This week, I introduced the Homeowners’ Defense Act of 2009, an urgently needed insurance reform bill to lower the cost and increase the availability of homeowners’ insurance around the country. Our legislation allows states that choose to participate in a national catastrophe insurance pool to spread the risk of natural disasters in order to bring down costs for everyone.

In these difficult economic times, the skyrocketing cost of homeowners’ insurance is pushing more and more families to the brink.  I have spoken to dozens of my constituents who have seen their rates double, triple, or quadruple in just a few years. With hurricane season bearing down on us, now is the time for a common-sense, market-based solution that brings real relief to families around the country.

Our legislation harnesses the power of the private market and emphasizes personal responsibility by homeowners in order to reduce the cost of natural disasters. More than thirty states would be eligible to opt-in to this innovative solution, which saves taxpayers money by taking smart, preventative action before disaster hits, rather than sticking every American with an expensive bill for post-disaster cleanup.

Whether it is a hurricane in Florida, an earthquake in California, a wildfire in Arizona or a tornado in Kansas, there is no reason why we can’t spread the risk across states and natural disasters in order to bring down prices for homeowners. At its heart, this bill is designed to make sure insurance is doing what it is supposed to do: spread the risk.

I am extremely proud of the broad, bipartisan support for this legislation. The Homeowners’ Defense Act of 2007 passed the U.S. House by a large margin, included more than 40 co-sponsors from 20 states, and was supported by all 25 members of Congress from Florida, both Democrat and Republican. I believe prospects for passage of the Homeowners’ Defense Act of 2009 are extremely favorable, as we are fortunate to have the strong support of President Obama, who co-sponsored the legislation as a member of the U.S. Senate two years ago.

For more detailed information on the Homeowners’ Defense Act, including a section-by-section summary, please visit my website at and click on “Insurance Reform.”