Inc. that shows the recently passed H.B. …

Insurance commissioner’s travel is in Florida’s best interests

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Aug. 1, 2012) – Recent press reports calling Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty to task for his travel schedule misconstrue the value such trips bring to …

Rate reform must be key to shrinking Citizens

Albert Einstein once said "a new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels." Or, as it often paraphrased, we cannot solve …

Not so easy

The proposal by Republican candidate for Florida House of Representatives District 106, David Bolduc, to establish a state bank to address the state's property insurance crisis, is interesting. But …

Harsh medicine in South Florida

The Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s governing board convened a workshop in Miami this week to address various issues facing the state-run insurer, including its inadequate rates, ballooning book …

Gilway’s approach to Citizens reform strikes a good balance

Barry Gilway was appointed president of Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Corp. just a few weeks ago and already he is making public statements about how he intends to …

If a divided Congress can do it, why can’t the Florida Legislature?

Last week, Congress came together and passed legislation that will not only extend the National Flood Insurance Program for five more years, but also approved rate hikes to …

R Street Institue says ‘Five for Florida’ should be blueprint for candidates, elected officials

Below is a statement from the R Street Institute’s Florida Director Christian R. Cámara: Americans for Prosperity’s "Five for Florida" is a bold initiative to bring public attention to …

Letter to Sunshine State News, June 27, 2012

Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s new Chief Executive Officer Barry Gilway deserves credit for his honesty in highlighting the need for higher rates. (“New Citizens Leader Suggests Breaking 10 …

Hager: Florida Cat Fund totally unprepared

Florida state Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, recently sat down with the Florida Channel to record his “Perspectives” interview that most state legislators do every year.  Instead of …

R Street Institute welcomes Florida lawmakers’ call for insurance reform

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 20, 2012) – The R Street Institute today welcomed a position paper from Florida state Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, and state Rep. Bryan Nelson, R-Apopka, …

Conservative activists should bone up on policy

This past weekend, conservative activists from around the country descended on the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas for Americans for Prosperity's fifth annual RightOnline Conference. The event drew the conservative …

Meet Barry Gilway: Florida’s fate is in his hands

Meet Barry Gilway, 66, Florida Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s new president. Given the challenges ahead, I don’t know whether or not to congratulate him. Gilway has over 40 years …

Rep. Rivera aims to change Cuban Adjustment Act

It’s been a very political week in Florida, and there is still one more day to go. This week is the qualifying deadline for every political office up in …

Citizens Property Insurance debate once again heating up Florida

The Citizens Property Insurance Corp. debate is heating up once again in Florida.  Despite a legislative session that largely steered clear from this contentious issue earlier this year, …

Letter from Tallahassee: Thrilling end to a roller coaster session

Last Friday marked the end of Florida’s 2012 Regular Legislative Session, and what a roller coaster it was, literally to the very end.  When the dust cleared, many …

Letter from Tallahassee: Property insurance reform gets national spotlight

Greetings from unseasonably warm Florida, where citizens are beginning to petition Al Gore to host a global warming summit to hopefully attract a Nor’easter to cool us off …

WSJ weighs in on Florida’s Insurance Crisis

Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal weighed-in on Florida’s insurance crisis, shedding light on the concerns economists, actuaries, insurance experts, consumer advocates and Heartland Institute analysts have …

Letter from Tallahassee: Post-primaries, fixing on Cat Fund reform

Greetings from the SuperPAC-pillaged state of Florida! All eyes were on the Sunshine State this week to see who Republicans would choose to be their nominee to run against …

Letter from Tallahassee: State of the Sunshine State

Aaaand they’re off! The 2012 legislature session was gaveled into regular session this week, and lawmakers have hit the ground running. Gov. Rick Scott gave his State of the …

Letter from Tallahassee: Thoughts turn from holiday tidings to a packed legislative session

Greetings from Florida, where we proudly decorate our palm trees with balls and lights this time of year. Last week marked the final round of interim committee meetings before …

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