While Ron DeSantis bails out major insurance companies and hands out billions in tax breaks to ultra-wealthy businesses, Floridians are bracing for even more exorbitant cost increases as their governor sits on his hands.
WFLA: Florida property insurance rates expected to jump 40% to 50% in June
By Sam Sachs
- The Sunshine State, home to more than 22 million people, has an affordability problem when it comes to housing—not just for buying a home or finding a place to rent. Protecting your home can also be expensive.
- John Rollins, a former Florida Chief Financial Officer and former Chief Risk Officer at Citizens Property Insurance spoke with WFLA.com about the state’s ongoing property insurance issues. Rollins serves as a Director of Ventures at EIG Holdings, Inc., a Texas-based diversified claims, technology and restoration company serving several Florida insurers.
- Speaking with WFLA.com, Rollins said in the past three years, policy rates have gone up 100% for Floridians, and the rate increases aren’t stopping. He said the industry, as well as various state officials, are expecting premiums to go up between 40% to 50% or more in June.
- Despite two special sessions of the Florida Legislature to find fixes for the coverage crisis, the state’s property insurance market is still presenting a struggle for homeowners, particularly after recent hurricanes battered counties in September and November.
- None of the legislation passed in the special sessions on property insurance directly address the rates paid by Floridians. Instead, the legislation focused on making the insurance business climate in Florida more attractive to companies and reform property insurance litigation to cut costs for consumers.
- As more property insurers have left the state’s market, the state’s so-called insurer of last resort has seen a growth in its policy volume, filling that gap. Citizens Property Insurance now covers 1,177,027 policies as of Feb. 10. On Jan. 9, it was 1,145,178 policies, which was nearly double the volume at the end of 2021.
- A Tampa Bay teacher saw her premium increase from less than $4,000 to almost $7,000 in December.
- Policy concentration of a different nature is also impacting Floridians. Multiple property insurance providers have left the Florida market or entered receivership, where the OIR takes control and moves or backs up policies and claims to make sure coverage is continued. It’s meant the residents are footing the bills, and surcharges have already been added to monthly premiums as a result.
- The rates themselves are costly, with Insurance.com reporting most companies are charging their Florida customers between $4,000 and $5,000 for premiums, on average, though there are exceptions.
- A report on property insurance stability by the Insurance Information Institute backed up Rollins’ claims for rate increases in August, with the report saying “across hurricane-prone states, mid-year renewals showed increases from 5% to 15% for loss-free accounts to up to 40% for catastrophe-exposed, loss-hit accounts,” but that “in Florida, increases were as high as 50%.”
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