Will Ohio’s Insurance Marketplace Be the Next Place of Crisis?

If the Scott-Pontzer Case rings a bell, remember Kennedy, DeWine, and Fischer this November.

Florida’s property insurance market is in a state of crisis. While the constant battering of hurricanes has had a meaningful impact on the FL market, the current crisis was full blown prior to Hurricane Ian because of nuclear verdicts and out of control litigation costs. Insurance carrier liquidations are a weekly occurrence and now the state’s property market of last resort, Citizen’s is well on the way to being the largest carrier and primary option for independent agents and homeowners. 

Will Ohio be next? 

Over the past 20 years, Ohio has one of the most stable and predictable insurance and business legal environments in the U.S. However, given the recent changes and rulings on the Ohio Supreme Court, it has us asking if Ohio is next? 

Is Ohio next on the list of states that have unpredictable legal environments, activist courts and high insurance premiums? Or will we maintain our competitive business and insurance climate?  

You, your family, friends and clients will decide this in November.  

The Ohio Supreme Court judicial philosophy and decisions play a critical role in determining whether Ohio consumers, businesses and independent agents will have a stable, predictable and competitive insurance marketplace in which to do business. 

The Ohio Supreme Court is comprised of seven justices that serve as the final arbiter of legal questions concerning the constitutionality and validity of our state laws, rules and legal system. This November, the election takes on increased importance since Ohio voters will be deciding the philosophical balance of the court.  

After twenty years of a court grounded in judicial restraint, the court is trending towards an activist philosophy reminiscent of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Since the end of the Scott-Pontzer era rulings that plagued the Ohio judicial system, Ohioans have enjoyed economic growth and prosperity without the threat of nuclear verdicts, outrageous legal claims and expenses.  

OIA wants to keep it that way. There are three seats on the ballot this year and just one loss will significantly shift the judicial philosophy on the court, potentially giving activist judges the power to destroy everything we have worked to protect. 

We bring this up to express the importance of the upcoming election of the Ohio Supreme Court this November. OIAPAC has a track record of supporting judicial candidates who practice judicial restraint and strict constructionism, focusing their legal opinion on the constitutionality of Ohio’s laws and deferring policy matters to the legislature. These races are of the utmost importance to independent agents as the philosophical makeup of the court is in jeopardy this election.   

Justices Pat Fischer and Pat DeWine are running to retain their seats on the court and Justice Sharon Kennedy is running for the highest position on the court, chief justice. We encourage you to learn more about these races and the importance of the Ohio Supreme Court to you, your clients, and the future of the insurance marketplace. 

While agents may not all share the same political views, they do share the same underlying values and passion for protecting the independent agency system so that Ohioans have a choice in coverage that meets their unique insurance needs. OIAPAC supports candidates with pro-business views that promote a strong economy and competitive insurance marketplace. Please consider contributing to support your profession today! 

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