Is Florida Headed for More Insurance Hikes?

Is good news on the horizon for homeowners insurance in the Sunshine State, or are we headed for more rate increases and policy cancellations?

If you own a home, you’ve probably been dreading that policy renewal. Most of us have seen rates steadily increasing for the past couple of years or even had our policies dropped altogether. Well, good news is on the horizon and things are looking up for homeowners. So, what’s the scoop?

Well, one of the reasons behind our insurance crisis is the sheer number of lawsuits filed against property insurers in the state of Florida. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that 80 percent of the nation's homeowners insurance lawsuits happen here in Florida, despite only having 9 percent of the nation's insurance claims. But we’re starting to see an optimistic outlook from state officials.

At a recent meeting in Sarasota, Jimmy Patronis, the state’s Chief Financial Officer and member of the Florida Cabinet, shared some good news. Patronis thinks of the insurance mess as something we kinda made ourselves. Everyone was suing left and right, making it hard for insurers to keep up. But, thanks to some changes in the law back in 2022 and 2023, things are starting to look up. He says we’re starting to see a downward trend in the number of lawsuits and we’re also seeing more insurance companies writing policies, which is making things a bit more competitive.

Not only are more insurance options popping up, but the state's insurance company, Citizens, is slimming down, which has been a major concern in our insurance woes. In simple terms, Citizens is state-subsidized insurance, and the problem has been if Citizens is unable to pay its claims, the shortfall becomes the responsibility of all other property owners in the state, so the fact that Citizens is seeing fewer policies is good news for everyone else.

We’re also seeing the cost of reinsurance leveling out. Reinsurance is insurance for insurance companies. It’s what helps companies pay out claims after big storms, so when the insurance companies save money, we all save money. And guess what? All this is starting to show in the numbers.

Remember those crazy rate hikes? Well, they’re starting to go away, and some insurance companies are even talking about lowering their rates. Yes, you heard that right! The Office of Insurance Regulation is also putting together a guide to help folks understand insurance better and clear up any confusion, and we all know that knowledge is power. So while you may not see lower rates just yet, it seems very promising that they’re on the way.

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