New Florida Law: Insurance Companies Can't Charge Higher Rates for People Who Own Guns
Senate Bill 424, a bill that would protect Florida gun owners from being discriminated against by insurance companies, is headed to Gov. Rick Scott's desk to be signed into law after passing via a 74-44 vote in the state House on Tuesday.
Much to the delight of gun advocacy groups and the NRA, this means that it's now basically illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage or increase rates for a person who owns a gun.
The bill, cosponsored by Republicans Matt Gaetz in the House and Sen. Tom Lee, says that "unfair discrimination on the basis of gun ownership in the provision of personal lines property or personal lines automobile insurance is a discriminatory insurance practice."
This means that an insurance company can't refuse someone a policy, or a policy renewal, based purely on their owning a gun. They can't cancel a policy or charge extra either.
This also means that insurance companies are not allowed to disclose info on guns or firearms of its policyholders to outside parties.
Proponents of the bill claimed that some car insurance companies enforce higher rates on gun owners, calling it an infringement on their Second Amendment rights.
On Tuesday, following the vote, Gaetz made allusions to rights and equated the passing of the bill to women's rights and the rights of African-Americans.
"When we permit discrimination on any grounds, for any reason, for the trampling of any of our rights, it jeopardizes all of us," Gaetz said, per the Herald Tribune. "It jeopardizes the progress we've made for African-Americans. It jeopardizes the progress we've made for women."
After the bill passed, the NRA asked its members in a statement to contact Gaetz to thank him and Lee for "standing up [for] gun owners."