September 30, 2022
  • September 30, 2022

PSLBW Guest Speaker Addresses Florida Property Insurance Market – InsuranceNewsNet

By on July 13, 2022 0

PORT ST. LUCY – The state of Florida is in the midst of a home insurance crisis. All over the treasure coastresidents were hit with sticker shock after receiving their home insurance bills, reflecting a 10-50% increase in their premiums. Port St. Lucie Business Women member Kathy’s postCEO and owner of insurance post in Saint Lucia West gave a powerful presentation on what is happening in Floridaand what can be done to control runaway insurance costs May 19 meeting of the Port St. Lucie Business Women held at Tutto Fresco in Saint Lucia West.

What drives price increases? Post explained that insurance rates are based on shared risk. Insurance companies buy reinsurance, which is insurance for insurers, allowing companies to limit their losses when settling claims by spreading the risk of exposure to a major catastrophe. There have been many global catastrophes in recent years, affecting the cost of reinsurance. The increase in reinsurance costs is then passed on to consumers.

Until a recently passed state law reduced the time to file a claim from three to two years, insurance companies were paying claims dating back to 2017 and 2018, when Hurricane Irma and the Hurricane Michael landed. Repair costs are higher today than when the damage originally occurred, compounded by material shortages.

In addition, there has been a considerable increase in home insurance claims. To better understand what happened and why, watch the April 14 “The price of paradise” story of Tampa Bay ABC News affiliate on YouTube at https://youtu.be/2QElObXObnw

In 2020, 80,000 lawsuits were filed in Florida. By comparison, the national average was 900 lawsuits filed each year per state. Lawyers representing homeowners who have suffered property damage are allowed to charge up to three times their normal fee, known as an attorney’s fee multiplier. This was instituted to encourage lawyers to accept smaller cases.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is that more than two-thirds of the money awarded in these types of lawsuits goes to attorney fees, not the landlord,” Post said. “It’s a big cost factor,” she added. Message referring to the survey florida P&C insurance market: Spiraling Toward Collapse commissioned by the Senate Banking and Insurance Committeewhich revealed that in 2019, 71% of the money awarded went to roofers’ attorney fees and that 25 attorneys filed 33% of those lawsuits.

The predatory practices of roofing companies and other contractors have also taken their toll. “Any contractor or sales representative telling you that you won’t have to pay your insurance deductible is committing fraud,” Post said. “Do not be tempted by such a statement.”

She also warned not to sign any documents regarding an assignment of benefits. She warns that this could disenfranchise you and allow a contractor to sue your insurance company. Instead, she suggested doing a payment directive, where an insurance company pays the contractor directly. For more information, she recommends consulting the website of the Florida Bureau of Insurance Regulations at floir.com/consumers/assignment-of-benefits-resources.

What can a homeowner do to help control the cost of their insurance premiums? Post recommends tracking home maintenance just like you would your car. She noted that you wouldn’t ignore your tires until they frayed or exploded. A car needs regular checkups and scheduled maintenance to make sure it’s in good working order and to spot any problems that need repair.

“Consider replacing a shingle roof if it’s over 15 years old,” Post suggested. Tiles and metal will likely need to be replaced after 25 years.

“Get wind mitigation and a 4-point inspection looking at roofing, electrical, plumbing and HVAC. This is especially important for older homes,” she added. Inspectors will examine circuit breaker boxes, water heaters, exteriors, roofs, driveways, plumbing fixtures, etc., to find any issues that may affect your ability to get coverage. Plus, these inspections can reveal a problem that a homeowner was unaware of, allowing them to fix a problem before it becomes a major expense.

Ask yourself how much you are willing to insure. Premiums can be reduced by adjusting deductibles, coverage limits, endorsements and exclusions. Display warnings to read your policy details carefully. If a premium goes down, find out what is no longer included in your insurance policy. Then talk to your agent.

For more information on insurance post, visit insurewithposte.com. For more information on the Port St. Lucie Business Women, visit PSLBW.com. Follow their Facebook page for updates on events, programs and community engagement.