JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Dozens of Florida homeowners insured by Citizens Property Insurance are complaining about the abrupt price hike in their property insurance.
The homeowner’s insurance industry is in crisis in Florida. More and more homeowners are getting dropped by their insurance companies, forcing them to pay for Citizens Property Insurance.
In just one year, the policy count for the state-backed insurance company has grown from 750,000 policies to more than 1.5 million Florida homeowners, and the increased number of Citizen’s policyholders has caused some insurance premiums to double.
Insurance Agent Sean Way told News4JAX there’s an increased demand for policies from Citizens insurance following the damage from Hurricane Ian in Central Florida in 2022. Way said several insurance carriers stopped offering coverage for certain zip codes that experienced historic damage during the storm.
“Our homeowner’s insurance increased $3,500 since last year. I want to know why it increases greatly each year with no claims,” one Insider shared with News4JAX.
Way said while homeowners are seeing exponential price hikes for their policies, insurance companies are seeing positive effects from new insurance regulations passed during a special session.
“The effects that the legislation has had for our carrier partners are from the standpoint of getting away with one-way attorney fees, where the carriers were responsible for paying those fees. It has put the carriers in a position where they’re opening up more capacity,” Way said. “And when we say that, that means they’re writing in areas that they wouldn’t have written before, for various underwriting reasons. In time, the legislation should have a positive impact on our industry and our citizens of the state of Florida.”
Insurance agents said that property insurance relief would not happen anytime soon because of potential natural disasters this year. On the other hand, if Florida can get through 2023 without experiencing major hurricane damage, agents said insurance carriers would be in the position to pass some financial relief on to homeowners.
“My advice would be to act now. Take advantage of what’s out there right now before any rate increases take place throughout the rest of this year,” Way suggested.
Agents also said inflation had played a big part in the price hike. New legislation is also expected to cut down on fraud and excess litigation, but that may take homeowners a few years to reap the benefits.