Florida’s home insurance crisis in a nutshell

Damaged and missing homes are seen in the wake of Hurricane Ian, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. (Associated Press.)

By Crystal Harlan

April 10, 2024

Average home insurance premium renewals rose by 68% in Florida over the past two years.

What’s going on with home insurance rates in Florida?

Florida homeowners pay the most for home insurance, with an average annual rate of $10,996 in 2023, which is more than four times the national average of $2,377. Massachusetts-based insurance company Insurify predicts premiums in Florida will increase an additional 7% in 2024 to $11,759.

Several major home insurance companies have left the state, including Farmers Insurance. Other insurers have chosen to not renew policies for high-risk homes.

Average home insurance premium renewals rose by 68% in Florida, the fastest increase in the country in the past two years, according to News4Jax.

Why?

  1. Natural disasters. Florida has the highest risk for catastrophic property damage from storms. Because of Florida’s narrow shape and miles of coastline, much of the state is at risk for hurricane damage, wind damage, and flooding. Sinkholes are another risk factor in Florida.
  2. Fraudulent lawsuits. Florida accounts for 9% of the country’s home insurance claims, but 79% of its home insurance lawsuits, and many of them are fraudulent, according to Bankrate.
  3. Increasing reinsurance rates. Reinsurance is basically insurance for insurers. When insurers can’t cover the cost of natural disasters, reinsurance steps in. However, reinsurance rates have shot up dramatically in recent years.

What are lawmakers doing about it?

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a property insurance overhaul bill in 2022, but its main goal was keeping insurance companies from leaving the state by shielding them from lawsuits, shortening the period of time that homeowners can file claims with their insurers, and removing the right of homeowners to recover attorneys’ fees, even in lawsuits they win.

The insurance industry has been a major contributor to DeSantis over the years, to the tune of more than $9.9 million.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) announced that eight property and casualty insurers are coming to Florida, but it remains to be seen whether or not this will translate into lower rates for Floridians.

What can you do about it?

  1. Get a wind mitigation inspection.
  2. Increase your deductible.
  3. Have hurricane clips installed in your attic to hold the trusses down to the walls.
  4. Combine different types of coverage (car, health, life, homeowners) to get a lower price on all of them, also known as “bundling.”

 

RELATED: Florida home insurance premiums are devastating residents

Author

  • Crystal Harlan

    Crystal is a bilingual editor and writer with over 20 years of experience in digital and print media. She is currently based in Florida, but has lived in small towns in the Midwest, Caracas, New York City, and Madrid, where she earned her MA in Spanish literature.

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