More insurance companies have come to do business in Florida, according to State Representative Bob Rommel.
Rommel said that the four carriers coming will not officially sell you a policy until hurricane season is over. There are three more insurers that are in the process of coming into the state as well.
“Before we got the bill, there was a fear that there will be little or no reinsurance money available for insurance carriers, which they need. Since we passed the bill, everybody has been able to get reinsurance, so I think that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Rommel.
According to Rommel, he’ll continue addressing the state’s insurance crisis when legislators meet again in 2024 (WINKNews) (more…)
As Florida recovers from Hurricane Idalia, Fitch Ratings this week warned about long-term effects of property-insurance problems in Florida and California.
“Rising premiums and reduced availability of homeowners’ property insurance could drag on housing markets, development activity, overall economic growth and ultimately tax bases for certain California and Florida local governments over time,” the ratings agency said in a post Tuesday on its website.
“Insurers are re-evaluating their exposures to geographic areas with elevated catastrophe risk as they face greater losses and higher building and reinsurance costs. Insurance plays a key role in securing mortgages and enabling rebuilding following natural disasters.” Fitch said.
Florida has the highest homeowners’ insurance premiums in the country and Fitch pointed to pullbacks of firms such as Farmers Insurance in Florida and California.
It also cited massive growth at Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp. which was created as an insurer of last resort but now has nearly 1.4 million policies.
“Recovery following natural disasters may be delayed or incomplete if there are greater numbers of those who are under-insured or uninsured due to affordability or non-renewal issues,” Fitch said. “High-risk areas could be left with a smaller tax base if hurricane or wildfire damage leads to permanent relocations, or if these areas find it difficult to attract new residents.
“Fitch has not observed these effects playing out to date, as insurance is one of many factors in home purchase decisions. However, pressures on housing demand could be amplified with increasing natural disasters and insurance markets in which the insurers of last resort are costly or impose higher assessments to cover increased claims.”
Florida lawmakers in December passed a series of changes to try to shore up the insurance market, including taking steps to limit lawsuits against property insurers.
This article reports the highlights from legislation passed in 2021 and 2022, key aspects of the My Safe Florida Home program, and includes comments from insurance agents on the impact on homeowners’ insurance premiums.
Over the last 2-3 years it has become increasingly difficult to get insurance on a property with a roof more than 15 years old – and here I am talking of the asphalt roof prevalent in Florida.
Part of the problem stems from Hurricane Irma and the widespread fraud after that event when roof contractors got homeowners to sign up for new roofs based upon “hurricane damage.”
In 2021, Florida represented just 6.9% of total homeowner’s claims, but 76% of the nation’s homeowner’s lawsuits, and many insurers either withdrew from Florida or became insolvent.
A comprehensive property insurance reform bill was passed and signed into law in 2021, introducing several measures to tackle the escalating insurance costs within the state.
One significant change included in the bill was the limitation on contractors’ practices concerning insurance claims for roof damage. This measure aimed to curb fraudulent activities and ensure fair practices within the industry. Additionally, the bill placed limitations on the fees that attorneys representing claimants can receive, preventing excessive charges.
The legislation mandated that policyholders had to file claims within two years of a loss, in an attempt to streamline the claims process and ensure timely resolution. It also strengthened the oversight of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) on companies affiliated with Florida property insurers.
In 2022, additional property insurance reforms were enacted to address ongoing issues in the property insurance market. These reforms included: (more…)