By Grant Blackwell of Coastal Insurance Company in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. The Florida property insurance industry has been nearly collapsing for a few years. 2021 brought homeowner premium increases of 30% to 50%, frustrating and surprising residents. Most folks chalked it up to the collective results of Hurricane Michael in 2018 and just another increased price of admission for living here at the beach.
The reality was that the Florida property insurance industry was in a crisis. About 40 Florida smaller domiciled insurance companies insure 75% of all the homes in Florida. These companies were very profitable until 2017 but have struggled to recover from the hurricane seasons of 2017 and 2018, when Florida suffered over $100 Billion in insured losses. The usual recovery we would have expected from losses 4 or 5 years ago has not happened.
A perfect storm of financial obstacles has developed through contractor and roofer fraud and the failure of the Florida legislature and judicial system to deal with it. The Florida-based insurance companies lost another $1 Billion each over the last two years.
In January 2022, it became apparent that premium increases of 50% or more would happen again during 2022. Since then, about a dozen Florida-based insurance companies have filed for bankruptcy over the past year. The remaining solvent carriers are increasing rates 100% or more in many cases and canceling what they consider to be higher-risk homes, which include older, frame-construction homes close to the beach.
Does this resonate with you? If your home or roof is 20 years old and older, you are especially vulnerable to much higher premiums, and many may face cancellation of their current policies.
What should owners of older homes do now?
Homes not in excellent condition and with an old roof will have difficulty getting insurance. And if they do get insured, it will be costly.
The most important thing owners can do now is:
- Make sure your 20-year-old home is in excellent condition.
- Consider replacing your roof if over 20 years old.
As a long-time local invested in the community, Grant Blackwell is happy to answer any questions that will help you understand why the crisis is happening and your options if you receive a cancellation or nonrenewal notice.
Grant Blackwell and his team at Coastal Insurance are working closely with area homeowners to guide them in all areas of the Florida insurance crisis and advice on inspections, improvements, roof replacement, and insurance renewal options. If you have questions or need assistance, reach out to Grant by call/text at 850-699-8088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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