If you own property in Florida, you already know that homeowners insurance costs a lot. Now rates are climbing even higher.
The Miami Herald says that major insurance companies have been raising premiums again after a lull in prices. The homeowners who faced rate increases may be the lucky ones, however. Tens of thousands of other policyholders had their coverage cancelled.
In some cases, homeowners with high-risk properties may need to turn to government-run insurance programs for coverage. Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plans provide people with a last-resort option for coverage. However, the Insurance Information Institute warns that these policies may cost more and cover less than private insurance plans.
Climate Change and Litigation Are Impacting the Market
Florida’s ample beachfront property makes it an attractive location, but when the skies turn dark and a storm rolls in, the situation can get dire fast.
Hurricanes and tropical storms have always been a threat to Florida property owners. Now climate change may be making the threat even worse. According to the Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory, tropical cyclone intensities and rainfall rates will likely increase, and sea level rise will likely result in higher coastal inundation levels from tropical cyclones.
Weather isn’t the only factor impacting the Florida insurance market, however. According to the Insurance Journal, litigation related to assignment of benefits and water damage claims have resulted in increased losses. As a result of these issues, Florida insurance carriers have been filing for rate increases, sometimes almost as high as 40 percent.
Not All Coverage Is the Same
There are different types of homeowners insurance policies. Rates vary based on whether the policyholder is the owner or a renter, or whether the policyholder lives in a traditional house, a condo or a mobile home.
Rates also vary based on how much coverage is provided by the policy. For example, Florida’s Division of Consumer Services states that many homeowners in Florida have a Modified Coverage Form (HO-8). This policy type may provide less coverage than HO-2 homeowners insurance, but in some cases, an insurer may not offer HO-2 coverage because of their underwriting requirements.
Most homeowners insurance policies exclude flood damage. While homeowners insurance may cover some types of damage arising from a hurricane – such as wind damage – homeowners need to purchase additional coverage to be protected from floods.
You Need a Broker Who Can Advocate for You
You want the best rates possible, but low premiums can’t come at the cost of quality coverage. If anything goes wrong, you’ll need the right coverage to make things right.
Don’t trust just anyone to help you secure coverage. You need someone who knows what coverage is needed, which discounts are available and how homeowners can reduce their risks and improve their rates.
Wilson, Washburn & Forster is a boutique independent insurance agency that has been in business since 1961. As a local broker, we are experienced in helping Florida property owners manage their insurance exposures. You will find that our experience, claims handling, service, and community commitment is unrivaled.
Contact us today for a complimentary analysis of your current insurance program by an insurance specialist in this field at 786-454-8384.